MATHIAS SANDWICH SHOP – 7235 St. Andrews Road, Irmo, SC

Posted by The LunchMen Thursday, August 5, 2010

“There’s not much we don’t have.”

As a native Columbian, few words conjure up more disturbing images for me than “Irmo.” I’ll be the first to admit that I have long held a disdain for our suburban neighbors to the northwest, what with their award winning public schools, lack of southern accents, and indoor carousels. In fact, Irmo is perhaps best known for what the Lunchmen hate more than anything – crappy chain restaurants. But, there is a needle in every haystack, as they say, and Irmo is the home to a true diamond in the rough: Mathias Sandwich Shop. We had heard that this place was legit, so Tank and I snuck into enemy territory this week incognito-style to scout out the situation.

Nestled on St. Andrews Road just south of the intersection with Lake Murray Boulevard, Mathias sits in a non-descript store front along a row of other unspectacular businesses. While not overwhelmed by the outside, Tank and I were vastly impressed with the overflowing parking lot – particularly given the late hour which we chose to dine. It’s always a good sign if a restaurant never seems to have enough parking.

Forced to park three businesses away, Tank and I were glad to finally reach the air-conditioned dining area on this typically hot summer day. We walked up to the counter to order and were greeted with rows of desserts ready to be consumed. Tank, in typical Tank fashion, grabbed a carrot cake slice and two forks for an appetizer – the key to any nutritious meal. We both tried the cake and agreed it to be top notch (not as good as Ms. Tank’s, mind you, but serviceable for sure). It was not too dry or heavy on the icing, which are common mistakes with carrot cake.

As for the meals, I went with the chef salad (shocking) and found myself enjoying a large bowl of garden goodness along with what seemed like a pound of lunch meats and about ½ dozen chopped boiled eggs. The salad stands up to any other chef in town. Tank, eager to try their signature items, ordered up the Pimento Cheeseburger and made quick work of his selection. While a bit creamy, the pimento cheese was described as solid, and the burger itself drew comparisons to Rush’s - a midlands favorite. Also, to top things off, Tank and I split an egg salad sandwich on white toast with lettuce and tomato. This is one of my favorite sandwiches, so I was going to like it either way. Tank, infinitely more discerning when it comes to such things, also praised the egg salad, particularly the strong amount of pepper.

Overall, it was a solid lunch call and definitely worth the trip. While it probably won’t be a regular part of our rotation given its distance from downtown, we definitely recommend it to anyone who lives or works in the area. If you don’t have the good sense to move closer into town, at least eat at this place while you’re stuck living out there.


PS – Mathias has some really good tailgating specials for $24.95 that would come in handy in the fast approaching football season.


  1. marge Says:
  2. It has been a long time since I have been there, only because of the distance down to Irmo, but the egg salad sandwich brings back fond memories. When I was a teenager who hung with the Mathias family, I helped make those sandwiches before we went to Eau Clair High. It was a great family tradition. I remember making the ham sandwiches also. Of course, that was done in the Mathias home, filled with love and hard working parents. It was also before the restaurant opened. I am so glad that this generation has kept it going. Hello my dear second family!

    Margie Pitman Smith

  3. Tank Says:
  4. I am still thinking about this egg salad, and from the comments I've seen on the facebook page in response to this post, I believe I need to try the chicken salad, too. I am going by Friday to pick up three of their tailgate specials for the game against the 'dogs. Go Cocks


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Rabbit, Tank, and The Publican are three dudes just trying to get through the work week here in Columbia. Rabbit is a Columbia native, Tank is from Charleston, and The Publican hails from Greenville. Rabbit's favorite lunch spot is the No Name Deli on Elmwood, where you may find him putting down a grilled chicken salad and a side of vinegar pasta. The Publican usually wants to find food to cure his all-too-common hangovers. Tank claims no favorite lunch spot - he lives for the thrill of the hunt.


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