I heard about this place from a friend of mine who had previously visited this restaurant, and really liked it. He had told me about the pastrami dip sandwich, and how it was really good. Alright, I’ve got to try this place. From the outside, it’s very unassuming, and seems like nothing has changed much since many decades ago. When you walk into the small dining area, those impressions do not fade, but are slightly permutated to a hopefully, more positive one. A bright red neon sign confirms that you’re indeed at Connal’s, but also that you’ve gone back in time. The old school coke decor dominates the room giving you a sense of nostalgia. Not that I would really know since I’m still pretty young, but I figured it would make my review of the place sound better, so…why not? You head up to the window to order and notice the ATM machine (shoot! cash only), and the menu that is absolutely inundated with items to add serious calories to your daily allowance (or lack thereof if you really stopped caring).
Welcome to Connel's
There it was…this pastrami dip sandwich that lie in front of me. Flanked by an ice cold Diet-Coke on one side and a bag stuffed full of fries on the other. Already, the meat and bread was losing its grasp on the oh-so good juices that graced much flavor to the meat, because there was so much of it already. No worries, the meat was still very flavorful and oh-so tender. I was thoroughly impressed with these sandwiches (there’s more to come!) because it was great on so many levels. Firstly, it was so dang cheap for the amount of food you get (it’s more like…”Can I get some bread with all that meat!?”). The place could’ve easily charged in excess of $10 and it still would’ve been a good deal. The bread just soaked up all that delicious au jus so it added so much moisture to each individual bite. The meat was seasoned absolutely perfectly – it wasn’t too salty, nor was it bland. There was this great peppery finish that nicely accented each bite. This was absolutely paramount as pastrami tends to be fairly heavy. A very subtle spiciness elevated this sandwich. The only thing that I personally thought was lacking in the sandwich was more pickles, as I thought the sour/tartness of the pickles should’ve been more pronounced to add more depth to the sandwich. But, that’s just being nit-picky. Yes, it’s not a gourmet sandwich, but it’s a dang-good sandwich.
Didn't I tell you it was pastrami with some bread!?
The fries on the other hand were sub par. They’re the medium cut fries, which I don’t mind, but I thought they were slightly more on the soggy side – basically, I wanted more crunch. Honestly though, this isn’t a big deal just because there was so much food, and the sandwich is the main player here.
I also got to sample the Combination Submarine Sandwich. In terms of the meat (non-arguably, the most important part of any meal) it contains an amazing combination of salami, turkey, and ham. This turns out to be a great combination when it is integrated into the sandwich along with fresh lettuce and tomatoes, provolone cheese, and a drizzle of what tasted like olive oil + vinegar, and then finished off with a generous sprinkle of oregano. Honestly, I wished I had ordered this instead. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the pastrami sandwich, but this is on another level. All the ingredients come together and harmoniously express themselves on your tongue. It’s like a giant party in your mouth, but everybody is REALLY invited, and make themselves known. You taste the individual slices of meat ending with the salty (but not in a bad way) salami, you then proceed to the creamy provolone, and then to the crunchy lettuce and citrusy tomato. Finally, that olive oil dressing kicks in with a subtle, buttery, nutty flavor accentuated with the oregano. There are a lot of layers of flavors going on here. Yes…this is not a gourmet sandwich, but oh mah gah, it’s a blast your mind out the water sandwich. If you ever come here, start with this sandwich. Then explore. Maybe you will never do so, but it’s all good in the hood.
The sandwich from afar
Let's get a little more intimate
I highly recommend this place. The staff are so friendly, and you can tell it’s a totally local joint. The customers here are loyal ones that are remembered by the staff and really dig the food. The prices are great for what you get. I might even argue that it’s a steal. Finally, the taste is phenomenal. Is it the best sandwich you’ve had in your life? Maybe not. But it will definitely satisfy that need for a good, if not great, piece of grubbin.
Here’s the place.
Connal’s Burgers Salads Subs
1505 E. Washington Blvd.
Mind-Blasting Factor: 8/10
Overall, I would give it a 4.5/5
Been here before? Share your thoughts! Any other places that you would recommend if you had a sudden sandwich craving?
Thanks for stopping by. God bless. Happy eating. Remember to share.