Located on the fringe of downtown, on Walton Way at 11th, Stanleo’s serves breakfast foods, espresso and coffee drinks, as well as freshly made subs. A relative newcomer to Augusta, the new food place is buffering our already impressive sandwich shop tally, while providing a hugely convenient (some might say essential) service — a drive-thru for coffee.
If I’m remembering correctly we’ve lived without the ease of a drive-thru for a number of years now, so Stanleo’s has already scored points for helping espresso lovers everywhere. The drive-thru is also used for food items, but mostly it’s a caffeinated blessing to those in transit throughout the heart of Augusta.
The location is crucial. Just two blocks down from the medical district — and close to the courthouse and other large organizations — Stanleo’s occupies space in a strip mall next to the new Diablo’s, just a five-minute drive from Broad Street. Parking is available in front and in an even larger fenced-in parking lot in back, while the drive-thru snakes around the side.
Stanleo’s is a reincarnation of another sub shop of a similar name — Stanlieo’s in Huntsville, Alabama. Laura Whitehead, owner of Augusta’s Stanleo’s, worked in the Huntsville sub shop when she was a teenager and loved their food. During a return visit to Huntsville, Laura and her husband, Jeff, negotiated with the owner of the original Stanlieo’s to allow them to alter the name and sell the delicious subs in other locations around the country.
The Stanleo’s in Augusta is different from its parent shop. The menu offers greater variety, both in terms of types of sandwiches sold, and in terms of other products, such as coffees and teas, breakfast and chocolate truffles. However, it carries some of the original location’s signature sandwiches as the “Kitchen Sink” — a beast of a sub featuring seven different meats and three types of cheese. Traditional sub fillings are of course on offer, too, including tuna, roast beef, chicken, pepperoni and more.
Stanleo’s also caters to vegetarians with both a veggie sub and a veggie meat sub. The veggie meat sub contains the customer’s choice of meat-substitute, and as with all sandwiches can be topped with the in-house creation, “triple chop.” The “triple chop” is a blend of diced onions, chopped tomatoes and cubed dill pickles seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano. A spicier blend containing minced peppers — known as the “hot chop” — is also available.
Breakfast is available from 6.30 a.m. until 10.30 a.m. Breakfast items include bagels, scrambled egg bowls, muffins, biscuits, hash browns, breakfast sandwiches and fresh orange juice.
For convenience and to further enhance the customer experience, Stanleo’s also provides an option for online orders, which can be made for everything from drinks to catering. Customers are also welcome to dine in.
The shop itself is bright and clean; it contains a sterile white interior, spacious enough for a good-sized lunch crowd but small enough to feel comfortable. Ordering is simple. Walk in, head to the counter and choose from the menu posted on the wall. Although making a choice is sometimes challenging, simply because there are plenty of options, the folks taking the orders are friendly and helpful. Tell them what you’re hungry for, and they’ll give you some sound suggestions, one of which is bound to appeal to you.
I opted for the Italian, because honestly, who doesn’t love a tasty Italian? It’s stuffed with Genoa and Cotto salami, Capacolla, provolone cheese and a homemade Italian dressing. Topped with the triple chop, the sub was bursting with Italian inspired goodness, but it was the bread that was the real star of the show. Baked fresh in-house, the sandwich bread is light without being too airy, firm but not hard, and flavorful without overpowering the featured ingredients.
My date had the Kitchen Sink topped with the triple chop, and talk about a huge sandwich. Although I thought seven types of deli meat seemed a bit excessive, the end result is fairly impressive and every flavor contributes to the cheese/meat tapestry. If you have a large appetite, or some kind of protein deficiency, this sandwich is for you.
If you want to avoid the otherwise inevitable meat sweats, you could order your sub as a “mini,” or half a sandwich, for around $5.
Smaller portions of menu items are available for children, and Stanleo’s features drinks designed with kids in mind. Regardless of the size of sub you choose, each sandwich can be combined with a drink and chips.
What is even more remarkable is the drink selection. As a firm believer in the kindness of caffeine, Stanleo’s now occupies a part of my heart simply for serving espresso and a range of coffee and tea drinks. Stanleo’s drinks menu is ample and wide-ranging. Espresso, lattes, chai teas, frozen and iced coffees, flavored syrups, Italian sodas, and smoothies are all available — and it is a huge selection so rather than listing the numerous variations, I’ll have to point you to the website: stanleos.com.
To cleanse the palate, or just to treat yourself, grab a bag of truffles. Stanleo’s offers three chocolate truffles for $1.25 and they are absolutely gorgeous. I loved these delicate, diminutive coco-dusted balls of ganache that melt in your mouth. Good chocolate is often all the incentive I need to head somewhere, and I will gladly go to Stanleo’s just to treat myself to truffles, no problemo.
Overall, Stanleo’s seems to have plenty going for it — delicious subs, pricing to suit all and the expedience factor. It’s also unpretentious, welcoming and full of reasonably priced foods and drinks I’m more than happy to buy. As it settles into its new spot, it will be interesting to see if Augusta falls in love with its simple but satisfying menu, or even takes advantage of its convenient drive-thru.
I hope so.
Stanleo’s is open six days a week, Monday-Saturday, from 6.30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and offers catering services in addition to its daily menu. Find them at 1022 Walton Way. For more information, call 706-496-8910 or visit stanleos.com.