Susie’s Sub Shop….and The Sub-Dude Series
Posted by cmh gourmand on October 21, 2012
Susie’s Sub shop is not in one of the showcase neighborhoods of Columbus. It is buried on Weber Road in an area that is lightly traveled other than by those that call the area home. The place came to my attention when an acquaintance who lives a block away said he had heard it was a great place but had not visited in the eight or more years he has lived near by. I did a few drive-bys and noticed a couple promising indicators: the sign says family owned since 1959 and I see cops eating there. These two elements combined mean the place is Old School in a good way.
I first time I tried out Susie’s was in the winter on the way home from a very long day at work. I called and asked a few questions about their subs. The guy on the phone told me I should start at the top and get a Big John. This is their standard traditional sub with smoked Italian Sausage piled on top.
When I arrived, the sub was still cooking and the place was dead so I had an opportunity to case out the vibe of the establishment. The decor is late 1960′s or early 1970′s. Neither the inside or the outside are distinguishing and might be described as a bit run down. There is nothing fancy about the place. There are two high serving counters, no one in a uniform and almost all the business is carry out. The guy behind the counter was friendly and happy to share some facts about the shop. Susie’s has not been in the same location since 1959 (it has that character) but the business has always been in the neighborhood. They use locally produced Auddino’s rolls and buns purchased fresh every day. They purchase the Italian sausage from a local company as well – it is a lot more expensive than the competitions but they continue to carry it because the customers love it so much.
What really struck a chord with me was the montage of hundreds of customer photos that permeate the place. You can see a lot of photos taken over time showing fans at different ages and seasons hugging employees. The community connection ad loyalty this little sub shop has is not what I would have expected to see from either side of the counter if I was just driving by.
On my first trip, I picked up a small pizza (good), a pasta dish (serviceable) and a Big John. The Big John is the epitome of what I want, need and expect in a classic cub. It is served on good, toasted bread which crunchy on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. The cost per portion size is a great value. The ingredients are well-distributed throughout the submarine. The meats and cheese are cooked just to the point before being overcooked. The ham salami and pepperoni have a great flavor and grilled appeal. The cheese is melted with some crunchy and charred sections clinging to the butt ends of the sub. The sausage is grilled, then placed on the sub and sliced in half. It is well spiced and seasoned. This is a manly meal.
I made subs at my first place of employment as a teenager. I had two years to experiment and play with subology so I have high standards. Susie’s Sub Shop meets and exceeds any standard I have so I am using this business to launch the Sub-Dude Series. In the past year, I decided that the sub of the common man deserved a reevaluation so I have tried to sample as many as I could think of in town. I found a few good ones, a few bad ones and one great one….which is at Susie’s Sub Shop. This is the standard by which all other subs will be held to as I write about some of the best ones over the next six to twelve months. This time you are starting at the end of the story with the results of my research instead of sharing the journey with me along the way.