At least that’s what happened to Financial Advisor Jennifer Jost of Edward Jones. Discovery Bay resident Robert Isola, who runs the shop owned by his wife Renee, said that after Jost gave one of Dino’s sandwiches a test drive, “She called me up the next day and said, ‘I’m craving your Dino’s Special; do you take phone orders?’ Since that day, we started doing phone orders.”
Formerly the home of Crunch Café and Gabby’s Grind, Dino’s Sandwich Shop opened its doors on March 12, and in less than a month has attracted a host of repeat customers.
“It’s all about the sauce. It’s our pepper sauce and garlic sauce that make the sandwich,” said Robert, who researched cafés throughout San Francisco and the peninsula before deciding on a restaurant of his own. “We wanted to find out why the lines were out the doors and we wanted to mirror those types of businesses.”
The restaurant is named after Robert’s father Dino. “My dad used to cure all his own meats, and just loved a good sandwich,” said Robert. “He passed away a few years ago and I decided to dedicate this shop to him.”
Dino’s signature sandwich, The Don (named after Don Corleone of “The Godfather”), features prosciutto, mortadella, salami and provolone on your choice of Dutch crunch roll or sourdough. Sliced bread choices come in multi-grain, wheat, rye, white and sourdough. The Godfather sandwich is the same as The Don, sans the salami.
Born in Lucca, Italy, Robert is proud of his sandwiches’ Italian flair, but believes the most important quality of his shop is value. His deli sandwiches go for $3.95 and his specialty sandwiches are only a buck more. For another $1.50 you get your choice of chips, potato salad, macaroni salad and a beverage.
Isola’s deli sandwich meats include ham, salami, roast beef, mortadella and turkey. Non-sandwich choices feature grilled chicken teriyaki rice bowls, paninis, wraps, cheese quesadillas and salads.
“We have the best Italian cold cuts,” Isola said. “They’re fresh, and sometimes I get a delivery twice a week. Anything more than four days old is tossed out.
“Most of the sandwiches we make here go for over $7 somewhere else, easy,” he added. “You can’t beat our prices for what you get; it’s one of the best deals in town.”
Not your run-of-the-mill sandwich shop, Dino’s serves up breakfast Monday through Friday beginning at 7 a.m.; 8 a.m. on Saturdays. The breakfast menu includes egg and cheese bagel sandwiches, bagel and cream cheese, oatmeal with fruit, breakfast quesadillas and dry cereal.
Upcoming events include a create-your-own-sandwich contest, and a guitar recital by local music instructor Robert Aguirre on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A huge youth sports fan, who worked as the corporate operations officer for the Delta Patriots from 2004-10, Robert provides for the fitness buffs in town by offering protein smoothies in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Driven by his love to make – and eat – great Italian sandwiches and enjoy his semi-retirement, Isola isn’t in the café business to make it rich. “If make money, then great,” he said. “But I basically want to keep busy.”
Located at 729 First St., Suite C in Brentwood, Dino’s Sandwich Shop is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For phone orders, call 925-684-7248.