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How NOT to Make a Submarine Sandwich

Sub Can anyone identify what is wrong with the submarine sandwich you see in the picture to the right? Check out all the meat that's in one corner of the sub.

Knowing how NOT to make a submarine sandwich is just as important as how to make a good sub

I admit that I have a bias when it comes to submarine sandwiches. My first job was "making subs" and scooping ice cream. They would relentlessly remind us to "make sure everything on that sub lays even and flat!" The picture above is a regular occurrence at a number of sub shops. (The submarine sandwich picture is from one of the most revered sub shops in Rochester, New York.)

Bad sub construction is a problem that plagues the sandwich industry on a daily basis.  A simple change in how a submarine sandwich is made can make all the difference between a lousy sub and a great one.

What's the Big Deal?

Here's my rub . . . When you are paying good money for a submarine sandwich the meat SHOULDN'T be rolled up in one corner and your vegetables and condiments in another corner. What ends up happening is you go from biting between an all meat sandwich to a veggie sub. This happens all the time.

The shame about the submarine pictured above is that everything else about the sandwich is great.  The meat and the vegetables are always fresh and the bread is excellent.  It all comes down to a matter of laying everything flat.

Get Your Sub Made Right!
Here's how to make sure you sub is made to taste great. When you go to order your sub, make the following request:

"Can you do me a favor? Make sure when you put the meat on the sub that everything lays flat when you close it up.

In most cases people are happy to oblige.

Lay It Flat and Even
My request to the submarine shop industry is this: Make sure when you close up your submarine sandwich that everything lays flat.  That means that the meat and toppings aren't crammed into opposite corners.  It makes a huge difference in taste.

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Tower Deli

You have a point. We pay right to get delicious food that's prepared right. A sandwich should be done the way a full course meal is prepared. Food can give nourishment but it should also be a feast for the eyes.


Good post. liked it.


I had to laugh when I saw that photo - my first REAL job was making subs and pizzas, and delivering them. If I'd made one like that, I'd have been fired on the spot!!


i couldnt agree with this article more. My other observances of lousy subs: when they lay the meat in it with the roll opening on top... also, nobody seems to know how to layer the meat anymore. They just lay it in there as it comes off the slicer. Good sub shops know how to roll and fold the meats delicately over themselves to allow for air between the slices. When places dont do this, its out of sheer laziness or naivete or a little of both.

Roman Jakubowycz


Please leave the Greatest Sub Sandwiches the World will ever know ALONE!!! The Godfather Rocks!!!

Eugene Loj

I deny it ... I asked them to "please make sure the meat isn't crammed into one corner." The picture shows what I was given.


I believe that you knew a certain sub shop would make the sub in this manner and instead of correcting it at the sub shop, you left it as is so that you could have material for this blog. Please confirm or deny.

Eugene Loj


If my knowledge servers me correctly; grinders, hoagies, and heroes are all from the submarine sandwich family. They are called differently because of local colloquialisms and different ingredients. The basic construction of each is the same. You need to lay the meat and other items flat.


Eugene, what about grinders, hogies and heroes? Is there a difference in their construction, or is that a topic for another article?

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