Last Updated on April 2, 2023 by Tabraiz
A sandwich for many is a great and yet convenient lunch staple, and the Italian sub is one great sandwich. It’s extremely yummy and popular, and it’s a favorite staple in various lunchtime menus.
That may have been a surprise to the original makers of the early Italian subs. After all, the Italian sub started out as a cheap sandwich with cured cold cuts, made by working-class Italian immigrants living along the East Coast.
The ideal Italian sub features high-quality ingredients, properly complementing the smoky, salty tastes of the meat with the right amount of cheese and the ideal combination of pickled and fresh vegetables. The choice of bread is also a factor, as the wrong bread can turn the whole thing into a disaster. It has to be freshly baked and full of flavor. It has to maintain its soft center and its gentle outer crust.
Today, plenty of small, family-owned restaurants proudly boast of their terrific Italian sub concoctions. But quite a few sandwich chain restaurants also offer excellent Italian subs as well. Not all Italian subs are equal, but you’re getting your money’s worth and more when you get these particular Italian subs from these specific sandwich chain restaurants:
Jersey Mike’s Original Italian
The main feature of this Italian sub is the 5 meats, namely pepperoni, salami, capicola, prosciuttini, and ham. With the additional cold cuts, this is already turning out great.
It also has provolone, and then you can customize the sandwich with whatever additional toppings you might want. Or you can just go with the famous “Mike’s Way”, which means adding some tomatoes, lettuce, onions, Italian herbs, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
Here, the bread is perfect. The thickness is just right, with ample body to hold everything in and absorb a little of the extra juice. It’s also fresh and quite full of flavor.
The toppings and condiments are also nicely spread out, so you get a delicious bite each time. The cured meats offer a nice pop of briny heat, while you can also enjoy the yumminess of the hot pepper relish.
Capriotti’s Grilled Italian Sub
Capriotti’s started out in 1976, and in a few decades, it has grown to lots of locations all over the US. What made the brand special is its insistence on slowly roasting entire turkeys overnight for their sandwiches. This bright yet simple idea is what makes all of Capriotti’s sub sandwiches so special, especially the ones with turkey meat.
But even without the turkey, their subs are just wonderful, and their grilled Italian sub is a definitive example. They serve it hot, while it features premium Genoa salami, prosciuttini, and capicola. Then they add the fried onions, tomato, lettuce, and melted provolone cheese, and the bread is great.
These deli meats are all of high quality, and when paired with the terrific bread, it’s already one of the best subs you’ll ever find in a major restaurant chain. Adding the fried onions with their subtle sweetness offers a nice flavor contrast to the smoky saltiness of the Italian cold cuts. With the gorgeously melted provolone cheese, this is just one of the best Italian subs you’ll find at any chain restaurant.
Publix Italian Sub
It seems like Publix hit upon a no-brainer idea of partnering their chain of grocery stores with deli subs, so that their customers can enjoy the fresh ingredients. Their Italian sub features 2 types of ham along with Genoa salami, then you pick your cheese type (even a specialty cheese) and enjoy everything in the freshly baked hoagie.
While you can always go with the good Publix meats, you have the option to opt for the somewhat more expensive but also superior Boar Head’s meats. The baked loaves of bread are also great, but they’re truly at their best when you enjoy them fresh out of the oven.
With the always-fresh veggies that offer a crisp addition to the Italian sub, this is a fantastic choice.
McAlister’s Italian Sandwich
It’s been around since 1989, and now McAlister’s has more than 400 locations spread out across 28 states. It’s quite famous for its premium sweet tea and expansive menu.
But you really should try their Italian Sandwich. You get salami and Black Forest ham with provolone cheese, along with black olives, red onions, tomatoes, greens, and house-roasted peppers. You then have the baguette with the balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, and spicy brown mustard, and you have yourself one heck of an Italian sub.
The flavors of the cured meats match up nicely with the additional depth of flavor offered by the balsamic vinaigrette and the freshly roasted peppers, with the balsamic vinaigrette hints of prune, cherry, and molasses that complement the cold cuts. Then the spicy brown mustard adds that pungent spiciness that enhances the overall flavor, while it also balances out the fruity flavors of the vinaigrette.
All in all, this is a solid choice that you can’t miss!
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