Cienna Madrid

What led you to open up a sandwich business?

It's been my partner Brian's dream since college. We both grew up on the East Coast and attended Penn State together, though Brian was a few years ahead of me. We both ended up moving out here, and you just can't get an East Coast sandwich out here like the ones we grew up on. I went to lunch with him one day, fed up with my corporate job, and joined his dream.

What's so great—or different—about East Coast subs?

The major thing is the bread. That was the hardest thing to find out here—it took us two years. You need the perfect roll for the perfect sandwich: chewy, but not too chewy, soft, but not too soft, with a nice crust. It's hard to explain, but East Coasters know what I'm talking about.

How do you create your sandwiches?

We use all fresh ingredients and roast our meats, like our roast beef and turkey, in-house. Our motto is quality over saving a buck. Each sandwich literally looks like a submarine, with meat layered on both the top and bottom, with veggies and cheese in between. Also, nobody out here puts oil and vinegar on their subs, which is standard back East. You ask for it out here and they look at you like you have three heads. We know you don't have three heads.

What's your sandwich of choice?

The Tat'strami, with a thick layer of pastrami topped with coleslaw, melted Swiss, and Russian dressing. The combination of salty pastrami and sweet coleslaw plays perfectly on the palate. Also, our soups and fries (topped with Old Bay seasoning—another East Coast staple) are handmade and delicious.