Newcastle Cheese Shop sells a wide variety of cheese over an old fashioned counter, in a very "old school" shop located in an ex-produce shed in downtown Newcastle, next to the railroad tracks. The cheese shop is also a restaurant, offering a limited menu of sandwiches and salads. You can go for the cheese, but Newcastle Cheese Shop is famous for their signature sandwich offering, "The Rat Trap Sandwich."
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's just a little after 10 in the morning on Friday, May 24, 2019, and I've arrived at Newcastle Cheese Shop to enjoy "The Rat Trap Sandwich" for the first time. The restaurant is located in an ex-produce shed, in downtown Newcastle, by the railroad tracks. There is even the stub of a railroad spur track that used to service the warehouse back in the now-distant produce days. The shed now houses small businesses, including an antique shop, located next door to the restaurant.
Newcastle Cheese Shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, from what they call "9-ish" in the morning, until 3 in the afternoon, so you need to keep their limited hours in mind when you're in the mood for cheese, or a "Rat Trap."
Photo: As you enter the restaurant/cheese shop, you'll notice the case, that contains cheese. Northern California, and Placer County aren't noted for cheese production, so the cheese sold here isn't locally produced. However one of the cheeses sold, Shaft's "Bleu Vein," is made in Wisconsin, but it's aged locally in an abandoned gold mine for a year. There are many varieties of cheese, and if you're in doubt, or not familiar with the cheese, ask for a free sample, and a friendly staff member will give you a free sample.
The soda cooler is to the right, and the limited menu is posted to the right of the counter. If you're a beer or wine drinker, you'll have to tighten your belt, as Newcastle Cheese Shop doesn't sell any alcohol.
This fine restaurant works on the walk up to the counter format, make your selection from the menu, pay for your order, and when your order is ready, they'll call your name. They do a brisk phone-order business, so you can call your order in advance, and pick it up when you arrive, if you're short on time.
Photo: The small dining room is located inside, along with a few souvenir tee-shirts that all promote "The Rat Trap Sandwich." On this late Friday morning, I have the dining room all to myself.
Photo: Can you say "limited" when it comes to the restaurant menu? The menu is posted above the counter, and there are also hand-outs.
Photo: Can you say rustic? View of the counter, the soft drink cooler and the menu, from the back of the small dining room. The restaurant is located inside an ex-produce warehouse, and is definitely "old school" in all ways, and reflects the rural charm the small town of Newcastle has to offer.
Photo: I didn't even check the menu, as I knew all about "The Rat Trap Sandwich," which was my what I ordered. My sandwich arrived on the counter about five minutes after placing my order, and I think I may have surprised the sandwich gal as I snapped her photo.
Photo: I smile, as I know I'm going to enjoy my "The Rat Trap Sandwich" which is the flagship sandwich of the restaurant.
Photo: "The Rat Trap Sandwich" is the flagship sandwich of the Newcastle Cheese Shop, and it's a BIG sandwich any way you slice it! The menu simply describes it as "a combination of meats and cheeses." As you can see, there's much more to this sandwich than a "combination of meats and cheeses..."
Since today was my fist "Rat Trap," when the girl at the counter asked what I wanted on my sandwich, as asked for "everything," and for her to make me a typical sandwich, without any customization. I did need to choose the variety of roll, and it was a tossup between sourdough or Dutch crunch, and the crunch won out.
The sandwich starts with a large, fresh roll - several varieties are offered - that is baked locally, in nearby Auburn. As an aside, the restaurant attempts to use as many "locally sourced" ingredients as possible. Piled on top of the roll was many slices of turkey, roast beef and ham. If you like meat, you've come to the right place, as Newcastle Cheese Shop isn't stingy with the meat. Along with the meat were several slices of Cheddar and Swiss cheese, with rommaine lettuce, tomato and onion and pepperoncini's. Garnishes were mustard and mayonnaise, which enhanced the amazing sandwich, but didn't mask the taste of the individual ingredients.
Such an amazing sandwich! Simply delicious! And... super fresh! All ingredients are of the highest quality, and super fresh. As I devoured this wonderful sandwich, I noted that there was a perfect ratio of bread to meat, meat to cheese, cheese to veggies, and everything on the sandwich worked together to create a perfect blend of ingredients, and a perfect sandwich. Not to mention this HUGE sandwich will keep you going all day. If you're a "two-fisted eater" you'll be right at home, as this sandwich is best enjoyed using both hands.
I actually considered only eating half of this monster, and saving the rest for dinner, but due to the fact that I'd only had a very light breakfast, and this sandwich was SO GOOD, that I threw it all to the wind and simply enjoyed...
My only criticism, and it's a very minor one, is that a microwave oven would have been nice to heat the sandwich, as it's sometimes nice to enjoy a warm sandwich, with melted cheese. On the other hand, in the State of California, when a sandwich is sold cold, there is no sales tax...
Photo: Cross section view of "The Rat Trap Sandwich." So delicious! As you can see, they don't skimp on the meat. This GIGANTIC sandwich will keep you going all day.
You know you've eaten a delicious sandwich after you've enjoyed "The Rat Trap Sandwich!" It's simply delicious! No wonder this amazing sandwich is what makes Newcastle Cheese Shop a destination for locals, and travelers on Interstate 80. When you're in western Placer County and you're in the mood for a massive, delicious sandwich, pay a visit to Newcastle Cheese Shop and enjoy "The Rat Trap Sandwich."
Newcastle Cheese Shop
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