Subs-N-Such. Your friendly neighborhood submarine sandwich emporium. They will provide you with both subs and such. And they do both so well. Subs-N-Such is a little mom & pop joint on the corner of Livingston and Bearss in Lutz. And if nobody ever told you about it, you’d probably never see it.
It’s small. So very small. You might wanna just pick some subs up and run. They have some tables in there, and seating reminiscent of classrooms from elementary school. There is a small counter behind which the staff works tirelessly to bring you subs… ‘n such. The most noteworthy feature of the shop are the millions upon millions of bottles of old sodas. BUT I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF!
PART 1: THE SUBS
Part one of the Subs-N-Such model is the “subs”. By which they mean sandwiches. Many, many sandwiches. How many many, you ask? Well, they have three different types of Italian subs. That’s how many. Stop asking so many questions. Look at their menu. You can download the .pdf, or request they fax you a copy! Fantastic.
When I go to Subs-N-Such for a sub, I often will get one of their Italians. Classic sandwiches. But they also have some more interesting options. The Dagwood, for instance, has ham, salami, roast beef, turkey, and roast pork, with swiss, american, and provolone cheeses… my god. They also have something quite unique called The Greek Sub, with salami and ham, lettuce, tomato, onions, black olives, Greek peppers and dressing, and feta cheese. Surprisingly delicious.
The most simple and quite possibly best sandwich they offer is the classic Cuban. Available in four sizes (7″, 9″, 12″, and a full yard of sandwich), they put together a really solid Cuban sandwich. And they’re cheap, too, between 4 and 6 bucks for the regular size ones, and 17 bucks for a yard of Cuban goodness. They make them the traditional way, with ham, salami, roast pork, swiss, pickles and mustard, but you can ask for whatever you want on them (if you’re into ruining a classic)… (which you are). (How dare you put mayo on a Cuban)
You can see the delicious layers of meat. The pork is sliced rather than shredded or pulled, which is fine, but not preferred (by myself, at least). All the meats are pretty decent deli quality, as are the cheese and toppings. As I said, it’s a solid Cuban sandwich. They will press it with butter for fifty cents, which is always worth it. The bread is fresh and flaky, and perfectly crisp when pressed. A great sandwich if you’re in the mood for it. But it is not the best Cuban i’ve had in Tampa; that honor still goes to Ruben’s Cubans’ Cuban sandwich.
…so what? Subs don’t impress you? Is that not enough for a simple sandwich shop? Alright. Fine. Let’s discuss…
PART 2: THE SUCH
Once again, the first thing you’ll notice when you walk into Subs-N-Such are the rows and rows of old collectible soda bottles lining the walls, unopened and boasting advertisements for Super Bowls long past, college sports teams, racing cars… pretty much all sports. Large soda-themed memorabilia decorates the store. This is a hint about what the “such” in Subs-N-Such represents. It’s like a soda consignment shop. It’s crazy. Obviously these people appreciate a fine soda. And this is nowhere more evident than in their drink selection.
Sodas sodas sodas. As far as the eye can see. Subs-N-Such features a huge selection of sodas that you will find nowhere else in Tampa. It’s a soda specialty shop. If you appreciate soda even in the slightest, you will delight in this. The majority of their sodas are from independent soda makers, many of which use pure cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup in sweetening the drinks. You’ll find some you will be familiar with (Dad’s Rootbeer, Boylan’s Sodas, Stewart’s, RC), but the majority are going to be brands you’ve never heard of, sodas you can’t find anywhere in Florida (Cheerwine, anyone?), or sodas you’d never even imagined existed. And the stock seems to be constantly rotating, so there will always be something new and interesting to try.
On one of my more recent visits to Subs-N-Such, I asked if a particular soda favorite of mine (Bubble Up) was going to be back in stock any time soon. One of the employees told me that their soda stock has kind of dwindled lately, and that they are concentrating on buying drinks that sell more reliably. That is understandable, but a bit saddening. Regardless, their soda stock for outguns any nearby shop I can think of. And as a lover of soda, I appreciate this.
In fact, in an effort to expand my soft drink horizons, and as an excuse to buy more sodas, I will be starting a special series called “The Sodas of Subs-N-Such“, in which I will attempt to review all the different sodas they offer at Subs-N-Such. Let’s hope I don’t lose all of my teeth doing this.
So yes. Subs-N-Such. Sodas and sandwiches. A must visit, I think. One of my favorite spots.