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December 20, 2014

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Capriotti’s Bobbie collects yet another accolade

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Jacob Kepler

Ashley Morris, left, and Jason Smylie are executives at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, and they plan to expand over the next 10 years. The company was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the nation’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies.

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The sandwich that started a dream: Capriotti's beloved Bobbie.

Capriotti’s signature sandwich, the ode to Thanksgiving leftovers known as the Bobbie, has received a new accolade to add to its long list of “best of” awards and top-10 lists.

In a recent interview with USA Today, “Encyclopedia of Sandwiches” author Susan Russo picked the Bobbie as one of her 10 favorite sandwiches that she discovered during her no doubt delicious research.

“It’s always turkey time at this Las Vegas-based chain with locations in a dozen states. Russo loves the Bobbie, made with in-house roasted turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, and served with mayo on a freshly baked roll,” USA Today wrote.

Stating what Las Vegans have known for almost two decades, Russo told USA Today “it’s perfect for the day-after-Thanksgiving craving.”

If the Bobbie had cheeks, they certainly would be rosy from all the adulation the sandwich has received over the years. Two include “Best Sandwich” from the Las Vegas Weekly in 2010 and “The Greatest Sandwich in America” by AOL.com in 2009.

Lois Margolet opened the first Capriotti’s in Willmington, Del., in 1976. The first Las Vegas Capriotti’s, on Sahara Avenue near Las Vegas Boulevard, opened in 1993.

Ashley Morris and Jason Smylie, two UNLV graduates, opened a franchise in Henderson in 2004 and then bought the entire company in 2008. The two entrepreneurs have big expansion plans for the franchise, including recent openings in Southern California.

“We fully expect to have 500 to 1,000 stores by 2015,” Morris told the Sun two years ago.

Much of that anticipated expansion is built on Capriotti’s acclaimed customer service — Sandelman & Associates, a customer-research agency, ranked Capriotti’s No. 1 for exceptional customer satisfaction (it tied with In-N-Out) — and the strong reputation of the Bobbie.

“The Bobbie is by far the most popular sandwich,” said Chris Woods, a shift manager at the original Las Vegas shop. “Even I remember my first Bobbie. It was a year and a half ago, and I was looking for work. This was my last stop of the day and I wanted something to eat. I had the Bobbie, turned in an application, and a week later I had a job.”

Woods said people come into the shop all the time asking for the Bobbie because they have read about it or heard of its various distinctions.

Rounding out the rest of Russo’s list in USA Today: The Piglet from The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco; the Smash from New York’s Meatball Shop; the pickled tongue sandwich from Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen in Portland, Ore.; the cochinita pibil torta made by XOCO in Chicago; the Whoa Nellie, a hot dog smothered with pulled beef brisket and barbecue sauce, from Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace in Columbus, Ohio; the muffuletta from New Orleans’ Napoleon House; the roast pork sandwich from Homegrown in Seattle; the bacon, avocado and spinach concoction from Foster’s Market in Durham, N.C. and the pate pork meatloaf bahn mi from San Diego’s K Sandwiches.

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