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Dec 6, 2011 05:13 PM

South Orange County Sandwich Shop Search (Mission Viejo/RSM/FR)

We just moved back to Mission Viejo after 8 years in San Clemente. During those 8 years I became a big fan of the sandwiches at Tudor & Spunky's, in Dana Point. For my money it's the best sandwich shop around. so, now that it's 30 minutes away, I'm on the hunt for a replacement that's more like 10 minutes max from the Lake MV area.

These requests are always tough because people have their own idea of what a great 'whatever' is, but I thought I'd give it a try. Your opinion is important to me, but moreso if you're actually familiar with Tudor & Spunky"s.

At least we're back close to Bagels & Brew ........IMHO the best bagels in OC. :o)


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  1. The massive response pretty much says it all about South OC. Not a whole lot of people way down here > not many foodies > but there HAS TO BE more than ONE really good sandwich shop.

    Tudor & Spunky's uses great bread, fresh and plentiful ingredients, and is reasonably priced. I guess Bagels & Brew will be my go to place once again in this area. They're very good, but I just hoped a sandwich specialist had made the scene.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Midlife

      Hmmm... somehow I missed this from 2 days ago. We must now be neighbors as I'm a walk away from Bagels & Brew but, prefer I Love bagels further down on Alicia & Muirlands. I'm not familiar with Tudor & Spunky's but, then again there are no sandwich spots in the area that I can recommend. I go to Bahn Mi Che Cali in FV for Bahn Mi and Claro's in Tustin for Italian sandwiches from Mission Viejo. The best that I can recommend would be Berkely Dog for sausage sandwiches.

      1. re: JAB

        Thanks for the post. Tudor & Spunky's is on PCH, right where it splits at the North end of Dana Point (@ PCH & Blue Lantern).

        I'm an ex-New Yorker and, at the risk of opening a new endless best bagel discussion, find Bagels & Brew to have the closest density and chew tyo what I love. Been a B&B fan since it opened in the late 80's(?).

        On the sandwich side - if Claro's were closer I'd be a very happy camper. I just rarely find it worth a 30-40 mile drive for a sandwich. I work in Dana Point, so I guess a T&S 'Rosa's Best' sandwich is still doable when the timing works out.

        1. re: Midlife

          LOL, I'm from CT. You used to be able to get pumpernickel at I Love Bagels which was a big plus for me. Unfortunately, they no longer have them. B&B which opened in the mid 90's does have a marble bagel.

    2. There is a Lee's Sandwich on El Toro north of the 5, right next to Aaron Brothers in the shopping mall.

      They only have 2 sandwiches on the menu at Break of Dawn, but considering how good everything else is there, I imagine the sandwiches are pretty tasty as well.

      At the risk of getting laughed at by a NY'er, I really like the pastrami sandwich at the Derby. I have not seen any seconds for it here, but I like the thick cut peppery meat and the rye is decent. I am not going to recommend much else, but the pastrami is good.

      Break of Dawn
      24351 Avenida De La Carlota Ste N6, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

      Lee's Sandwiches
      23624 El Toro Rd, Lake Forest, CA 92630

      Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar
      27741 Crown Valley Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

      2 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        Lee's IS good. Thanks for the heads up as I had forgotten about that location. The Kaleidoscope I try to avoid if at all possible. My wife has been to The Derby and liked it, but a good corned beef or pastrami sandwich is usually twice the price of anything at T&S's.

        Good Banh Mi are terrific but very small sandwiches and I am sometimes interested in bulk. A Tudor & Spunky's Rosa's Best is probably 4 times the size and weight of an average Banh Mi, for what I recall is just over twice the price. Different animals. Both very good.

        1. re: Midlife

          The Derby is not twice the price, but it is more. But for good pastrami, it is worth it from time to time.

          There are three spots for Philly's Best in South County, one in Lake Forest, one in Foothill Ranh, and the other in RSM Though I have not been to those, I do go to the one in Tustin and it is good. I like the subs there more than the cheese-steaks, but a lot of my friends get those.

          Philly's Best
          22722 Lambert St 703, Lake Forest, CA

          Philly's Best
          30461 Avenida De Las Flores, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

          Philly's Best
          26612 Towne Centre Dr, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

      2. GOLDEN BAKED HAMS - on Alicia Pkwy near the Jordan Persian market. They have fantastic ham sandwiches (most everything is great though) made with ham shaved of the golden baked ones. It's been there for over 20 years. Best in the area IMHO.

        1. Tutor and Spunky's is still worth the drive, and their new place even has tables. But, the marina is just down the road, where you can enjoy your sandwich with a view.

          Golden Baked Hams, at the Alicia off-ramp from the 5, is also a great place, and probably closer to you.

          2 Replies
          1. re: oldusedcop

            Yup. That's the conclusion I'm coming to. The best is just the best. I live in Mission Viejo now and work part-time in Dana Point. The timing of my sandwich needs, when I work, and when T&S is open (they close at 5) is what is causing the search. I guess a several-hour-old T&S sandwich is still better than others fresh, but I'll need to do the research on that.

            Philly's best is good but a whole other animal from what I like at T&S.

            1. re: oldusedcop

              Another recommendation for Gold'N Baked Hams. I think the rolls are remarkably good.

              The Philly's Best in Lake Forest never seems quite as good as the one in Irvine. But they nonetheless make an excellent hoagie.

            2. Three new chains, besides Lee's since you left, Gandolfo's, Mr. Pickles and of course Jersey Mike's (that seem to be every place now), plus places like Santora's Pizza, Rocco's Pizzeria, Rubino's Pizza, The Deli Case and Itz-A-Deli.

              2 Replies
              1. re: scottca075

                I'm pretty certain that Rubino's was here 8 years ago, and I know that Santora's has been around much longer than that. Itz a Deli sounds like a must try and my son's mentioned The Deli Case before, though it's more than half way to Dana Point. Thanks for the info.

                Are you familiar with Tudor and Spunky's to offer a comparison on a basic deli sandwich, say turkey or roast beef, as to size, quality, bread? I don't mind trying all those places over time, but I've obviously got a specific target in mind.

                1. re: Midlife

                  I'm an Italian cold cuts guy, three and four kinds, two kinds of cheeses, not so much much just a roast beef or turkey guy. I know Tudor and Spunky with their Trojan sandwich and the Laker, the Bruin etc. I've only ever had their special and their hard salami and it has been a little while since I was there, but I'm a confirmed Gallo's Deli guy in OC and Bay Cities in LA and I think nothing comes close to Bay Cities.

                  I guess you just need to try them all :) Hell, I even like the made to order deli sandwiches at Ralph's.