Chews Wisely: Umpleby's

By Sam Forstner | 10/12/15 10:11am

I didn’t know much about the place — I learned of its existence approximately 10 minutes before arriving. The ambience was overwhelmingly pleasant — it’s a classic bakery with prominent glass display cases and wooden floors and furniture.

It was a crisp fall morning, so my eyes immediately gravitated toward any menu item that was warm and included meat. My quest was a short one, as I only had to scan down to #2 to find my match. “The Peter Lake” is a Reuben with Umpleby’s own Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on seeded rye bread. “Grilled to Nirvana,” the menu claimed. While it’s a bold assertion, I’m a firm believer that one can reach an elevated state of consciousness through good food alone.

The sandwich was by no means the best on earth (see Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, MI — I have to give the shoutout), but it more than gets the job done. The combination of smoky meat, tangy dressing and, well, sour sauerkraut leaves no flavor to be desired.

I inhaled both halves like a high efficiency vacuum in less than five minutes, never putting a half back down once I’d picked it up. This feat prompted my dad to examine my clean plate and inquire, tongue-in-cheek, as to whether I’d even gotten my sandwich yet. In that moment I saw the future, my future, in which I make dad jokes on par with what had just occurred on a regular basis.

Having come to terms with my fate, I walked with my parents to wait for the Dartmouth Coach, gave them each a hug and sent them on their way.

It seems like Umpelby’s has flown under the radar until now in the minds of students — that or I’m just not in tune with said radar. The place is a hidden gem of Hanover’s food scene, and further evidence of the variety and depth of options available to Dartmouth students and townies alike. Check out Umpelby’s for breakfast or lunch.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sam Forstner