Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 84: Old-fashioned milkshakes!

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Amy and I have a preference for profiling local entrepreneurs and business.  But our town is made up international and national business as well, so when we frequent one often, or think they’re special, we blog about them.  I’m always on the lookout for a good spot to take my sons for a bite to eat and some dessert.  Enter the chain sandwich shop Potbelly, located at 4731 Elm Street

The Potbelly sandwich empire, named after an antique stove, was a fluke really.  A young couple owned an antique store and let’s just say that business was really slow, as in ‘watching paint dry’ sloooooow.  So they decided to serve up some sandwiches and desserts for the customers.  Well before too long throngs of people were pouring into the shop, not to see grandma’s sewing table, but to enjoy the delicious food.  The young couple was on to something and they added booths and the food business grew.  The antique atmosphere, the hand-dipped ice-cream, great tasting sandwiches, and even live-music make the concept unique to this day.  Much like Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonalds who saw the genius in the McDonald’s brothers hamburger stand, Bryant Keil saw the potential in Potbelly.  Since Keil purchased the initial store in 1996, his team has opened over 200 Potbellys in the U.S.

No two shops are the same

I’m not alone in my opinion of the great tasting sandwiches.  USA Today and Washingtonian Magazine readers polls and even Zagat agree.  The key to their success is they make everything fresh that day.  It’s the antithesis of most fast-food but then again the service is fast-food.  The line here sometimes reaches the front door during lunch hour.  My little guys like the hand-made, old-fashioned real milkshakes (and so do I!!!).  I order them a chocolate shake and at Potbelly they cleverly slide a small butter cookie, with a hole in the center, part way down the straw for added enjoyment.  They love the shake and the little cookie is just the ‘icing on top.’  ~Brian

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