If you plan to stop by Greens and Beans Deli on a Saturday, don’t be confused if you see customers whispering. They aren’t conspiring against you, they are simply ordering a sammie.
While it's common for restaurants to offer secret menu items (those that are not listed on the menu but can be ordered at the restaurant — like Five Guys' grilled cheese burger or McDonald's grilled cheese sandwich), a secret menu item that can only be ordered with a whisper is new.
Leona Green, co-owner of Greens and Beans Deli, launched "Secret Sandwich Saturdays" in January.
Every Saturday, Green selects a different sandwich from the restaurant's cavernous menu of 100-odd sandwiches to be the Secret Sandwich of the day and sells them to those who gently whisper to her the words: "I need the Secret Sandwich."
“It's funny, though. People come walking in here yelling out for the Secret Sandwich. I am like ‘What part of ‘secret’ don't you understand?’” she said with a laugh.
But is there any way to know what the Secret Sandwich is beforehand?
Turns out, there is. Green does the sandwich reveal every Saturday morning on the Facebook group Eat New West.
But if you are not one among the 10,000-plus members of the social media group, well, you'll just have to wait for your order to know the "secret."
Now, what’s not a secret about the Secret Sandwich is the price — be it the classic Reuben, grilled cheese or the chicken Caesar, all Secret Sandwiches are priced the same: $5.
“It's a significant savings,” said Green, adding that a sandwich at Greens and Beans is otherwise priced at $7.95, $8.95 or $9.95.
New West residents have been lapping up this seemingly-covert sandwich trade.
“There have been people who have come every Saturday (to the eatery). It's their way of trying new sandwiches for cheap," said Green.
And this enthusiasm around the Secret Sandwiches is in turn helping the restaurant get its Saturday traffic back.
“Before COVID, we opened Saturdays; during COVID, we didn't open Saturdays; and now, we're open again!"
"So I just wanted to get people's attention and let them know that we're open on Saturdays,” Green said, but more importantly, she wanted to do it in a fun way.
“I mean, I have to be here almost every day of my life. And so I want to have a little bit of fun while I'm at it. People like getting a bargain and people like doing fun things.”
And hence, the concept of "Secret Sandwich Saturdays" was born.
Ever since it was introduced, said Green, “We've been really busy on Saturdays."
"One Saturday, we sold about 25 Secret Sandwiches, which is really quite a lot!” said Green.
So how long does she plan to keep her sandwiches a secret?
“Until people don't come in and whisper anymore," she said.
Greens and Beans Deli is located at 143 East Columbia St.