Travel the world in one bite with Roam Sandwich Company

Chris DiMeo

Close your eyes and picture yourself in a far-off place, an exotic land where the culture, the people and of course the food are all so different from what you’ve always known. Or perhaps, not as different as you would expect.

Now open your eyes. You don’t have to dream anymore, because wherever your globetrotting heart longs to go, Roam Sandwich Company can take you there.

Channeling its namesake, Roam is a place for wanderers, adventurers and curiously un-killed cats, so much so that it nearly impossible to arrive there without feeling like you’ve just off-handedly wandered in.

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Bare of any large road sign or fanfare, its rustic, aged door is located in the colloquially-named “Pokémon Alley,” a wide, enclosed avenue lined with exposed brick walls and vine-dressed street lamps. Upon entering, you find yourself in a small room that can only be paralleled with the study of a world traveler. Tilted shelves are lined with well-loved encyclopedias and maps, a collection of currencies from around the world and memorabilia that could only have come from well-versed travelers. Though the shop is relatively new and had to be decorated deliberately to some extent, all these unique and incredibly real items make Roam feel like a hole-in-the-wall local gem that has been around for decades.

A short flight of steps with metal piping for a handrail take you down into the restaurant itself, which is about the size of a subway car: a little narrow and very long. The fact that you must step down into the restaurant creates such an unexpected effect of transporting you to the underground restaurants of New York City or London. At the bottom of the steps, about half a dozen wooden tables offer seating before a counter with a chalkboard menu.

As for its culinary offerings, Roam offers a satisfying variety of fresh and filling options. Though its around-the-world theme might suggest a menu of world foods, just about all the entrée options are sandwiches, much to be expected of a sandwich shop. Sides, such as salads or pita and hummus, are also available alongside a relatively full selection of beers.

Roam offers both cold sandwiches, like BLTs and clubs, that are stuffed with remarkably fresh meats and vegetables. For those cold or dull days, the menu also has an extensive selection of warm sandwiches and melts, particularly a variety of grilled cheeses and grilled peanut butters.

After eating my food, stepping out of Roam and back onto the street felt like hopping out of a time machine to return to the “real world.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that, even though the shop is so close to campus, I had really traveled much farther.

So if you have a travel bug that’s calling you to hit the maps, or nostalgia for your journeys past, set course for Roam Sandwich Company and get a taste of the entire world, right here in Bowling Green!