A lot of eateries in Burbank have sandwiches on their menus. Nevertheless, if you want a sandwich that’s filling, flavorful, and at a reasonable price, the Backstage Cafe is the place to go. The little shop is anchored on the corner of the First Entertainment Credit Union and IATSE Local 80 building 2520 West Olive Avenue in the Media District. Backstage specializes in fresh, deli-style sandwiches, which are simply scrumptious.
Owner Chris Applegate explained how he wants his sandwiches to be memorable for being “fresh and generous portions.” They have two sizes, regular and large. Oh, you can get a half sandwich as well. On September 13, my husband and I ordered a couple of the regulars. They were plump with ingredients and cut in half for easy handling. My husband devoured an egg salad on wheat, with mayo, lettuce, and tomato.
I went for a salami on rye, with cheddar cheese, mayo. lettuce, and tomato. Added my own mustard. Also, we ordered a side of pickles and sodas to complete our lunch. By the way, the average price of a regular sandwich $6-$7.
This was our second visit. We were just as impressed this time as we were during our first visit back in July. Chris bought the cafe four years ago with his partner/wife, Mary Applegate. Neither had any restaurant experience, but were willing to take a chance on a small business in this city. Even though they live in Santa Clarita, both say they love the “small town feel” of Burbank as well as the bustling entertainment industry here.
The Applegates still hold down full-time jobs while running the cafe. They don’t seem to be bothered by their hectic schedules. During a sit down chat with them, Chris and Mary frequently mention the “nice people” they’ve met in Burbank, many of whom have become regular customers. Also, they raved about their dedicated staffers, who are always creating new sandwiches, smoothies, and other menu items.
Backstage is more than a sandwich shop. The menu is extensive: from breakfast burritos and skillets, to homemade quiche, to soups, salads, croissants, muffins, and an assortment of pastries. Also, they serve a variety of drinks, including smoothies, juices, and coffee. Also, they do a lot of catering for the studios, production companies, local businesses, and residents.
As an extra treat, Backstage offers jazz music, performed by guitarist , Doug MacDonald, and vocalist, Perlene Thurston, on its patio every Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Backstage is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.