'Circles' around lunch
Mystery Mouth | Special to the Weekender
The Weekender - Wed 10/10/07 v14 issue 47
might be a safe assumption that anyone who works or lives in
downtown Wilkes-Barre has ventured to a certain Public Square
staple for lunch at least once.
only does it have a colossal array of sandwiches and a slew
of daily specials, but the delicatessen is also an emporium
of sorts. Magnets, postcards, chimes, t-shirts and more can
be found at Circles on the Square, but today, its not
the tchotchke we are here to talk about.
the food. Circles literally has something for everyone.
roast beef, corned beef, turkey, salami, bologna, prosciutto,
soppressatta, tuna, eggs, seafood salad, chicken, pastrami and
vegetarian fare is all represented on the menu. They offer a
slew of breads (rye with or without seeds, white, wheat, pumpernickel,
rolls and bagels), cheeses, mustards and spreads like mayo,
relishes, horsey and hot sauce and sauerkraut.
sandwiches have flavor combinations that are guaranteed to not
be found anywhere else. Mustard with mayo, peanut butter and
French Chambord preserves and buffalo chicken with applewood
smoked cheddar and BBQ sauce to name just a few.
such a selection, its no surprise that my coworkers and
I decided to get lunch from Circles one recent afternoon. Its
also one of just a few places we all can agree on, so we consulted
our dog-eared office menu, called in an order and were told
it would be 20 minutes.
to readers and especially for big orders like ours: Order by
number if the sandwiches have one, not by name. It makes it
much easier on the person at the other end of the line, especially
since many sandwiches have funny names like The Kirby Wallbanger
or Fowlers Dikken-Walker.)
sent two staffers to make the few-block trek, and soon they
were back, laden with white bags full of Circles goodies. Like
vultures, everyone descended upon them clawing for their lunch,
and heres the skinny:
Low-Fat Freddie (#54), $4.75: mesquite wood-smoked turkey breast
with fat-free mayo, Grey Poupon, cucumber thins and tomato on
wheat, which the eater substituted for the normal pumpernickel.
It would have been perfect toasted with cheese,
she suggested. (Though the Mouth thinks that probably wouldnt
constitute Freddie being low fat anymore
Low-Fat LuLu (#9), $5.35: peppermill smoked turkey, champagne
mustard, tomato, fat-free mayo and alfalfa sprouts on multigrain
loaf. This luncher also made a substitution, cucumber slices
for the sprouts, and she raved about the turkey. Its
so flavorful, she said.
Turkey Club (no number), $6.95: roast turkey on three slices
of wheat with Swiss, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and Russian
dressing. This was without a doubt the largest club any of us
have ever seen. The eater, who struggled to take a bite, called
Our Fair City Chicken (#42), $5.35: hand-made breast meat chicken
salad with fresh cucumber slices, Champagne mustard and alfalfa
sprouts on multigrain loaf. This is the first time this eater
had sprouts and he very much liked them. Though he liked the
moist chicken, he didnt care for the spread of mustard
atop his heap of chicken salad.
Letter to the Editor (#3), $6.05: turkey breast, Monterey Jack,
Vidalia onion relish with Russian dressing on French loaf. This
eater finds his sandwich to be one of the more normal
on Circles menu and thought the sauce to be tangy and
sweet without being overpowering on the good, hard loaf.
Macaroni & cheese (no number), $3.77: imported pasta and
aged Vermont sharp cheddar. This was white cheese, not the usual
yellow fake-looking variety, and you could see it was homemade
(and taste, when I snagged a bite). It was buttery and more
like a baked mac and cheese.
Wild Rice Barley Chicken Soup (no number), $3.11: this soup
was chock full of barley, huge mushrooms, water chestnuts and
chicken with a hearty spice.
Angelos Honky Tonker (#49), $5.45: Genoa salami with smoked
mozzarella, Dijon mustard, mayo and alfalfa sprouts on French
loaf. I had an exorbitant amount of salami and almost an equal
amount of cheese. There was just a tad too much mayo, but the
mix of the mayo and mustard on either side was a virtual taste
explosion that was deliciously contradictory to the salami.
The bread was of the utmost freshness.
Chicken soup with rice (no number), $2.12: Found to be just
a basic chicken/rice soup by the eater, the soup was filled
to the brim with chicken, celery, carrots and more rice than
youd ever get from a can.
My Honey the Ham (#34), $5.75: maple honey-glazed ham on a butter
croissant with Honeycup Mustard, coleslaw and alfalfa sprouts.
This croissant is slamming! exclaimed the eater.
She found the coleslaw to be creamy and, though not a fan of
the condiment, she loved the mustard. All the tastes are
so different, she commented.
received an ample supply of pickles, and the pickle aficionado
in me commandeered more than my share, finding they rivaled
the best in their not-too-dilly or too garlicky crispness.
two of us that got soup received two types of crackers
saltines and Melba toast, which tasted fantastic in my soup.
all of our different choices, flavors and ingredients, there
was one constant in our takeout from Circles: the sandwiches
bill came to just $52 for the lot of us, not too shabby for
such big portions and such great food. Circles employees were
friendly and easy to place the order with, plus, they are very
accommodating to the substitutions.
as if all of the above wasnt enough, our staffers who
picked up the food got four homemade chocolate chip walnut cookies
just for shopping downtown.
Circle definitely owns the square.