Choice can be everything, a conduit to limitless opportunities. Or it can be burdensome, the ideal solution or, in this instance, just an ingredient or condiment away from perfection.

If you go

What: Austin’s Food & Drink

Where: 116 Spring St.

Hours: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday

more info: 737-5273 or

Austin’s Food & Drink is banking on preference and possibility as its chief selling points. The Spring Street restaurant promotes a customizable menu. Hey, more power to the consumer, right?

So if you long for a sandwich (on a bun, wrap, white or rye bread) with turkey (or tuna salad or chicken salad or both) and loaded with, say, artichokes, chow mein chicken noodles, Mandarin oranges or roasted red peppers, Austin’s has you covered. The choice is yours.

No signature creations or specialty sandwiches are offered. Austin’s relies on the customer for precision, which, depending on individual tastes, can be freeing or troublesome.

It’d be helpful to some if the menu contained a few suggestions rather than a catalogue of breads, meats, cheeses and toppings.

Similarly, the menu shows several promising sauces with titles such as Blazing Bleu, Celtic Cranberry, Robust Rootbeer and Pink Lady. But no description is given, making it difficult to deduce composition or flavor. When we asked our server how the Pink Lady tasted, she replied that while she didn’t know, it sure looked good.

Priced at $7.95, the sandwiches, while acceptable, are on the smallish side.

As for the “Drink” in Austin’s Food & Drink, categories cover soft drinks, tea, coffee, beer, wine and specialties such as fruit smoothies ($3), Coke floats ($2), orange sherbet floats ($2) and milkshakes ($2.50). Regrettably, our chocolate milkshake was forgotten by the server and/or the kitchen.

A few tweaks to intent and service, and perhaps Austin’s outlook may improve.

That would make the decision to return a much easier choice.