Dropping into Drwb@24 in Mystic
I always intended to give the sandwich shop now dubbed Drwb@24 a try back when it was housed at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. But, like many people, I'm sure, I found it difficult to make my way past the ice cream line.
Now, with it out on its own in an impressive and charming spot a little ways down on West Main Street, I decided recently I was ready.
I'll start with the food, which was quite good. Drwb@24 is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so the menu is appropriately diverse.
The options are broken up into several sections: sandwiches, salads, small plates, large plates, breakfast (served until 3 p.m.), "For the Sweet Tooth" featuring seven grain buttermilk pancakes ($9) and brioche French toast ($9), and the "Benny's" section of Benedicts-style eggs.
Breakfast options run the gamut, from breakfast biscuits with eggs, cheese, and a choice of meat ($7), to chia pudding with fruit ($5.50), a quinoa wrap with eggs, black bean salsa, spinach, tomatoes, and cheddar ($8), and "Salmon Benny" Benedict with two poached eggs, salmon, capers, onion, tomato, English muffin and hollandaise sauce ($12).
I visited at lunchtime and went with a mix that reflected it: the "Power Bowl" ($12), Mediterranean plate ($6), the Drwb club ($11), the "Triple Grill Cheese" ($10), and the house made veggie burger ($11).
Other available options that caught my eye included "The Parisian" flank steak sandwich served with caramelized onions, lettuce, and red pepper aioli on a toasted baguette ($12), the "California" pressed focaccia sandwich with mozzarella, avocado, red onion, cucumber, tomato, pesto, and spinach ($10), and the curry chicken salad wrap made with pecans, celery, herb aioli, red onions, tomatoes, and spinach ($10).
The Power Bowl was quite tasty, with a mix or roasted seasonal vegetables (there was a lot squash in there on my visit), roasted chickpeas, choice of quinoa or brown rice (I went with rice), and a choice of Thai peanut sauce or yogurt tahini sauce (peanut sauce in my case).
You also get a protein: steak, tuna, chicken, or tofu. I tried the tofu. The mix of ingredients here made for a dynamic dish. However, the bowl is more aptly described as a slightly depressed dinner plate. What I'm saying is there wasn't a ton of food here, and I found myself still a little hungry afterwards.
The Mediterranean plate came with an excellent curry hummus, nicely chewy triangles of flatbread for dipping, feta cheese, kalamata olives, carrot sticks, and celery.
This made for an enjoyable starter, but I think it could be improved by bumping the price up a few dollars and including a better mix of veggies — perhaps some cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh peppers. The carrots were good, but some variety was needed. I'd add that I don't really bother with celery unless it's in a soup or chicken/tuna salad.
The veggie burger was excellent. It came with a plump burger made of black bean and quinoa. The red pepper aioli, avocado, tomato, and mixed greens made for a varied and delicious burger. The brioche bun was also an elevating touch.
The Triple Grill Cheese was the type of sandwich that's hard to put down and easy to eat much more quickly than you expected. It was prepared with melted Swiss cheese, brie, herbed cheese, and sliced warm pears. The sandwich came on Panini-pressed slices of sourdough bread.
The Drwb club was also noteworthy, consisting of a generous portion of sliced turkey, savory applewood bacon, mixed greens, tomato, and herb spread on a toasted ciabatta. Like all sandwiches, it came with a fresh side of mixed green salad.
Vegetarians should find a decent amount of choices on the menu. For people who like cheese, in addition to the Triple Grill Cheese, California, and Mediterranean plate, there's the "Very Veggie" wrap with house made hummus, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, and feta ($10), and field green salad ($8).
There is also the guacamole ($7), and the aforementioned Power Bowl, and several of the vegetarian options can easily be made into a vegan meal with one or two subtractions.
Drwb@24 is one of those cafe-type places not quite a sit-down-and-get-served restaurant, and at the same time a little more than an order-and-grab-your-sandwich kind of spot.
You place your order at the register, pay, and then take your seat and wait for your food to come out directly to the table. Diners are expected to clean their tables and drop off the plates and silverware at a station in the back of the dining room.
Service is quick, making this spot appropriate for tourists in a hurry to sightsee as well as someone on lunch break during the work week.
The atmosphere is bright and sunny on account of the windows at the front of the sandwich shop. There's a sleek and clean feel to the spot, with occasional touches of reclaimed-style wood and other more rustic elements.
In addition to the downstairs seating, there's a second floor for especially busy days. I was there on a recent Saturday and found no wait and plenty of available seating for my party of four. However, I can easily see Drwb packing up especially quick during the summer months.
Parking is par for the course Mystic: what you can find on the street, and the public parking lot.
24 West Main St., Mystic
Food type: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Service: Friendly and quick
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
Handicapped access: Several steps up into first floor