Stuffed Sandwich

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Stuffed SandwichStuffed Sandwich
64 Ratings
Stuffed SandwichStuffed Sandwich

Type: Eatery

1145 E Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, California, 91776-1743
United States

(626) 285-9161 | map

One of the oldest true specialist beer establishments in Los Angeles. On it's second location (as of 2006), the Sandwich has very strict rules about beer ordering. First, you must order food before you think of ordering a beer. No ifs, ands or buts. Order the cheese sandwich if you must. Second, if you don't want to drink out of a paper cup, bring your own glass or buy one of Sam's collection (extensive).

Call ahead to make sure that the Sandwich is open and enjoy! (Current operating hours are Tues-Sat 11:00am - 8:00pm)

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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of SwillinBrew
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Well, I finally got here.... came with OCBrewfish. Oh man, why did we wait so long.

This is a quaint deli nestled right before the foothills. Nice size dining area inside with a small patio. On the wall, there are many killed/drank magnums, double magnums and jeroboams as decor. I saw what looked like a 1.5 liter of Stone 5th anniversay. I would have loved to have drank that one. Clean and quaint this place is.

Ordering is done right when you walk in with the 6 or so tap area to the immediate left. Marlene took our order and Sam was in the back cracking jokes. I had the large pastrami with love. With love means hot and spicey. Damn, half sandwich would have been enough. This thing was huge. I decided to wash it down with a pint of Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale. Damn it was good. If you want your brew in a glass, you have to buy one or bring one since they only serve in plastic cups. I knew this but forgot so i bought a 1999 Anchor OSA gold rimmed pint glass.

Behind the bar are many brews in a glass cooler. Very easy for you to see and select for imbibement. My brother had the Rodenbach Grand Cru. I picked one as well and some Pikes Place Stout to go. There were also some Anchor OSA's from 1984 to the present (i bought a 1984) and some SN Celebrations from as far back as 1990 I believe, along with old Bigfoots. There is just so much damn good beer to choose from.

This place is a bit far for me but i'm going to be making the drive at least once or twice a month now. One of the things that i really liked was listening to Sam banter back and forth. Examples of what i heard.

customer 1, "yeah, i guess"
Sam, "you what?"
customer 1, "oh nothing"
Sam, "nothing?... just kidding, i'm just giving you a hard time. It makes me happy"
customer 1, ... silence
Sam, " you want to see me happy dont you?"

My brother and I were cracking up.

Another one after we heard a guy putting a lot of change on the counter.
Sam "what? did you break the slot machine?"

This place has character and Sam and Marlene are great. If you like beer, you need to hit this place up.

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Photo of ChowHound
4.22/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I recently had the opportunity to try this beer shrine. Very funky deli type place. You have to buy food to get beer! Great selection of above average bottles, many with several vintages. The proprietor and his spouse are true eccentrics and must manage a huge warehouse because I didn't know half the Belgian beers available. Tap selection was also stellar and hoppy. Don't let the eclectic and unusual ambiance throw you off, this is not a beer bar to be taken lightly. I highly recommend this to anyone traveling through Los Angelps.

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Photo of chorizoandeggs
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is strange. If you passed this place on the street you would never know it was there. When you walk in, there's nothing exceptional about the building. It is an older looking joint, very similar to a lower-end pizza joint. I will say that it is clean. The owner has not done much in the way of decorating this place to have any sort of style. Not bad but just not exceptional.

Service....uh...??? The owner is a bit nutty. I didn't mind him but I saw one guy walk out while I was there because the owner talked to the guy like he was an ass. I was eavesdropping so I can honestly say the guy didn't have it coming. I probably would have walked out or worse if I was that guy. Maybe there was a history there. I think the place would be much busier if the owner was a nicer chap. I've also been there when an older woman served me. I think she's the beer nazi's wife. She's a gem. But then again, the owner doesn't bother me that much.

The selection is ridiculously large. I would like to put a 6.0 but the reating stopped at 5.0. He had some Belgian on tap that was delicious along with Stone something or other. I've been to the Yardhouse and decided that they have the largest selection of crappy beers in the U.S. This place has a huge selection of delicious beers AND the owner knows damn near all of them. You tell him what you want and he'll give it to you.

Food. I ate and was happy. I don't go there for the food obviously

Value. The beers I had were not too pricy. I really like the price that he sets. I've had the same beers for 2x what I paid there.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.6/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

An unassuming deli, tucked into the corner of a strip-mall shopping center. Looks like nothing special. Oh, but that's so wrong.

