Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sub Hunting

Michael and I are on a quest. We are going to find the perfect sub sandwich if it kills us. I've eaten 3 subs in the last days, but I won't rest till I find the best!

My family has been lamenting the death of the "Gearsbeck Sub" for some time now. Gearsbeck's was a gas station/convenience store in my hometown. They had the best subs in town. Those suckers were jam packed with meat, and then crammed wtih lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, and italian dressing. They were so big, you couldn't fit your mouth around them. They were so big, you could only eat a half (or a 6 incher to the uninitiated). You only had your choice of ham, turkey, or roast beef, but it didn't matter. What they lacked in variety, they more than made up for in quality.

But the owner sold the business and left town. A new family took over, and while they still have subs, they're just average. Nothing special.

Now I live in Virginia. The independent sub shop is becoming a thing of the past. We've got Subway, Quiznos... But I want to find something to rival those damned subs.

And the funny thing is, it's hard to find cold subs! Everyone's into toasting things around here.

So last weekend we started. We eliminated Subway and Quizno's, as we had been to both and knew what they had to offer. Quizno's is way too expensive, and Subway is fine for a quick meal, but having worked there, I know we can do better. So we went to a place called Zero's, since we had a buy one get one free coupon.

Apparently, Zero's might also be a chain, but we'd never heard of them and never been there. I doubt we'll go back. They're another hot sub place, and this time they even put my mayo through the toaster. I thought I was gonna gag. The place was OK, on a par with Quizno's, but also quite expensive (even with the BOGO coupon, our bill was over $15). Michael loved their tomato sauce. He's giving everyone a fair shot--ordering meatball subs wherever we go, but I am having a harder time since I just want to find a good turkey sub and the places we've gone to only have tuna or chicken salad as cold subs. AUGH!

Ok, so the next day we went to Firehouse Subs. This was Subway's chief competitor when I was slinging sandwiches in Little Rock. Again, hot subs, again, not that amazing. Michael preferred Zero's sauce, and I was just glad not to eat hot mayo. The total bill was $15 without any specials, so that was nice. Unfortunately, no cold subs except chicken or tuna salad, so I tried the chicken salad. They put enough on the sandwich that it was falling off, but it wasn't so great that I really wanted to eat it all anyway (my sister's chicken salad is to die for, so chicken salad really has to wow me, and this didn't).

Ok, so we'd exhausted the chains. That left the one local joint we could find, which we went to tonight: Cap'n Sids Subs and Sandwiches.

Now, silly me, I was thinking that if I were a local guy up against a bunch of chains, I'd be busting my butt to make sure I made the best damned subs in the universe.

Not Cap'n Sid, who was most definitely not named Sid, nor was he a Cap'n. He was a pissed off little Chinese man. Michael got the meatballs again and I ordered the Italian. It was kind of confusing to know what was on the sandwiches, since the signboard had been kind of thrown up there and mentioned a few things like "pcheese" and "a" that came with your sandwich. But whatever. So my Italian came with "Salami and Ham and Genoa Salami" but when I got it, there was bologna on it, and I most definitely hate bologna. Disappointment #1. Michael's sandwich was just OK, and he was very disappointed with the small thing of fries. The place seems to be a magnet for middle aged men. I thought it was the worst place we've been to thus far. Michael thought that perhaps it would be a bit harsh to say that, but he wasn't that crazy about it either.

We've decided we have to move further afield to find the right place. I'll try to find some places on my varied travels around VA and hopefully we'll find something good. There's a NoVa chain called Jerry's that has pretty decent subs, but I want an AWESOME sub. We won't rest till we find it!

7 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Melissa said...

Fredricksburg USED to have the BEST sub place - i know I prob shouldn't even mention it but I just have too...Jersey Mikes. They had THE MOST AWESOME SUBS EVER. We had one in Cincinnati and I was thrilled to find it in Fred (it was by Ukrops - in the same strip mall as the cheap dry cleaner - now it's some pizza joint) and would go to Fred just to get a sub...was so sad when they were gone. :(

I know it's really really far afield, but try Wegemans. I have really liked their subs - and they have cold subs. I got one that I liked the 1st time, but the 2nd time it had some kind of slimy meat on it - once I picked that out it was all good...gotta figure out what that was so I don't get it again! If you like Wegeman's never fear - Fall '08 they are opening a store in Woodbridge...right across from Potomac Hospital, near Thomas'

I posted my armchair traveler reading choices...check my blog...

Talmadge G. said...

I know it's not up that way, but Savannah has a small homegrown sub chain you both need to try next time you're in our neighborhood. It's called Baldino's "Giant Jersey" Subs.

I love their hot roast beef sub.

-TG

Seraphim9 said...

Darn it, Talmadge.....now you got me wanting some Baldino's. Mmm-MMM! You forgot to mention that they make their own bread. None of that crusty, hard, chewy ciabbatta crap, this is good, white, soft, Italian bread that kind of reminds me of the rolls we used to get in the school cafeteria. I like the All-American - turkey, ham, roast beef, cheese. Sometimes I get their chicken salad, which is also excellent. I, like you, am a chicken salad snob. Don't give me any of that stuff from the plastic bucket that you bought from Sam's Club or Costco!

Now, my quest around here for a long time was to find the world's best BBQ. I think that will be the topic of my next blog entry.....coming soon! :)

Kate/Susan said...

You guys are making me even more determined than ever! :-) And hungry.

Melissa: We saw Jersey Mike's in Myrtle Beach, but didn't go there. If I had but known...

Tal: We'll be down. Keep the roast beef hot for us :)

Sera: There's a place in F'burg called Allman's, which is the creme de la creme of BBQ places for the locals. It was one of 2 places we were told to go when we moved here. I think it's OK, but the best BBQ I ever had was in Little Rock.

Lesley said...

I think it must depend on the JM location, because we tried one down here and it was just OK - nothing special, on par with Subway.

Do you have Publix supermarkets up there? We have one near us and they make the best subs we've ever eaten. They put everyone else to shame. We'll definitely get some when you come down!

And warm mayo? Ew.

Lauren said...

Next time you're near my house, check out "The Deli" in the shopping center at Jermantown Rd. and 29 (where the Kmart is). GREAT Italian subs.

The Amazing Mister Marvel said...

For chain-made subs, you can't beat Jersey Mike's.