Two Ike’s Love & Sand­wiches shops com­ing to area, Tur­lock first

The Modesto Bee - - Front Page - Mar­i­jke Row­land: 209-578-2284, @mar­i­jkerow­land

Ike’s prides it­self on serv­ing up any­thing that tastes good be­tween two slices of bread.

And with al­most 600 sand­wich com­bi­na­tions to choose from, they just might be right. The Bay Area-born sand­wich shops have gained cult fol­low­ings for their plen­ti­ful of­fer­ings and crazy com­bi­na­tions.

And now, for the first time, the brand has ex­panded to the North­ern San Joaquin Val­ley. The com­pany opened its shop in Tur­lock this week, one of two Ike’s Love & Sand­wiches com­ing to the area. The other lo­ca­tion in Modesto should open be­fore the end of the year.

The Ike’s Shop in Tur­lock’s Monte Vista Cross­ings shop­ping cen­ter took over the space that formerly housed Free­birds World Bur­rito. The up­com­ing Modesto site, at the cor­ner of McHenry and Brig­gsmore av­enues, is also in an old Free­birds site. Both res­tau­rants were first an­nounced in June.

What makes Ike’s dif­fer­ent from other sand­wich places is its ap­proach and style.

All sand­wiches come on bread cus­tom baked for them, most of it a sig­na­ture Dutch sorta-crunch roll (softer than a tra­di­tional Dutch crunch roll). And all sand­wiches come with the sig­na­ture Ike’s Dirty Sauce (a creamy gar­lic aioli of sorts) baked into the bread and served warm. And even if your fa­vorite sand­wich isn’t on the menu at the store you’re in, Ike’s will make it for you.

Two of its most pop­u­lar com­bi­na­tions — many of which were cre­ated by and named af­ter celebri­ties — in­clude the Matt Cain (named af­ter the for­mer San Fran­cisco Giants pitcher. The sand­wich in­cludes salami, roast beef, tur­key, pro­volone) and the Me­nage a Trois (ha­lal chicken, honey mus­tard, BBQ sauce, honey, pep­per jack, swiss and ched­dar cheese). Each site also has lo­ca­tion-spe­cific sand­wiches. In Tur­lock, they are the Green Acres (ha­lal chicken, Ike’s green sauce, pep­per jack) and the Mitchel­lville (ve­gan tur­key, Ike’s green sauce, pro­volone).

The sand­wiches are be­he­moths, and saucy be­he­moths at that. But if your ap­petite stretches even wider, you can al­ways or­der up a Kryp­tonite. The mas­sive sand­wich in­cludes all of the meats on the menu as well as moz­zarella sticks, jalapeno pop­pers and onion rings — among other things — and will set you back $30. But most sand­wiches run be­tween $8 and $11. Lest you think Ike’s is just a meat-apalooza, the restau­rant also of­fers sev­eral veg­e­tar­ian op­tions, as well as gluten-free and ha­lal choices.

“If you want to come here to eat, we’ve got some­thing for you,” promised Ike’s Chain Di­rec­tor Paul Fitz­patrick.

The in­te­rior (and ex­te­rior) promi­nently fea­tures Ike’s founder and name­sake Ike She­hadeh’s smil­ing face on its walls. The rest of the decor in­cludes a va­ri­ety of vin­tage lunch boxes and painted say­ings like “It’s Not A Sand­wich, It’s An Ike’s.”

“We want (Ike’s) to be fun, flirty and a good time for peo­ple when they come in,” Fitz­patrick said. “But we also want to pro­vide ex­cel­lent ser­vice and get peo­ple sand­wiches as quickly as we can.”

In about two weeks, that “quickly as we can” will in­clude de­liv­ery from the on­line ser­vices DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The brand’s pop­u­lar­ity has been bol­stered by ap­pear­ances on TV shows like Travel Chan­nel’s “Man v. Food” and shout-outs from ESPN. Tues­day was the first day for the Tur­lock shop, and by Wed­nes­day, a steady stream of peo­ple came in for lunch — some who had had Ike’s else­where and oth­ers new to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“About a third of the cus­tomers so far have been to an Ike’s al­ready. Or they saw it on TV. The cult just fol­lows it all the way to the val­ley,” said Ike’s Tur­lock Gen­eral Man­ager Michael Turner.

The ex­clu­sive Modesto menu items have not been de­cided yet, nor has the ex­act open date been set. But Fitz­patrick said hun­gry Modesto cus­tomers should be able to get their fix within three weeks.

Find Ike’s Love & Sand­wiches in Tur­lock at 202 N. Coun­try­side Drive. It is open 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ev­ery day. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 209-669-4766 or visit http://love­and sand­wiches.com/.

Else­where on the Busi­ness Beat:

Come cel­e­brate the rib­bon cut­ting for Audi Modesto Thurs­day.

The new deal­er­ship, the first for the Audi brand in the city, has been op­er­at­ing since late Septem­ber. But now, the built-from-the-ground-up deal­er­ship is ready for its close-up. The event will in­clude dis­plays of many of the lux­ury brand’s most ex­clu­sive cars, in­clud­ing its new Audi e-tron Elec­tric car. There will also be catered food and wine to en­joy for all at­ten­dees. The event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Audi Modesto deal­er­ship, 4151 McHenry Ave.

ANDY ALFARO aal­[email protected]­bee.com

Marisela Ru­val­caba, left, and An­toni­ette Aguirre, right, pre­pare sand­wiches at the newly opened Ike’s Love and Sand­wiches shop in Tur­lock on Wed­nes­day.

ANDY ALFARO aal­[email protected]­bee.com

The Green Acres sand­wich fea­tures ha­lal chicken, Ike’s green sauce and pep­per jack cheese.

Mrow­[email protected]d­bee.com

BY MAR­I­JKE ROW­LAND

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