After I wrote my Charlotte Sandwich Shootout story earlier this year, I discovered a contender that would have totally shaken up my standings had I noticed it sooner. What surprised me was that I had been driving past it ever since I moved to Charlotte. Tucked away in the Factory South strip mall in South End, slightly below street level, Lincoln’s Haberdashery is easy to miss but definitely worth the trip.
The layout of the counter-service joint includes a bench along one wall and tables as you walk in, as well as separate tables in the front and more in the back near where you place your order. It wasn’t until the third visit that I noticed that there was a street-level entrance off of South Boulevard. In case the main space starts to feel hard to distance in, they offer a whole other room for dining or hanging out. Before the pandemic hit, it was a popular spot for groups and solo visitors alike to get comfortable and soak in the cozy atmosphere.
Most of the sandwiches at Lincoln’s Haberdashery cost around $10, and breakfast that they serve all day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with similar pricing. Perusing the menu, you’ll find sandwiches, salads, desserts, and other enticements. Not hungry? There’s a coffee bar where they can whip up your favorite beverage. Their shelves are stocked full of wine, beer, soda, greeting cards, and delectable homemade bread.
On my first go-round ordering takeout from Lincoln’s, I opted for The 13th, which consists of housemade mozzarella, La Quercia prosciutto, basil and extra virgin olive oil. My wife opted for Lincoln’s Bedroom, featuring soppressata, aged provolone, pickled pepper, red onion, and basil. While the description of the sandwich normally doesn’t disclose the bread, it’s often ciabatta or sourdough.
She enjoyed mine but liked hers better. I couldn’t help but agree. The provolone is off the charts and plays perfectly off the soppressata, all of the flavors coming together in harmony. After my first bite, “Oh my God” came out, as I savored the flavor party in my mouth. It has since become a go-to for me.
On a separate trip with a friend, I had the Fortuna: yellowfin tuna, pickled garlic, olive oil, olive, pickled pepper, rocket’s lettuce and Duke’s mayo. Surprisingly, it was my least favorite of everything I’ve tried. I enjoy tuna as a healthier alternative to most lunch meats, and while it was good, the flavors didn’t pop quite like everything else I have had here. My friend enjoyed the Lincoln’s Bedroom sandwich that I suggested for him. Can you blame him?
I’ve become a fan of many of their “mornin’ sandwiches,” as they call them. My first shot at one I ended up with Mary’s Muffin, which included a scrambled egg, tomato, Duke’s mayo, as well as a choice of bacon, Hickory Nut Gap ham or avocado. I went with the bacon and added jalapenos and red onion for an additional cost of 25 cents each. It was a kaleidoscope of taste sensations, and the add-ons really did add to my enjoyment.
The degree of difficulty it must have taken to assemble the Darning Egg in the mason jar it was served in would garner a 10 from most Olympic judges. It took a minute for the order to come out, but once it did — wow! The dish consisted of a shirred egg, Benton’s bacon, potato, chive, and sea salt with three slices of house toast. A combination of flavors jumped out, with the sea salt being the most pronounced. I had a similar dish at a restaurant in Chicago I used to frequent, but this rendition blew that out of the water.
On more than one occasion, I’ve savored the Take It To The Bridge, their take on a lox and bagel sandwich served on house toast. Both times I ordered for the house American ciabatta instead to get more of a bagel feel. The sandwich features ACME smoked salmon, lemon zest, cream cheese, dill, red onion, capers, and ikura fish eggs. It’s served open-faced and was enough to satisfy a big appetite.
As good a lox sandwich as I’ve had in the past, this was my first time trying one with fish eggs but they only added to the enjoyment of this dish. Another home run.
It may be hard to find, but Lincoln’s Haberdashery is worth searching out. Lucky for the other contenders of my Sandwich Shootout, I didn’t discover it sooner. This place is a winner. During a time when many people are still reluctant to dine in, it’s the perfect spot to pick up something quick and delicious to go.
3.5 bites out of 4 for Lincoln’s Haberdashery.