It’s no-nonsense and no-crumb-left-behind at Bub & Pop’s, especially during a busy lunch hour, when the small space and complicated menu can stress out a first-timer. (There are specials on the chalkboard, regular items on a different menu, and often many sandwiches sold out.) Thankfully, we went during a quieter time, but that also resulted in quite a few sandwiches already gone, along with the fresh salt-and-pepper chips with French onion dip. I snuck one from the sample basket up front, and it was delicious, but there were no full baskets left. They did explain that it’s quite simple to get your hands on the sell-outs: Just call ahead. Brilliant.
Co-owner Arlene Wagner is often at the front helping patrons navigate the menu and thanking you for any tip (so be sure and leave one, even if it’s small). It’s a family place, named after her parents with her son and chef, Jonathan Taub, in the kitchen. Taub has 20 years of fine dining experience working in Philadelphia and Chicago under renowned chefs. It’s evident in the big and little details of the food, such as fresh mayo, tangy pickles and relishes, and house-smoked brisket. He also worked with Lyon Bakery to develop a flavorful hoagie roll that stands up to the weight of all the goodies inside.
We go with the Italian hoagie, with Genoa salami, both sweet and hot capicola, arugula, Roma tomatoes, mayo, and Bub’s vinaigrette. There’s also a sprinkling of pecorino romano and a hoagie relish of hot and sweet peppers, pickles, and onions. Thick slices of aged provolone are layered on top and bottom. I learned too late that you can get it hot, and though it was delicious, I bet it would have been even better with melted provolone.
We also get The Rich Boy, with small, crunchy fried shrimp that go so well with the soft bread, along with pickles and banana peppers to cut through the carbs.
Each sandwich is offered as a half (10 inches) or whole (18), and unless you’re fresh-off-a-fast-starving, the half is plenty for one.
We barely scratched the surface at Bub & Pop’s, and can’t wait to go back to try the brisket, the chicken parm, the tuna melt, the Bolognese Parmesan …