Interior is cool, and almost chilly (this is to keep the vintage beers fresh, more on that in a second), with an open kitchen, a few coolers, about 10 taps, some standard deli tables, and some chairs. Outside there are a few umbrella-laden tables. Oh, and there's the Ronald Reagan shrine, but I really can't say more -- you have to experience that for yourself. All in all, a very laid back, very cool, very welcoming place.

Quality is first class, but I had to subtract a half-point or two because all the beers are served in paper cups. Glassware can be purchased, however, and you are encouraged to bring your own (something I didn't know).

Service is fantastic. Be sure to banter a bit with Sam, take some recommendations from his wife Marlene, and wander off the standard sandwich menu to create your own monster. Real friendly folks here, and willing to razz you when you deserve it.

Selection is unparalelled by any deli (and hell, really any retail store I've seen). Choices from around the world, things I had never even heard of (Brazilian Palm Beer, anyone? [Oh, and it was delicious, BTW]), a good decade's worth of Bigfoot, four years of Anchor OSA on tap, and many more in bottles. Vintage beers, in general, as I hinted at above, are plentiful, and dirt cheap.

Food is delicious -- have pretty much anything, although I'd recommend the pastrami "with love." "Love," you see, is a brine of mustard/polish-sausage-drippings/other rediculously spicy, yet delicious substances, and is available on any sandwich. It'll grow hair on your chest. It's delicious. Get it.

As for price...well, the bill was absurdly in I had to double-check to see that I they didn't undercharge me. On our way out, I picked up some vintage Anchor OSA bottles to take home, including a 1989. The price for that gem? 3.50.

Let's just say that I'll be back. Wow.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I finally was able to stop at the legendary Stuffed Sandwich; friends have been telling me that I needed to go here for years, according to them it was "a place that was made for me." Well, I am happy to report that they were right. My biggest grip, I was only able to enjoy a short hour in the company of Marlene, Sam and a whole lot of beer. I maximized my time though, as I was the last person to board my outbound flight from LAX.

For starters I went ahead and ordered a 1/2 submarine, this ended up being quite tasty, and the sandwich was mellow enough to pair with the couple of beers that I was able to sample. The first beer I found was the hard to find Rodenbach Grand Cru. I always order one of these from a place that carries it, but it is becoming rarer and rarer these days (hopefully the new, Palm, versions will hit my side of the country soon). The beer was still quite tasty, despite being pasteurized and from the Pre-Palm Rodenbach era. I was really exited to try this beer, and this already made my day, but they had on tap the Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux, and of course I had to get a tasting of this.

The Stuffed Sandwich serves beer in disposable paper cups (in small or regular pint size servings), but regulars are encouraged to bring their own glassware. I picked up a mini-Chimay chalice, b/c I could not bear to drink the Grand Cru from a paper cup. I finished my short beer sampling with two small servings of the Avec Les Bons Voeux, another favorite of mine that I don't see enough, and on tap to boot.

The service here was great, and I had a really nice chat with both Marlene and Sam. They are great people and it is nice to see people as passionate about beer as I am successfully running a really classy beer oriented joint.

On my way out I was able to pick up a 6 pack of Big Foot, years 1991 to 1996, as well as a vintage 1996 Kulmbacher Eisbock. I can't wait to break into these aged gems.

I highly recommend a stop here for all beer lovers. I can't wait to go back and spend a few serious hours here.

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Photo of twilight
4.43/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Last December my brother-in-law and sister picked me up from the airport. Instead of saying I wanted to go to Norms or In-N-Out burger for my first meal back in California, I said "Stuffed Sandwich." We piled my suitcases off into the car and there we went.

The place is so close to my sister's house that they could get there in ten minutes from their house. It's on par with me going to the Met to see the Van Goghs for them. They have the Stuffed Sandwich, I have NYC museums.

We went in and they had four years of OSA on tap. I kid you not. Plus glassware. My lord. I kept looking at the coolers behind the taps at different things they had. DogfishHead this far out, AleSmith, Moylans as well as things I'd never heard of. Was kind of disappointed, because the german/lager type stuff was in the furthest cooler, and I had to lean over to take a peek, but couldn't really see the bottles.

Food was pretty good. The veggie burgers were good, and the fries were excellent. Atmosphere was as good as it gets for lots of breweriana and glassware and giftpacks of beer and fast-food type tables and chairs. Nevertheless, it was more the fact of being in a place that held all this amazing beer than being in a swanky place. The pilgrimage was enough as long as they had the goods. Only complaint was that my eyes began to hurt after a while I went to the bathroom in the back (passing by all the beer signs and posters) and washed my eyes out, but there only slight relief until I was out of there.

