I always enjoyed sub sandwiches growing up. Some meat, veggies, and cheese on a good Italian sub roll, and I’m ready to go. It’s really not a difficult concept, but as I’ve learned in my many years living in different states, and traveling around, there’s actually an art form to making a decent sub. It’s an art hasn’t been discovered everywhere, since several places I’ve lived (Michigan, Tennessee, and Minnesota, in particular) had items called subs, that while often decent, weren’t really in the same category as a proper Italian sub. The meat wouldn’t be right (Oscar Meyer ham does not a good sub make). And most importantly, a good sub also requires the right bread (and half of my challenge of making my own subs has been finding decent bread!).
For a good sub, however, the best action is the middle eastern seaboard. New Jersey is well-recognized as having good shops, as are Pennsylvania (see my recent review on Tony Luke’s; one thing the Italian-American bakers of Philly can do is a good roll) and Maryland. But the real gem is Delaware, and the home of truly good subs, IMHO, is actually Wilmington, Delaware. Wilmington is choc-a-bloc little Italian-run sub shops, and it’s really hard to get a bad sub in that city.
Unfortunately, I didn’t stop in Wilmington this trip. But luckily, Capriotti’s, one of Wilmington’s best-regarded sub shops, has an outpost in Rehoboth Beach (amongst other locations, since Capriotti’s empire extends to 12 states now, including Nevada and Utah). But since we were in Rehoboth Beach, and it was lunchtime, and Capriotti’s was right across from out hotel, we went there for lunch.
If you look up Capriotti’s, you’ll see that they are most famous for The Bobbie[tm], which is a turkey sub with stuffing on it (what folks back here in NH call a “Thanksgiving Sub”). I’m always a little surprised by that, because I’ve had several Bobbies, and while decent enough, I never thought them all that special (indeed, I’ve always found the stuffing a bit dry). But despite building their fortunes on such a novelty sub, they haven’t shorted the rest of the menu, having a very good selection of basic Italian deli subs.
Because of this, I decided to playing it straight, and got an Italian sub. The result, shown here, at first glance, doesn’t look much different than your run-of-the-mill Italian sub. But if you look into it a bit more, there’s some substance here. Gone are the typical generic “ham” and “salami” of a typical sub joint sub, instead, this sub is packed with good meats. Genoa salami, that actually looks like something you’d buy at a deli. Capacolla with a good herbal crust on it. And prosciutini. Lightly dressed with oil. Lettuce, tomato, onion, and a light oil dressing, and it’s done. Nothing complicated, nothing elaborate. Just good meat, some provolone, and fresh veggies on a bun.