Hopkins Eatery is sort of a responsible big brother to the occasionally brilliant flake that is The Main Ingredient. At the Main Ingredient, there's something like 14 million combinations you can order. At Hopkins, they've already figured all that out for you. You get the sense of a place rooted, with people who know exactly what the hell they're doing, and who love doing it. I had lunch at the Hopkins at Lake Ella Plaza, across Tharpe from One Fresh. The place is charming and homey, clean but not particularly updated. I'm guessing a mid-80s vintage.
It's an order-at-the-register deal, but not fast food. There's some marketing jargon for that, but I'm pretty sure that this place has been doing it before it was cool. The menu is dominated by maybe 3 dozen different sandwiches, the majority of which are quirky and fun. I think you could do custom orders as well, but a plain Turkey-On-Rye would be missing the fun of this place. I had a Hummer - smoked turkey, half a dozen different veggies, hummus, feta, some sort of light vinaigrette. It was awesome - everything in near-perfect proportion. I was particularly impressed by the bread (slices of marble rye/pumpernickel). In a time when just about everything is on baguettes or ciabatta, this was Old School sandwich bread, just thick enough to contain everything without strain, but not so thick as to dominate the tastes. And you've got to hand it to a place that is either oblivious enough or stubborn enough to name a sandwich The Hummer because, dammit, the thing's got Hummus. There's also salads, which looked great (excepting the potato salad on greek salad, which is insane, and is everywhere in Tally), and what looked like really top-notch brownies and cakes. Cheap, efficient, tasty, and not exclusively a college hang out.
Very lucky find, I will definitely be back.