We ended up picking up a bottle of the 2003 AleSmith Grand Cru as well as a 91 and a 95 bigfoot. I remember saying "I was 13 when this beer came out." The first one was bad, with floating yeasties, while the second one was amazing with blue cheese from Whole Foods.

A pilgrimage that I will be making year after year.

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Photo of rowew
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited this nice deli/beer bar for lunch today. It is located in a strip mall, and is a bit of a hole-in-the-wall. Small patio area, short bar, and deli counter with lots of seating packed into a medium sized area. The food (which is mandatory if you want beer) is mainly deli - with above average sandwiches. The beer selection is huge - all crammed into some coolers behind the bar, and 8 tap selections. When I was there they had the last 5 years of Bigfoot on tap. In addition they had other specialties like Anchor OSA dating back to the late 80's! Also had Anchor magnums, with the oldest being 1994. Beer is available to go as well (again, as long as you order food).

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.6/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

At long last I finally got to the legendary Stuffed Sandwich. A bit of a hole-in-the-wall establishment (only lucky Baldwins may be harder to find), Stuffed Sandwich is set in an older strip mall and tough to spot as you drive by.
Inside, there are spartan tables to eat at and the east wall is dominated by glassware and magnums, 3L and 5L bottles of some great beers. The west wall has coolers housing an amazing assortment of domestic and foreign beers. Sam has a mind-boggling array of beer to select from. The wall leading out to the rear parking lot has a variety of beer-related posters, lithographs and photos.
Did I mention the selection? Belgian ales of all kind, German brews to satisfy anyone, British, French, you name it, it's probably in the coolers. If not, Sam can most likely round it up for you. There's not short supply of domestic beer, either. Sam had SN's Summerfest, Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, and a couple foreign brews on tap.
The food was decent; nothing fabulous but still good. You have to order food to order beer. The food menu is all about sandwiches with soup, chili, and fries as sides. I ordered a roast beef sandwich and the beer special (Aktien brewery's Pils for $2.50). The beer, unfortunately, was quite old (bottled on 6-8-02!), flat, and like apple cider. I approached Sam, stated my case in asking for a different brew, and Sam was more than happy to exchange my "off" beer for a Stone 8th Anniversary Ale.
I got to talk with Sam some more about beers - Weihenstephan brewery, doppelbocks, Anchor's X-Mas beers, etc - and the guy's just a fountain of beer knowledge. Marlene gave me a heads-up about their upcoming Anchor X-Mas beer tasting and presented me with a poster depicting all of Anchor's X-Mas ale labels. Sam and Marlene are really nice people.
The Stuffed Sandwich is a great old-style deli-beer bar where you can watch the day go by while indulging in some quality time with some awesome beers. I'm already kicking myself for having not gotten here sooner. I'll definitely be going back often.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Sandwich has by far the best selection of hard-to-find beers in the LA area. Sam and his wife are exceptional people and they've put together a great place to drink a beer. They take the time to get to know their customers and their likes and dislikes when it comes to beer. Every recommendation I've had from Sam is always spot on.

The bottom line is that these folks know beer very very well. The only way they could improve the place would be to provide glassware with their beers, but that isn't going to happen, so make sure to bring your own glassware for whatever you plan to drink that night.

Also, Thursday nights they do wine tasting in case anyone is interested. If you only have time to drink at one place in the LA area, make sure you stop by and see Sam at the Stuffed Sandwich.

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Photo of badbonez
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Sam, the god of all that is beer. My friends and I have been going to the Stuffed Sandwich for over 10 years. I think Mike has been doing it for much longer than that, since he was a kid in San Gabriel. In any case, talk to anyone in the beer world and they know Sam. It's fricken unbelievable. And the fact that he makes a good sandwich is just plain icing on the cake.

If I were better with words I would wax poetically about Sam and his knowledge of beer, or mention his tendancy to be a contrarian and just plain disagreeable at times. But these things have all been mentioned in earlier reviews. Let me just add one more dimension to the illustrious Sam: CHILES!!! He's not only a hop-head he's also a chile head! And if there are two things I like in this world it's beer and chiles. This guy who is so knowledgeable about beer will also talk your ear off about chiles. Especially the Habenero. I just find it amazing that this place exists, in my part of the world.

