A quick hop off the Palmetto Parkway (I-520), Janwiches is a lone touch of homeyness in a formidable landscape of Augusta, Georgia, industry. The menu is limited to sandwiches, a couple of wraps, and a salad or two. Place an order at one window; pick it up at the other window. There is no indoor seating. Everything is presented in disposable dishes, in plastic bags, to take to one of the picnic tables outside or back to the lunchroom. Open only Monday through Friday and only for lunch, it’s a popular spot among blue and white collar folks who are stationed hereabouts. It’s not unusual to see multi-dozen-bag orders toted by truck and van back to local workplaces. If you are a traveler just east of the city in search of a fast food sandwich that is a cut above the franchises, you want to know about it, too.
The menu is not surprising, except insofar as everything tastes more homey than institutional: handcrafted chicken salad, hot ham and cheese that features flavorful provolone and black forest ham, house-made pimento cheese that melts into a just-right balance of sharp and creamy when it’s between two slices of grilled white bread, piled-high clubs, smoky turkey, and simply perfect egg salad. I’m a big fan of fried bologna, which is a couple of slices grilled until slightly crunch-edged, sandwiched with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise (or, if you wish, just mustard). It’s a slippery mess, but a yummy one.
On the side, stuffed potato salad is cool but has all the flavor oomph of a hot, fully-loaded baker plus plenty of hard-boiled egg. If you like lemonade, consider Janwiches’ 32-ounce serving, which contains an entire cut-up lemon in every cup.