101 Ways to Pleasure the Gut

By Nancy Powell

Posted September 29, 2011 in Eats

Back when I was a young lass climbing the corporate ladder, a trip down to the Tummy Stuffer meant more than just satisfying the hunger pangs that would announce itself long before the lunch hour.  It meant pleasuring the boss’ most basic needs with a 12-inch Monster whose bun was stuffed to the brim with extra meat, extra onions and an oily vinegar spread. While there may be 101 reasons to visit the Tummy Stuffer, my primary motive was to ensure at least 10 employees ordered sandwiches so I could get myself the freebie. Hey, being a low-level slave has its benefits. 

Tummy Stuffer is a small mom and pop operation that started in Anaheim in 1979 before traversing to points east, west, north and south. The Riverside location sits inside a business complex, which one can easily pass without the forewarning of a GPS or Google Maps printout for assistance. Lines curl around the cafeteria during the lunch hour, so some customers find themselves better served by calling ahead for take out and eating the sammies at their desks.

The Stuffer offers 101 sandwiches, most of which spring from variations centered around a particular meat—turkey; turkey and cheese; turkey, avocado and then cheese, for example. While employees will prepare sandwiches based on customer preferences, standard fixings on an 8-incher (their smallest size) include an evenly distributed mixture of lettuce, diced onions, pickles and tomatoes and a choice of soft and chewy, but sturdy, breads which hold all the ingredients without dissolving into a wet , sticky glob of goo. Sides of avocado come in the form of a well-seasoned spread.

A lot of customers rave about the pastrami and mushrooms, while others like to give the more unusual omelette sandwiches a try, but these combinations strike me as too rich or too experimental to digest for a quick bite. Instead,  I favor the Stuffer, a Philly cheese like sandwich of strips of Angus beef, mushrooms, grilled onions and cherry peppers and upgraded to a combo for $2 more with chips and drink. Otherwise, it’s the salty strips of lean steak, cheese and mushroom, with grilled onions to give the sandwich that extra oomph in flavor.  When I’m hankering for healthy, I prefer tuna, Swiss and avocado over the vegetarian, as I like my veggies sautéed on the grill and melted in cheese rather than raw, which I could dump from pre-packed salad greens onto two slices of bread.

In addition, Tummy Stuffer does prepare salads, smoothies and teriyaki bowls for those who tire of the endless grind of sandwiches. However, when ordering from a sandwich specialty shop, sticking with the expert ingredient seems like a safe bet.

Prices trend towards the $10 mark once drinks and sides are added, but unlike Subway or Quiznos, there is never any doubt as to the quality or skimpiness of ingredients. Each sandwich stands on its own for taste, freshness and healthiness—at least as healthy as a 12-incher full of meat could ever aspire to be. Be warned, however, as the Stuffer keeps banker’s hours. If you need a sandwich fix, get it while the going is hot.

Tummy Stuffer, 1159 Iowa Avenue, Suite O, Riverside, (951) 369-1266. Mon-Fri, 9AM-4PM. MC, V.

One Comment


    i’m the worst for this one! sometimes i feel like i find very certaive gifts…and at other times, it’s just nothing. flat, nothing. such is the case for the Mr. this Christmas. I plan on making something that I had wished I gave him for our wedding–but of course…the getting around to doing it part is what needs help. Favorite gifts that I’ve received–things for the kitchen! I have every appliance under the sun, as my family knows that I love to cook. It goes a long way in having a short wedding registry (which helps, if your family isn’t used to a registry in the first place!). As for stocking stuffes, I love going to Daiso (the Japanese dollar store), and finding random household things..then mixing it with beauty products, candy, or whatever else I know the family can use.Whew…that was long! xx

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