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Rediscovering the endangered five-dollar sandwich

Grabbing and going through Little Italy.

The simple, satisfactory and affordable Grab & Go Sub. Grab & Go Subs.
The simple, satisfactory and affordable Grab & Go Sub. Grab & Go Subs.
Place

Grab & Go Little Italy

2102 India Street, San Diego

Easy to spot on a busy street, and easy to ignore, apparently.

I've driven by Grab & Go Subs I don't know how many times over the years, driving down Hawthorne into Little Italy, or on my way to the airport. I never once stopped prior to last week, when I finally bit on the allure of a 5 dollar lunch.

I have to admit I'm surprised to find out there are eleven of these little sandwich shops around town, beginning with one inside nearby Mimmo's Italian Village, and including several downtown and others in Clairemont Mesa, El Cajon, Santee, Grantville and Kearny Mesa. Here I've passed this one dozens of times, yet somehow the rest manage to exist in corners of the city I simply never see. Or maybe ignoring this India Street location for so long instilled in me a special blindness to the words Grab and Go.

Including this sandwich special, the appropriately named Grab & Go Sub. Five bucks nets a simple Italian sub: mortadella, cotto salami, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, onions, oil and vinegar. It's nothing remarkable, other than the promise of "home baked bread" and low price.

Call it what you will, as long as this foot long hero/grinder/hero/hoagie sub is only 5 bucks.

See, were this a 7 or 8 dollar sandwich, I'd say it was alright, on the plus side of average. But give me a throwback price and a lingering personal affection for budget-friendly Italian lunch meats, and I'm going to call it pretty good. Even a qualified, highly contextual great, considering the preservative-free bread gives it a solid foundation that other sub chains seem content to replace with aromatic additives.

I'm guessing this is meant to be a sort of intro price, convincing cheapskates like yours truly to dive in next time for one of the regularly priced subs, which go for more like seven to ten bucks, depending how many meats and cheeses you feel like piling on, and how melty it should be. This might even work, and I may even opt to grab and stay sometime. However, for the moment I'm satisfied with the knowledge I can snare a satisfying five buck lunch that isn't a burrito or two slices of pizza.

Frankly, now that I finally realize such a sub's available on the cheap, I'm thinking I could wolf it down between here and the airport terminal next time I fly. A similar sandwich there would cost a great deal more and taste half as good. With the money I save doing that, I might afford to eat better next time.

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The simple, satisfactory and affordable Grab & Go Sub. Grab & Go Subs.
The simple, satisfactory and affordable Grab & Go Sub. Grab & Go Subs.
Place

Grab & Go Little Italy

2102 India Street, San Diego

Easy to spot on a busy street, and easy to ignore, apparently.

I've driven by Grab & Go Subs I don't know how many times over the years, driving down Hawthorne into Little Italy, or on my way to the airport. I never once stopped prior to last week, when I finally bit on the allure of a 5 dollar lunch.

I have to admit I'm surprised to find out there are eleven of these little sandwich shops around town, beginning with one inside nearby Mimmo's Italian Village, and including several downtown and others in Clairemont Mesa, El Cajon, Santee, Grantville and Kearny Mesa. Here I've passed this one dozens of times, yet somehow the rest manage to exist in corners of the city I simply never see. Or maybe ignoring this India Street location for so long instilled in me a special blindness to the words Grab and Go.

Including this sandwich special, the appropriately named Grab & Go Sub. Five bucks nets a simple Italian sub: mortadella, cotto salami, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoncinis, onions, oil and vinegar. It's nothing remarkable, other than the promise of "home baked bread" and low price.

Call it what you will, as long as this foot long hero/grinder/hero/hoagie sub is only 5 bucks.

See, were this a 7 or 8 dollar sandwich, I'd say it was alright, on the plus side of average. But give me a throwback price and a lingering personal affection for budget-friendly Italian lunch meats, and I'm going to call it pretty good. Even a qualified, highly contextual great, considering the preservative-free bread gives it a solid foundation that other sub chains seem content to replace with aromatic additives.

I'm guessing this is meant to be a sort of intro price, convincing cheapskates like yours truly to dive in next time for one of the regularly priced subs, which go for more like seven to ten bucks, depending how many meats and cheeses you feel like piling on, and how melty it should be. This might even work, and I may even opt to grab and stay sometime. However, for the moment I'm satisfied with the knowledge I can snare a satisfying five buck lunch that isn't a burrito or two slices of pizza.

Frankly, now that I finally realize such a sub's available on the cheap, I'm thinking I could wolf it down between here and the airport terminal next time I fly. A similar sandwich there would cost a great deal more and taste half as good. With the money I save doing that, I might afford to eat better next time.

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