Friday, July 4, 2008

Mawby's: Lunch in Andover

When I think about lunch, many times I want a place that sells a good sandwich. And I don't want to have to pay too much. Yesterday, I decided to try Mawby's, an intriguing and eclectic restaurant/store in Andover.

Mawby's is located just off of Rt.28, at 7-9 Barnard Street, and there is plenty of street parking nearby. When you walk into Mawby's, you may be initially taken aback by its eclectic nature. They seem to sell a little bit of everything. First, there is plenty of food, from their deli, where you can buy sandwiches and salads, to racks of gourmet foods, including European chocolates. They also sell cakes and pastries. Second, you will find wine, most that seems to sell for under $20. Third, you will find many unique gift items, from fancy cutlery to dishes, from glassware to antiques. Check out the stuffed animal heads on the walls too!

Much of the store has a British feel to it, from the names of their sandwiches, to the decor, to the items they have for sale. The owner, Chris Perry, is half English and decided to to emphasize that aspect in Mawby's. It is the type of store that is very fun to poke around and check out everything.

If you want lunch, there is plenty to entice you. The sandwich menu is very interesting, with numerous gourmet ingredients in appealing combinations. Plus, many of the ingredients are organic. Nearly all of the sandwiches cost only $7-10. Consider a couple of the choices available:

The Exmoor Beast ($9.95): Oven roasted North Devon style roast beef, organic free range turkey, Berkshire heritage bacon, imported crumbled Gorgonzola, crisp romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and terragon mayonnaise on a sourdough baguette.

The Duke Of Edinburgh ($7.95): Fresh organic, free range turkey breast, country sage stuffing and fresh New England orange-cranberry relish on toasted French bread. Lettuce and tomatoes on demand.

They also have six types of burgers, including Wolfe's Neck beef, buffalo, Kobe beef and a veggie burger. The burgers range from $8-14 and come with a bag of potato chips and a pickle.

I decided to have a burger, though I wanted the buffalo with the toppings of the Wolfe's Neck sandwich. The usual buffalo burger is the Teddy Roosevelt Wilderness Hunter Burger ($8.95), a half a pound of very lean ground range roaming buffalo, grilled onions, and Wyoming chipotle pepper sauce on a roll. But I wanted it like The Winston Churchill Burger ($8.95), half a pound of organic Wolfe's Neck neef topped with English farmhouse cheddar, Berkshire Heritage bacon, and a tad of empire building barbeque sauce on a sourdough roll.

They were very accomodating and I felt that they would have made any changes that I had requested. Everything is made to order so they can easily make substititions if necessary. Plus, the menu has a list of items you can add to any sandwich or salad. Maybe add some Vermont goat cheese ($1.25) or even Smoked Duck Breast ($4).

The burger was delicious! It was good-sized, juicy and had plenty of flavorful toppings. The roll was obviously fresh and very soft. I was very pleased with the burger. It came with a bag of Cape Cod potato chips, good local chips. They also had fresh brewed iced tea which earns them points from me.

You will also find on their menu soups, nine different salads, and three grilled flatbreads (kind of like a mini-pizza).

I spent a little time chatting with the owner, Chris Perry. He was very personable and it soon was obvious that he is a passionate individual. He is dedicated to ensuring Mawby's is the best that it can be. He is doing something he loves and I think it shows. This is the kind of restaurant I enjoy, a nice local place run by a passionate owner that has very good food.

Chris mentioned that the restaurant will be expanding in the fall. It will start opening for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I will be keeping my eye open for that and will report back to my readers when that happens. Until then, I will keep stopping by for lunch when I am in the area. I hope that you too will check it out.

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