We might not live in Gotham City, but Bend's downtown is now occupied by a slew of Supervillains in the form of sandwiches. Supervillain Sandwiches, a new lunch spot and deli, took over for local favorite big, bready, East-Coast-style New York City Sub Shop last Tuesday, across Bond Street from Deschutes Brewery.
The atmosphere is familiar: an open kitchen, simple dining room and black and white checkered tile. But the space also now features a Hulk fist punching through the left interior wall and Thor's hammer stuck halfway in. The Supervillain theme isn't overdone, and a handful of colorful framed covers of comic book villains jump off the walls with a pow! yet the decoration still feels a bit sparse (see the boxes of soda hooked up to their vending machine by plastic tubes just under the silverware station).
Supervillain's aesthetic is diverse—part deli, part sports bar with hot wings, part Southern with pulled pork and brisket hot sandwiches, and a menu of cold sandwiches and salads and fresh soups made daily in house. On the day we went, Supervillain had a curry with carrot, which packed a spicy punch and a vibrant orange color; especially good on the first cool, cloudy day of what seemed like fall. A freezer of ice cream bars at the front counter will serve well if the weather turns hot again.
Sure to be a popular new lunch alternative for the downtown crowd (read: us), the shop also strives to keep it local, serving daily specials like the pulled chicken BLT bacon Swiss sandwich on Sparrow Bakery rolls and using Di Lusso bread for the base of many other sandwiches.
Supervillain is co-owned by Jean Soto, former chef at Deschutes Brewery, and Steve Barnet, one of the owners of Brother Jon's. The two met when they both worked in the restaurant at the brewery just across the street. Soto said the idea behind the business was to keep a sandwich option downtown.
And the options are diverse. The Cranberry Turkey—also known as everyone's favorite Thanksgiving leftover meal—was dished out in a heaping serving for growing boys, hearty and plentiful. Standard condiments are replaced with smooth flavored cream cheese that could use a little more cranberry, but we'll forgive the lack of chunky sweetness for the thick sliced turkey and hearty wheat bread.
The hot sandwiches didn't disappoint either; the Rueben is a classic, no-frills sandwich—well-flavored pastrami, the right dosage of sweet 1000 Island sauce and good rye bread (again, from Sparrow). The Rachel was thick and juicy and just a skosh soggy, as any sandwich teaming with pastrami and slaw should be. The Di Lusso rye bread helped sop up the juices and provided a perfect vector for the Rachel's generous fillings. Served with chips or fresh vegetables (or, for a $1.50 more, fries, salad or soup), the half sandwich proved a hearty meal—the second half was devoured as a late afternoon snack.
The menu also features four villainous namesake sandwich options served on thick chewy rolls. Each meat has its own matching villain The Lex Luthor is brisket in rich barbeque sauce, the Dr. Doom is adobo-braised chicken, and the Joker is tender pulled pork with honey mustard. All the scoundrels are served with a tart and crunchy green apple slaw that balances the saucy proteins. For the vegetarian crowd, try the Green Goblin, an edamame veggie patty with ginger-mandarin marmalade.
The shop has a low-key cartoonish charm and a distinctly college-town vibe with a moderate-sized flat screen TV silently flashing ESPN's Sports Center in the corner, and reasonably priced long list of lunches (most menu items run around $10). A short list of wing options, eight rotating taps and a cooler with canned beer and a local cider option make Supervillain Sandwiches the perfect spot to settle down and watch the game when the line at Brother Jon's is out the door.
1043 NW Bond St.
Open Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-6:30 pm