From the $5 footlong to Jimmy John’s Vito, America has a lofty list of sandwich shops that tout the best thing between sliced bread. Despite their claims, a national site has proclaimed that the sub sandwich seventh heaven can be found at the deli of a popular grocery store.
Even though Florida is renowned for its Cuban sandwich, popular in Tampa and Miami, Thrillist, a culture and entertainment site, recently lauded a sandwich first introduced in Lakeland, Florida.
The best sandwich in America is served up at Publix locations across the country, according to a recent post by Thrillist. The simple sub sandwich during any lunch hour on the East Coast down to the South causes a bit of a pile up in the Publix deli section. The sandwiches are such a hit they’ve garnered a dedicated Facebook page.
“The sandwich is not fancy, but that is precisely the appeal. Instead of being showy, they are always high-quality and reliable,” Thrillist writer Jason Diamond wrote.
According to Thrillist, the story behind how the Pub Sub came to be is quite practical. The grocer’s owners saw the sub as a new way to make money in the 1980s in light of the popularity of Subway and Quiznos.
The grinder is offered with Publix’s house deli meat or (for a bit more) you can get cuts from the popular Boar’s Head brand. The bread is baked in-house, and customers often top each one with fresh vegetables−lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and black olives− from the grocer’s produce section.
Ariello Castillo, a native Floridian and reporter for Major League Soccer, compared the delight of the sub to the overall pleasantry of visiting a Publix supermarket
"If you're getting a Publix sandwich, it also means you're visiting Publix, which in my humble opinion is one of the best developments of late capitalism," Castillo told Thrillist. "For the most part, everything in a Publix − largely regardless of neighborhood − is shiny, clean, abundant, and well-air-conditioned. It can be both aspirational and soothing."
What’s America’s favorite Publix sub? The chicken tender sub, according to Maria Brous, Publix's director of media and community relations.