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Restaurant Review - Wright's The Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe

Gourmet the Wright way: Dunwoody lunch hub draws faithful crowd with savory sandwiches, desserts

Hidden away in a faux-colonial strip center, Wright's Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe has served Dunwoody denizens and Perimeter-area Dilberts for years. This bustling little shop draws the faithful from all around the northern end of town.

Despite the crowds and fluorescent lighting, Wright's is comfortable. Charmingly mismatched pine tables and chairs, terra cotta tile floors and pale yellow walls make for a French-country-come-to-the-burbs feeling that works well in Dunwoody. Here you will see a true cross-section of Dunwoody: tennis-skirted moms sit elbow-to-elbow with businessmen and techno-geeks from nearby office parks, while groups of elderly ladies visit from a neighboring retirement center.

Wright's sandwiches are the main reason people flock here. I know several people who drive miles for Wright's pimento cheese ($4.50 whole). Rich and chunky with shredded sharp cheddar, piquant pimentos and fresh green onions, it is nearly as good as if you made it yourself. The hearty Bleu Max ($5.25) features roast beef or turkey, blue cheese dressing and onions, cucumber and tomato on an onion roll. Made with roast beef, it is a satisfying and hearty option. One of the more popular choices here is the Classic ($5.25), with turkey salad, avocado and bacon — crunchy and creamy with contrasting avocado butteriness, chewy bacon and mild turkey.

Wright's Cuban sandwich ($5.45) is another standout, with roast pork, ham, turkey, salami, cheese and sliced pickle on Cuban bread. Grilled, the bread retains some crisp body but the cheese is melted and the meats are warm, with a toothsome crunch of pickle and a generous smear of mustard. The Rebel Reuben ($5.35) is your basic grilled turkey Reuben with slaw, cheese and Thousand Island dressing on good pumpernickel bread, and offers a pleasantly oleaginous sensation when eaten hot off the griddle. Wright's has a number of other signature sandwiches as well as standard deli-style choices, ranging from $4.50 to $5.95. One thing that I love about this place is that they'll sell you a half sandwich, which is handy if you're not sure what you want. Vegetarian choices include Glenda's Garden ($4.75) and the Shroom ($4.50). Vegetarians also will be satisfied with the salads and several desserts.

Wright's offers several individual salads, including standards like a chef salad ($5.25) and a Greek salad ($5.50). The best and most creative is the Bleu Berry Bibb salad ($4.75), with Bibb lettuce, strawberries, blue cheese and pecans. The berries' sweetness plays against the tart cheese, with the pecans adding a mellow nutty crunch. Wright's also offers a variety of side salads in four sizes (and a wide price range), including citrus salad, a popular Waldorf salad, marinated vegetable salad and turkey salad.

Even if you wolf down one of the big meaty sandwiches, don't overlook desserts here. You can't go wrong with any of them. The cream cheese brownie ($1.60) is chewy, intensely chocolaty and buttery. Rum cake ($1.60), black Russian cake ($1.60), lemonade cake ($1.40) and pound cake ($1.75) are so heavy, moist and rich you may need help carrying a slice. And if you really want more, Wright's sells a huge variety of whole cakes and pies, many of which are available daily — call and order ahead if you want a specific one.