I may not be a poor college student anymore, but as far as I’m concerned, cheapness is always awesome.
When Mary, Travis and I decided to see Lars and the Real Girl at this theater in Irvine, we were looking for some cheap pre-movie food of at least moderate quality. It had to be cheap because of the potential cost of the impending Deep Fry Night, which Mary will have to fill you in on later. I Google-mapped some nearby restaurants, and a review for Lee’s caught my eye when I noticed something about $2.00 sandwiches. I said to Mary and Travis, “Hey, do you guys want to get some $2.00 sandwiches?” Mary and Travis are no fools. Of course they said yes.
Lee’s has a large variety of what they classify as either Asian or European sandwiches. You can check out their menu on their website, but suffice it to say that almost anything you would want on a sandwich (and some things you wouldn’t) are available. Most of their sandwiches either come on a baguette or a croissant. It may sound like a croissant sandwich would be smaller than a baguette sandwich, but no — the croissant is at least as big as my face.
The taste of the sandwiches is pretty average — there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, and there’s nothing really magical about them either. I ordered roast beef on a baguette, and it was plenty tasty for the price (about $3.50). Even though I was incredibly full from the sandwich, I followed it up with a single-scoop, “Almond Joy” ice cream cone (about $1.50, and yes, the ice cream has big chunks of the candy bar in it). And be warned cilantro haters: all of the Asian sandwiches have cilantro, so be sure to ask them to leave it out.
Lee’s is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., and if I recall correctly, their sandwich prices go up slightly after 9:00 p.m. As far as atmosphere goes, it’s a big, white, perhaps too well-lit area reminiscent of a college campus food court. This vibe is probably equally attributable to the masses of UCI students taking advantage of the cheapy cheapness.
This isn’t a place I’d travel to even from Orange, but if you happen to be (or live) in the area, it’s the perfect cheap food stop.
Did I mention it was cheap?
4127 Campus Drive (University Center)
Irvine, CA 92612