A couple of weeks ago RiotACT contributor Bec Cuzzillo put the call out for Canberra’s best sandwiches and rolls. Café D’Lish and Autolyse were the two most popular contenders, but The Blue Olive in Civic wasn’t far behind.
I was curious. Those who voted for The Blue Olive’s sandwiches did so with an enthusiasm that you rarely encounter outside of Subway commercials. How good could a sandwich really be? Earlier this week I went to find out for myself.
The Blue Olive has been around since 1997. It’s located in the Melbourne Building on West Row. The café serves up New York-style sandwiches ($10.50 to takeaway), burgers (around the $19 mark) and salads (prices vary).
Forget your typical egg and lettuce or vegemite sandwiches. The Blue Olive’s sandwich menu is the real deal. Between the Reuben (roast wagyu beef, sauerkraut, horseradish cream and cheese) and the Dupain (beetroot, artichoke, olive tapenade, eggplant and rocket), it’s as close to sandwich heaven as I’ve found in the city.
All sandwiches are available on sourdough (white or multigrain), baguette (white or multigrain), whole meal panini, tortilla or Turkish bread. I ordered the Reuben on multigrain sourdough to takeaway.
My order came out in less than five minutes. The man at the counter handed me my sandwich in a brown paper bag that felt far too heavy to contain just one sandwich. (The dense sourdough is only partly to blame. I’d say the three layers of roast beef slices and centimetre-thick sauerkraut were the likely culprits.)
It’s hard to go wrong with good fresh bread, sauerkraut and roast beef. It’s also easy to see why RiotACT readers are a bit in love with The Blue Olive. If you’re looking for a cheap lunch in Civic, stay out of the food courts and walk five minutes up the road for a slightly different sandwich experience. Your taste buds will thank you.
What: The Blue Olive
Where: 56 Alinga Street Civic
Opening hours: 7am to 3pm, Monday to Friday