According to Anthony Bourdain, firemen make some of the best food around because they have some sort of crazy camaraderie in which they are always cooking for each other. Maybe Firehouse Subs came from that. Or maybe it was because some firemen wanted to make some extra cash and thought it would be a good schtick. Either way, Firehouse Subs exists and I finally tried it out in the middle of Palm Desert.
Peppi’s Subs, which has a few locations around Pittsburgh, has a little (big) sandwich called The Roethlisburger (or #7 depending on who you ask). I’m not sure how the sub shop attracted clientele between 1983 and 2004 when Big Ben arrived in Pittsburgh, but I was in no mood to find out when I paid Peppi’s in the Strip District a visit.
Apparently Winghart’s in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Market Square had itself a bit of a fire problem. Unfortunately I didn’t realize this when I wen down to try one of their famous burgers. Yet, having made the trek already I ended up eating at DiBella’s, an “old fashioned” sub place. I could imagine that it was a pretty popular lunch spot, but at night it was completely dead.
It’s easy to make a sandwich special by putting unique items into it. I still applaud places like that, but it something even more special to take a pretty basic sandwich and make it exceptional. I always loved Bay Cities for doing this in LA (in no small part because of the bread), and while it is nothing at all like Bay Cities, I have found a place that follows the same mold in Buffalo. It is called John & Mary’s Subs, and while it seems like your average Buffalo subs and tacos spot, I found my sub to be much more.
Mexican food and subs seems to be a combination prevalent in Buffalo. In trying to account for this, I’ve come to the conclusion that both are delicious after a few drinks. Still, a lot of things are delicious after tossing a few back, so I’m not quite sure how this combination formed. Nonetheless, the curiosity brought me to Elmwood Taco & Subs in Elmwood Village, where they have another surprise to throw in with the tacos and sandies.
As an attempt to mix up the sandwich scene from the usual Quizno’s and Subway, I took a ride out to Jersey Mike’s Subs in Hawthorne. The inside of the place was pretty similar to the typical sub place, so I was a little disappointed. I hoped that the sandwiches would at least be different. I had heard they had great Philly Cheese Steaks despite being from Jersey, so I was planning on getting one of those. It wasn’t easy, though, because they had some really good-looking sandwiches.
A few years ago, Subway changed the name of the “Meatball” sub to the “Meatball Marinara.” I’m not sure why this particular change occurred. Maybe it was to placate healthy people who would be more attracted to the word “marinara.” I never felt this was a particularly bad thing, after all, rebranding to increase sales is a huge component of our capitalistic system.
That all changed when I went to the Subway at Pico and La Cienega. I ordered a Meatball Marinara sub on Italian herbs and cheese bread, with provolone and parmesan cheese. It seemed like such a great idea, until I started watching the man behind the counter make my sub.