Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Publix Sub

There are a number of things I really miss in the South: Manuel's Tavern, the Starlight Drive In, Athens and my extended Athens-ATL group of friends, real barbeque, Athens Penal League. Somewhere in that list, though, lies that staple of countless evenings that followed long workdays and/or accompanied extended time on the couch for a baseball game, the Publix sub. I really miss the Publix sub. I haven't found anything like it out here. In fact, I didn't really find anything like it back home.
There's something about the interaction of that just dense enough sub roll with the right amount of meat and a disciplined amount of toppings that can sometimes blow the authentic panini or the Caliente Cab cuban completely out of the water. When I first tried the Publix sub I did it the wrong way. For whatever reason, I tried to completely weigh it down with a mound everything offered as a topping: lettuce, tomato, onion, three types of peppers, olives, salt, pepper, drowned in olive oil and vinegar, blah, blah, blah. And you know what? It tasted exactly like that, a big mound of everything, or maybe a big mound of nothing.
Somewhere along the way I discovered, as with pizza, that discretion can be good. From here on out I did it the right way: turkey and ham with provolone or swiss, topped with black olives, green peppers, banana peppers, scattered jalapenos, light mayo, heavy spicy mustard, oregano, onion, a few pickles, and (maybe) light olive lettuce to soften up the bread and mush into a pulp, no tomato to distract from the interplay of the flavors and textures of the other ingredients. WOW! There I found MY sandwich. And there I plan on finding my sandwich at some point next Thanksgiving when I return to visit. For all the tacquerias, sushi spots, Thai Elvises, and dumpling houses in LA, there's still no Publix sub.


Blogger Huevos McGringo said...

this is an inspired post.

i usually opt for the ultimate on wheat, with pepperjack. but i do usually get lettuce and tomato, and am intrigued by the prospect of trying it out sans those ingredients and their soaking power.

the last couple times i've hit one up, they've offered a basil mayo. needless to say, this has been a positive development.

5/14/2008 2:54 PM  
Blogger il Gatto Grande said...

This post inspired me to get a publix sub, which I am eating right this second. I dropped the tomatos, but kept the lettuce, and it does cut down on the wateriness quite a bit.

5/14/2008 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ultimate is a strong play. I used to go with the ultimate but for some reason switched over. the Italian sub is another winner. glad to have had some part in your lunch choice big cat.

5/14/2008 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got your recommended sub last night for dinner, J.K, and it was a glorious night for me and my stomach and everybody else involved. Thanks for the recommendation.

-J. Fallis

5/15/2008 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're welcome JF. by the way, your picture was in the LA Weekly last week. some band was trying to take advantage of your fame.

5/15/2008 10:53 AM  

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