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Photo of lou91
5/5  rDev +18.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

As a native of L.A., I've been going to the SS for over 13 years now and I am still amazed at the quality of both old and new beers that Sam has at this place. The 750 + on his list are just the begining since he has beers he is hiding for himself and regulars although being a regular is no guarantee. At a recent stop he has the 2000 anchor xmas on tap, the moylans and marin xmas beers and the Winter Konnick. I also picked up a number of belgian xmas ales and the oerbeir special reserve which he said he only had one case of. He also had the deus for those willing to shell out the 30 bucks. He has an extensive list of vintage beers-celebration, anchor xmas (I had an 1984 last year and it was still excellent) thomas hardy, chimay, etc. If there is something special you are looking for call ahead but I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. In reading the reviews i see that people do not like the atmosphere - it's a beer bar for god's sake! Great hearty sandwiches and always full of surpises. Next year he plans to have five years of anchor on tap! BTW he also stocks an excellent assortment of wine, glasses and other stuff. I love this place and I think it belongs in the category of world classic.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Sandwich, how I've missed thee. I recently visited Sam in his new location (All the reviews below are post the move). Sad as it is, the big obnoxious yellow building has been replaced with a more sedate mini-mall location.

The good news about the move is that it's allowed Sam to clean up and re-organize, which given the vastness of his beer cellar is a good thing.

Sam's a packrat, a cellar dweller of the highest varnish. Sure he has his taps and his bottles up front, but hidden in some pocket universe that he hides on site is just about every beer known to mankind.As the Bum put it, you won't know what's in there, but once you've established yourself, there's no harm in asking!

Get a Sandwich and get a damn fine beer experience.

EDITED - A helpful note for all those who are heading to the sandwich.. Unless you like drinking out of plastic and paper cups, it would behoove you to bring your own glass or to buy one of Sam's many glasses for sale. Foruntately, I always travel with a set of pints in my car!

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Photo of jcalabre
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

My wife & I made the 50+ mile journey to check out Stuffed Sandwich. It's located in a non-descript strip mall in San Gabriel.

It's like dozens of other sandwich shops you'll see around L.A., with one important exception: they have a huge selection of beers.

As has been noted, you need to buy food, in order to buy beer. They had an impressive selection of North American, Belgian and German beer. The fridge cases that the beer is in are behind the counter, so it's not easy to spot everything they have. Before going, went to their website & chose a couple of beers that I wanted to have. I was disappointed that neither was available when I got there. In fact, they don't keep their website up to date.

But back to the beer: I had a St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.I had Never seen that brewin So Cal before. I also samped a Kasteel Kriek that was on draught.
My recommendation is that if you're in the area, stop by Stuffed Sandwich. For me, I'd go back if they had a 'special' beer occassion. Driving thru a mess of traffic, even on a Sat. morning, was a bit much

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

A veritable gem. My 1st visit was with a handful of fellow BA’s at the Stone Brewing “Special Event” held between 24-26 July 2003.

Run by Sam & Marlene. In the corner of a Strip Mall, you enter up a slight inclined concrete ramp & enter through the left of the two front doors. The other door is on the right, and is only accessible from inside, & leads to the outside fenced drinking area. Inside the Bar complete with about 10 taps I think, is to your immediate left. Behind which is a bank of Refrigerators; they contain a goldmine of bottled beers that will make your jaw drop. The bar dog-legs right, this is the Sandwich part. There are two rules here. Rule #1 – No Food > No Beer. So order your Sandwich first, then concentrate on the beer. Quick note about the food, it is excellent, the spicy Polish Sausage Sandwich that I had was quiet simply kick-ass & served with some awesome Pickles.

The beer range is far too large for words to give justice to, suffice to say, not all the beers on Sale are on view. Which brings me to Rule #2 – You have to earn the respect of Sam & Marlene. Sam has a way of being able to read your Beer Karma, like an Astrologist reads your Palm. When, & only when, he thinks you are befitting of some of the specials, will he, just maybe, allow you to try them. I like this system. I was unaware of it, & talked to Sam for some time early on during my visit. Then, hours later, as I had just paid up & was ready to leave for the night, he asked me if I wanted a beer cap for the night, but it would cost me $7.50. I was rather taken aback, but went along with this. Somehow he had heard me talk about my love for a certain beer earlier, & sure enough he gave me a sample of said beer in a cloaked bottle. I instantly recognized it as Alexander Rodenbach, quite something! A genuinely kind & giving Father Beer-Mass.

Someone said about this place, “When I grow up, I don’t want to be a Sandwich Bar, I want to be a Beer Bar.” Well I for one hope that this place does not wish its youth away too quickly. As far as I am concerned it passes as both with flying colors.

An Excellent 5-Star Beer Bar, run by a fantastic Couple who both love quality beer & are true Beer Advocates. This places oozes class & integrity. Bull-Shitter Beer Review Geeks Beware! You have to demonstrate a love for beer in this place in order for you to really synergize here.

I have only been once, but I will most certainly be back again, & again, & again….

Last Visit: 25th July '03

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Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, CA
Place rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 64 ratings