7 South Sandwich Company (Middlebury, VT)

As I mentioned earlier this year in our review of Haymaker Bun Co. in Middlebury, Vermont, our wine club has us traveling several times a year to Lincoln Peak Vineyard for picking up our order. While sometimes this isn’t the greatest convenience, in general it is a welcome excuse to drive through one of the more scenic parts of Vermont and check out a few places along the way. On this trip, we took it as a chance to revisit one of my favorites that I hadn’t yet reviewed: 7 South Sandwich Company.

Located in a strip mall on Highway 7 just SE of downtown Middlebury (near Drop-In Brewing and pretty close to one of the few regional A&W Drive-Ins still operating), I first discovered 7 South Sandwich Company during the pandemic; a project I had at work was doing electronics testing in a lab in Middlebury, Vermont, so we’d periodically spent a day driving across Vermont, testing electronics, and returning home. For lunch, the test lab would take sandwich orders from a nearby sandwich shop (7 South), and I found myself ordering a “Roast Beef Kicker” sandwich (Roast beef, bacon, cheddar, onion, and horseradish mayo). For a generic sandwich shop I don’t usually have high expectations for a basic sandwich, so I was expecting your typical generic roast beef cold cuts on cold bread. Instead, I got a quite delicious sandwich piled high with very tender and flavorful medium-rare roast beef with a nice bold garlic mayo on a Mexican telera-style roll that had been grilled to just a bit of crunch. It was a good sandwich, and I ended up getting sandwiches from 7 South on several other work trips, but it wasn’t until the Fall of 2020 that I actually got to visit 7 South Sandwich Company itself, as we stopped in to get sandwiches for a packed lunch as we did a day hike of the Trail Around Middlebury.

Since those visits, it’s become one of my favorites when traveling around Middlebury. Visiting the place itself, it’s basically just a sandwich counter (although fairly recently they also expanded to have indoor seating in the adjacent storefront), and indeed, the menu basically is “sandwiches”, with a dozen house specialty sandwiches ranging from the abovementioned Roast Beef Kicker, to club sandwiches, to burgers, Reubens, and cheesesteaks. They’ve got a light selection of fried accompaniments (fries and rings, mostly), and you can custom-order a sandwich from any of their ingredients as well. About the only thing that surprises me (probably from my mid-Atlantic early childhood) is that a classic “Italian sub” isn’t one of the standard menu items, but you can easily assemble one as a custom order; they’ve got the meats and cheeses on-hand for that. You could see from both the ordering line, and the line of assembled sandwiches getting either packed up or delivered to the dining room that this is a popular place, and that the Turkey Club is particularly popular.

While the sandwich that first drew me to 7 South was the Roast Beef Kicker, this time I decided to mix it up a bit, and get the Salty Bird instead. This is pretty close to being a turkey version of my favorite Roast Beef Kicker, with roasted turkey, bacon, cheddar, and garlic mayo, on a grilled telera roll. Like the Kicker, this starts with some particularly good deli turkey (a moist, lower-salt turkey with a lot of flavor), some good crunchy bacon, a bit of cheddar, and a nice bold garlic mayo on a nicely-grilled roll. A very satisfying sandwich.

Carol, meanwhile, did opt for my favorite order, the Roast Beef Kicker, and her sandwich showed that they are still as good as that first one I had back in 2020: excellent, tender roast beef, a nice bold horseradish mayo, and some Vermont cheddar. Still a classic.

The other thing to note: 7 South Sandwich Company also does breakfast sandwiches. I haven’t tried one, but I’ll definitely make it a point if I’m around Middlebury. In any case, 7 South will remain a favorite of mine for sandwiches, even with the stiff competition (The Cluckin’ Cafe and the above-mentioned Haymaker) in the general area.

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