Worth Finding: Kookie's Sandwiches
Kookie's couldn't really be called a hidden gem: it's well known to the workers of Anaheim, who line up for the friendly service and really surprisingly good sandwiches.
The rest of you, however, have to find it, which can be daunting: it's got not much in the way of signage, and it's halfway back down a private street that is hidden from people speeding along the main drag until it's too late.
So this, then, is how you get to Kookie's: as you head east on Ball Road from the 5, you'll go over an old, crusty set of train tracks. In front of you will be the newer, better-maintained Metrolink and Amtrak tracks. Just before that second set of tracks, make a left into a driveway. If you're headed west from the 57, turn right immediately after the first set of train tracks.
Once you're on the private road, turn right into the second driveway.
Kookie's isn't much to look at: a sandwich counter with some tables, a couple of shorter-than-normal drink coolers, and the obligatory soda dispenser. It looks for all the world like the sort of depressing sandwich-shop-of-last-resort you find in anonymous office towers the country over.
Those other sandwich shops don't have Marisol, though. Marisol is usually at the cash register and is the best antidote to a morning full of spreadsheets and expense reports I've ever seen. She's genuinely proud of the food they put out, and she knows absolutely everyone by name. Go more than once and she'll know your name too.
Order whatever you like: while the cold sandwiches are tempting, I really enjoyed the meatball hero with small, firm meatballs bound in a slightly sweet marinara sauce. (My kingdom, however, for an Amoroso roll that can stand up to the onslaught of sauce.)
The chicken pesto sandwich was just as messy to eat, but they did a fantastic job on the pesto. It's hard to believe they don't have an ancient Italian nonna back there with a mortar and pestle.
Chicken cordon bleu was even better: chicken, ham and swiss, all melty and grilled on sourdough bread. Is that the healthiest lunch choice around? No, but it was pretty comforting, and if you want healthy, order the "chicken healthy with avocado" on squaw bread.
This part of Anaheim is a little short on eats; make an excuse to go to the post office in the adjacent building and have lunch at Kookie's.
Kookie's Sandwiches, 721 E. Ball Rd. #100, Anaheim; (714) 778-5113.
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