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Food-ocracy in Action 

The people of Airway Heights wanted a new sandwich shop and that’s what they got

click to enlarge CHRIS BOVEY
  • Chris Bovey
Back in April, Henry Afghani posted a sheet on the counter of his convenience store. He wanted customer feedback. The Burger King in the adjoining suite was closing and Afghani, the owner of the Conoco Station located off Sunset Highway in Airway Heights, was looking for a new inhabitant.

“I asked customers, ‘We can stay with Burger King or go with Dairy Queen or Papa Murphys or a good, quality sandwich shop.’ So, most customers gave the suggestion for a sandwich shop,” Afghani says.

Afghani’s wife, Mary, embraced the task and the result is Mama Mary’s Sandwiches and More. The menu includes chicken strips, fries and salads, but if you choose one of the 10 sandwiches ($4.75-$5.54/half; $7.75-$8.50 whole) you will not be disappointed. Unlike the highly aerated bread found at chain sandwich shops, the Afghanis bake their thick, chewy bread daily. Those ordering during the mid-morning rush will find that the bread supporting their meaty subs is still oven-warm.

The Afghani’s have chosen and sampled the interior meats with care. Take Mama Mary’s club, for instance: the turkey is roasted, not rolled. The bacon is meaty and greaseless because it is oven-baked each day. The Black Forest ham is unlike the sweet honey types found at other places. Whether you call it a sub, or a hero or a poor boy, this is a sandwich for those who eschew synthetic flavors and lackluster tomatoes.

Other sandwich options include pastrami, tuna, salami and a vegetarian sub with avocado, sunflower seeds, cucumber, sprouts and more. Teresa Langley, who works the counter, ensures that each order looks as good as it tastes and the well-wrapped goods travel well.

There are still some stumbling blocks — the signage isn’t easily seen from the roadway and the sandwich crew is in the process of synchronizing its efforts — but in the coming weeks Mama Mary’s will feature a bigger sign, seating for large groups and a staff with a few more weeks experience.

The Afghanis are also expanding the menu, per customer request, to include small pizzas and chicken quesadillas.

“Mary,” says Afghani, “is an expert on those.” 

Mama Mary’s Sandwiches and More • 11980 W. Sunset Highway, Airway Heights • 11 am- 9 pm daily • 244-6105

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