Fourteen years ago, Dave and Durene Hendrix opened a small sandwich shop in the Brainerd Hills Center. They soon realized that their delicious food and oversized portions were going to draw more patrons than their storefront could handle. They quickly moved to a larger space in the same shopping center.
That was their only move, but they’ve expanded twice since, and recently remodeled. Regulars flood the store during lunch, seeking their unique brand of deli offerings, and luckily, GollyWhoppers has been able to keep up with the demand, thanks in large part to those expansions and their spacious parking lot.
So what is it that brings so many folks in? It’s honestly hard to pin down—their menu is so huge that attempting to attribute it to a particular item would be an exercise in futility. Obviously, the sandwiches are a huge draw.
Available on your choice of four freshly baked breads (French, Cracked Wheat, Rye, or Pumpernickel), with all manner of toppings, the twelve options run the gamut from pastrami to pimento cheese to barbecue pork. If you can’t decide on one (and you’ve got company), “The GollyWhopper” might just be your best option—it comes with five meats and four cheeses!
The choices don’t stop there—six varieties of salads are on offer, and if you’ve got time to sit down to eat, they have a full salad bar. Their gargantuan baked potatoes (over a pound each, even before they’re topped) are another favorite, and the soups are always a draw. Chili is always on the menu, along with two other options that change daily.
Dessert is not to be missed, either. A display case chock-full of homemade treats both familiar and novel beckons—Lemon Squares and German Chocolate Bars share space with Diddly Doo Wop and Pretzel K. (You’ll have to visit yourself to find out what all these concoctions are!)
Fridays offer a few special treats. The staff bake up fresh croissants, offering you the option of having your sandwich on a light, fluffy base. The classic Waldorf salad also joins the menu. Lastly, one of the soups of the day is always their acclaimed Taco Soup for the end of the workweek.
Since I was trying a few things, I opted for smaller portions. I was still blown away by the sizes. The Mini Taco Salad could have been a meal unto itself. Ringed with tortilla chips that also serve as its base, it was piled high with lettuce, taco meat, cheese, tomato, onion, black olives, and jalapeños, topped with generous portions of sour cream and salsa. There was just the right amount of meat to still be able to call it a salad, but it could have served as an entree if I hadn’t skipped breakfast.
Next up I had a half sandwich of roast beef on French bread, served warm. It was equally as large, and my stomach balked at the thought of finishing both, despite the delicious flavors. The meat and toppings were fresh, and the bread was crusty and soft on the inside. It was certainly a sandwich I don’t think you can find the likes of anywhere else in Chattanooga.
Thankfully, you don’t have to tackle a whole portion of the desserts if you want to treat your sweet tooth. Each of their bars is available in bite-sized portions for only 99 cents! I grabbed a taste of the Cheesecake Brownie and the Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl. The brownie was soft, creamy, and incredibly rich. The peanut butter bar is probably best described as a cross between peanut butter pie and a candy bar. Both were incredible, and the perfect end to my savory meal.
Stopping in for lunch isn’t your only option. GollyWhoppers is open through dinner on weeknights, and they also offer catering for groups of any size! Regardless of when or where you get a taste, there’s one thing you should definitely not forget if GollyWhoppers is on the menu —a big appetite!
GollyWhoppers Sandwich Shoppe
6337 East Brainerd Road
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Saturday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.