No Matter How You Slice It, Machete’s Mean Sandwiches Makes a Mean Sandwich

This new shop in McCully specializes in hefty made-to-order sandwiches using freshly made bread, perfect for National Sandwich Day on Nov. 3.
The Machete sandwich from Machete’s Mean Sandwiches, which opened a few months ago in McCully.
Photos: Catherine Toth Fox


Ever since Mix Café in Downtown closed in 2014, I’ve been on the search for a good sandwich. Fresh ingredients, the right ratio of meat to fillings, simple but delicious, even better on house-made bread.


I’ve tried just about every sandwich shop that’s open (and closed) in Downtown, and nothing has lived up to the European-style sandwiches of Bruno Iezzi.


But Machete’s Mean Sandwiches, which opened a few months ago on the corner of Kalākaua Avenue and Fern Street, might have risen to the top of my sandwich list—and it’s worth a stop on National Sandwich Day today.


It’s a small shop—537 square feet—in a small strip mall, next to Amina Pizzeria and around the corner from the always-crowded Pho Bistro 2. It’s run by husband-and-wife team Evan and Rachel Glenn and her brother Jean Lambert, all who original hail from Southern California.


Jean Lambert, left, and his sister Rachel Glenn (along with Glenn’s husband, Evan, not pictured) own this shop on the corner of Kalākaua Avenue and Fern Street. They make sandwiches to order and use freshly baked bread.


The menu is full of sandwich classics in three categories: Mean ($6), Meaner ($7) and the Meanest ($8). You can get ham and aged cheddar, bottom-round roast beef with sharp cheddar, smoked turkey with provolone, or a combination of these. Machete’s also has a popular veggie sandwich ($6) stuffed with avocado, cream cheese, lettuce, cucumbers and tomato slices.


The breads here are worth mentioning. Evan Glenn came up with the recipes for home-style white and cracked wheat breads, all baked fresh daily. The super-soft white bread is enriched with milk, white honey and real butter. The wheat uses cracked red-spring wheat and honey. Honestly, I could just eat the bread. Toasted? With butter? I’m done.


The iconic sandwich here is aptly named The Machete ($10). This sandwich features more than half a pound of turkey, ham, salami and pastrami stacked with provolone and cheddar cheeses, slices of tomato, lettuce, onions and oregano and dressed with an Italian vinaigrette. It’s gigantic, filling and easily turned into two meals.


The Machete ($10) is a mouthful, packed with turkey, roast beef and ham, and other fillings on house-made white bread.


Another popular sandwich is the turkey-avocado-bacon ($8) on house-made wheat bread.


Not to be missed, though, is the turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich ($8), which is equally filling with turkey, thick-sliced bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and a perfect amount of the house-made avocado spread.


And if the standard fillings aren’t enough, you can add more—bacon, avo spread, cream cheese, hot peppers, oregano—for an extra cost.


You can also order sandwiches online—yes, Machete’s caters!—and workers will even deliver to nearby addresses. (Call to find out if you’re in the radius.)


Why is this place called Machete’s? What you’re probably thinking is right.


“My husband kept making his sandwiches bigger and bigger,” says Rachel, laughing. “You needed a machete to cut it.”


1694 Kalākaua Ave., 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday, (808) 922-2467,