Iconic Sioux Falls Restaurants: Whiffer’s Sandwiches
The Merriam-Webster definition of iconic is "widely recognized and well-established." That would definitely describe Whiffer's Sandwiches on North Minnesota Avenue.
The sandwich shop, located in an old house at 1133 North Minnesota Avenue, has been serving sandwiches to Sioux Falls since November 1978. The little shop is owned by Whiffer Randall - real name Cecelia Randall. How did she get the name Whiffer? It's a name given to her when she was just a baby. A relative called her Little Whiffer and the name stuck.
Before Whiffer opened the restaurant the building had been someone's home, a political headquarters and a western dress shop.
Whiffer has quite the resume. She has a master's degree from Augustana College and was a teacher. At one time, she owned a dress shop in the Park Ridge Mall called Cecelia's. She's even a former Mrs. South Dakota, winning the national title of Mrs. Congeniality.
Whiffer's is known for large portions. You can order a whole, half or mini sandwich. I will warn you, the whole sandwich is huge. It's big enough for two people - or one hungry radio D.J. Choose your bread, meat, cheese and toppings or order one of the special sandwiches on the menu like the Blue Max with corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, cheese and onion. Or, maybe you're a tuna salad, cheese and cucumber lover - then, you would order the Pedlar. The Humdinger is a popular sandwich with roast beef, ham, turkey, cheese and onion. You can add a bag of chips, some potato salad or homemade dessert to your order. Cans of pop are in the cooler at the end of the counter. The cooler looks like it's been there since Whiffer opened the eatery.
That's part of the appeal of Whiffer's. The nostalgia. Aside from the pig decor that is literally everywhere around the restaurant, there are antiques scattered throughout. From the trays that the desserts sit on to the salt and pepper shakers, everything has a retro vibe. Seating includes mismatched chairs around wooden cable spools and a few picnic tables.
There are Norman Rockwell prints decorating the dining room along with framed newspaper clippings featuring Whiffer.
So, what's the story behind the pigs? The collection is completely unintentional. Several years ago Whiffer was gifted a Miss Piggy doll and her collection grew from there. She's never bought one piece of pig decor. It's all been given to her.
The sandwich shop is only open from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Monday through Fridays. Whiffer closes for vacation once in a while, so you may want to call ahead if you have your heart set on a Humdinger sandwich.