Sandwich lovers, rejoice! The cult fave Mendocino Farms sandwich market has made it’s way from SoCal to the Bay Area and we could not be more happy. Their menu is just packed with deliciousness and their fast-casual atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for families to gather. Get yourself and your crew over to The Pruneyard in Campbell and see what all the fuss is about!

The Concept

The husband and wife team of Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero (NorCal natives themselves) opened their first Mendocino Farms in LA in 2005 and they have been feeding families all over SoCal ever since. Campbell is the first Bay Area location to open and will be followed by Santana Row in San Jose in February 2018 and then San Mateo and SF later in 2018. Plans to expand beyond those four Bay Area locations are in the works so follow Mendocino Farms on social media to get the scoop when one is coming near you.

The Experience

When you walk into Mendocino Farms, a giant menu board and cheery employee are there to welcome you. Employees know them menu from top to bottom and are more than willing to make recommendations, offer substitutions and ease you through the ordering experience.

You place your order and then continue down to where the cold sides are on display. Grab a taste of any or all that look appetizing (we suggest the vegan curried couscous and the marinated raw beet salad). You can also grab yourself a “bample”—a beverage sample of one of their four beers or four wines all on tap. Need to modify your order to add one of these items? No problem! Just let one of the employees know.

The Menu

Kids menu options include grilled cheese, cold sandwiches like ham and cheese and arguably the best PB&J you have ever had (toasted unless you specify otherwise). Kids meals come with a drink (try the fresh-made lemonade) and a side of fruit.

Menu favorites for grown-ups include the “Not So Fried” Mary’s Chicken sandwich (shaved chicken from Pittman Farms topped with Mendo’s krispies, herb aioli, mustard pickle slaw, tomatoes and pickled red onions on toasted ciabatta) and the panini-pressed torta Peruvian steak sandwich. Kids with more up-scale palates will enjoy the Steak BLT on a pretzel roll (you can ask them to hold the red wine onions if needed).

Feeling like you are in more of a salad mood? Definitely order the Save Drake’s Farm Salad that includes Herbes de Provence marinated Drake Family Farm’s goat cheese. The salad is so named as Mendocino Farms helped to get this farm through some tough times because they believed in the delicious goat cheese and how the goats at Drake’s Farm were treated as pets and not products.

A Place for Kids

Because the Mendocino Farms’ owners are parents themselves, they totally get what it’s like to eat out with kids. You may have trouble getting your kids to come and sit with you after they discover the kids’ corner in the main dining room that was designed just for them. A mini table, chalk wall and Connect Four game are ready to keep the kids busy while you chat with friends and enjoy your glass of rosé. Just outside is a long outdoor patio with seating and another kid-magnet—the foosball table.

The Community Gathering Spot

Mendocino Farms does not want to be just a sandwich shop in a shopping mall. They are eager to become a community gathering place where local schools can come for fundraisers. The Campbell location is looking forward to one of their favorite giveback programs—the “paint the cow” competition. For this, the six white cows that are displayed in the kids’ corner are passed out to six local schools. The schools take the cows and paint them and then the community votes on social media and in the restaurant to pick the winner. While one is crowned “top cow,” all the schools come out winners in the end with donations being made back to them by Mendocino Farms.

The Details

Mendocino Farms is now open for business in The Pruneyard right next to Trader Joe’s. Swing by for lunch or dinner and see what chef’s choice sandwich is on deck for that week. Or, be dubbed the “best parent ever” when you place a catering order for the Mendocino Farms baby baguettes for your next kid birthday party or post-season team party.

The Pruneyard
1875 S. Bascom Ave.
Suite 440
Campbell, CA
Hours: daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

What’s your favorite sandwich on the menu at Mendocino Farms? Share your suggestion below!

—photos and story by Kate Loweth