Halfmoon Salad and Sandwich Shoppe Stands OutAugust 2, 2012
A recent day job relocation by the MHK’s Executive Chef has afforded us the opportunity to sample fare from a new (to us) group of eateries in the Halfmoon area of the Capital Region. Many of these locations are on Route 9, which we have decided to nickname “Sandwich Alley.” Along a 2-mile stretch of that road are several sandwich shops, offering freshly made subs, heroes, grinders, hoagies, and just plain ol’ sandwiches. There’s Fred the Butcher, a small market and butcher shop that makes a very good sandwich; there’s Sorrentino’s, an Italian market that also puts together a delicious sub; and standing out from the pack, the King of Sandwich Alley (let’s see if the name sticks), is the Halfmoon Salad and Sandwich Shoppe. Open for breakfast and lunch, their menu contains a huge variety of sandwiches made from both classic deli meats and a good array of interesting combinations of textures and flavors.
Located in what looks like a remodeled small house, don’t blink as you drive by or you might miss it. There are only a handful of tables inside, with some picnic tables outside as well. Much of their business is done via take-out, and you can call or fax your order in advance. The staff is really friendly, and despite the crowdedness of the place, it doesn’t take too long to get your food.
Among their specialty sandwiches is one with grilled veggies and fresh mozzarella; the “Halfmoon” featuring hot roast beef, cheese and gravy on a garlic toasted roll; an Italian mix with the addition of breaded eggplant; and the three that we have partaken of. The first contained prosciutto, eggplant, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and a balsamic vinaigrette. The generous amount of salty ham was offset nicely by the sweet and smoky peppers, the fresh cheese, and the tasty dressing. The eggplant was unexpectedly room temperature and not crisp; but it tasted good and added a nice texture. We also tried one with Asian roast beef (flavored with soy and ginger, it seemed), blue cheese, crispy onions, greens, and a garlic aioli, served on foccacia. The beef was really tasty with the Asian flavors, and went perfectly with the blue cheese and aioli. The greens added some nice freshness to the sandwich, topped off with the crunchy onions for some salty goodness. It was a really tasty sandwich. Lastly we tried their version of the Cuban sandwich, with pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on a pressed roll. Cubans aren’t normally made with pulled pork (usually just roasted and sliced pork), but this was really delicious. The pork was super tender, and all the other ingredients worked well together (just like a regular Cuban). My only criticism would be that the bread got a little too toasty and lost some of the chewiness, but overall it was really good. We also tried our all-time favorite sandwich, plain old roasted turkey with bacon, lettuce, onions, hot peppers, and mayo. The only thing that kept Halfmoon Salad and Sandwich Shoppe’s from being a 5-star sandwich is that they don’t roast their own turkey. Otherwise it was quite good.
On the salad side, you can basically create your own salad from a huge list of ingredients, with the usual veggies and cheeses seen at a basic salad bar, but you can also add things like apples, caramelized onions, almonds, avocado, grilled asparagus, sautéed Portobellos, and black beans.
The shop also has items hot off the grill like burgers, hot dogs, cheese steaks, chicken/eggplant/meatball parm., and homemade spring rolls like the Buffalo chicken, pizza, or cheese steak.
They are also serving up Panini like one with Teryaki chicken; Portobello cutlets; BBQ pulled pork; and one with salami, pepperoni, mozzarella, pesto and garlic butter.
For breakfast they are baking fresh bagels and rolls, to go with omelets, breakfast sandwiches (including their signature Lumberjack, which contains eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, cheese, and home fries. Dieters stay away), and French toast.
Prices are very reasonable, considering how bulky the sandwiches are (we’ve taken half home almost every time). All specialty sandwiches and Panini are $7.25, and regular deli sandwiches start at $5.25 (but only include lettuce, tomato, onions and dressing, not cheese or other veggies). Yeah it’s just a sandwich shop, but among so many others, it’s a really good one.
The Mouse House Kitchen gives the Halfmoon Salad and Sandwich Shoppe 4 out of 5 stars!