CMH Gourmand

Culinary Discovery & Misadventures in the Ice Cream Capital of the World (Columbus)

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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.

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8 Responses to “Susie’s Sub Shop….and The Sub-Dude Series”

  1. Dennis Hughes said

    Susie’s has been the place to go for subs for my family for as long as I can remember. It was the first place I drove to after I got my license almost 30 years ago. When they went out of business in their original location at the intersection of Weber and Westerville Rd my heart was broken. Many years later I was driving around the neighborhood after a storm and found that they had reopened in their new location near Weber and McGuffy. Now I’m a father and can take my kids to enjoy the same place I grew up on.

  2. Molly Bateman said

    Thank you for taking the time to stop into our little sub shop. I am the owner and with mostly all family working there, you may walk into a random family spat but most people are entertained by it. We are truly genuine about the love for our customers and the area we are located in. You are correct, it is a hole in the wall and nothing fancy but we keep it clean and do our best to be consistent and serve good food at reasonable prices. We are pleased that you enjoyed the Big John. That is a tribute to my brother who loved “big food” and that fits the bill for sure. Please feel free to stop in anytime. We take pride in our family business and will put out the best food that we possibly can. Thank you again for your business.

  3. Oh thats my favorite sub also the big John being its named after my brother Johnnie Bateman my familys buisness they love the customers and the customers love them and my family takes pride in the food they serve to the public only the finest goes into there products and the family thanks you for your visit and kind comments glad you enjoyed and hope to see you again soon!

  4. Lori Kamberling said

    My fiance and I are so happy that Susie’s sub shop is back. We use to frequent the place when it was next to the Tip Top, and were saddened when it closed. I was driving in the old neighborhood and noticed the sign, and became exited to know that they are back. The best subs I have ever eaten, and the pizza is great as well. Thanks for coming back to the old neighborhood. Thanks for staying the same over all the years. I wouldn’t have you change a thing!!!

  5. Cheryl Allen said

    Susie’s is truly a family business! With cousins working side by side almost everyday taking pride in what they serve. If it does not meet thier very high standards they will not serve it! They have the best meatballs in town! I’m proud to say that both my Son Michael,his cousin Joe, & my sister in law Molly take PRIDE & love what they do and their goal to make sure that they are the best & that they get repeat customers beause it was too GOOD!

  6. Hazel said

    I no longer live in Ohio but grew up eating your subs. They were the best I had. I have searched for years in Florida where I have live for some time. I found a place that comes close to yours but you are still the best.

  7. Julie Karpuk said

    The subs and pizza are great. Not a fancy place. Just good food and not skimpy with it either.

  8. Mike Bussard said

    If God made a better sandwich, he kept it for himself. As a 40 year customer, I have never found a reason to try anything else. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

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