A Monster, A Stupid Sandwich And A Classic Italian Sub Sandwich Seeking The Best Food In South Carolina
What’s up Meg?
I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.
Why This Place?
Tasty Tuesday –My visit to Monster Subs in it’s newest downtown Spartanburg S.C. location, falls in the category of seeking the best food dishes SC has to offer. In this case the best Italian delis sub sandwich. Plus, I have this thing for a certain cold Italian sub sandwich and wanted to see how the Monster version rated in MEGaland.
True story, I visited this sub shop in my hometown since it opened in 1970s. I was a kid and would save my money, ride my bike to our downtown area to buy “The Cousins Special” now renamed “Italian Special.” The menu was large and since the 1970’s I only once ate a different sub and although it was really good, that Cousin’s special had me forever. It’s not that I need to see a psychiatrist about this disorder, I just really love that sub. Every Italian sub that I eat compares to this one sub.
This is a tough disorder to have but once I started food blogging and considered why this sandwich was above all others, it made more sense. Never the less, it is my 10-star Italian sub sandwich on a 1-5 scale.
The problem comes in when I have a craving for this sub and I try to custom order to recreate nirvana. Recently, I had an epic failure trying to customize an unnamed restaurant’s version of an Italian sub. And this is what I got. Where to begin? they forgot the cheese, the cheese, which in and of itself ruined this sandwich, and then there were the chunks of tomato and chopped red onions. Who does this? No one. And there was no sauce/Italian oil with herbs. I call this the “Stupid Sub.”
In contrast, my favorite cold Italian sub in the world, or at least this country, or maybe the world. First, it is 7.5 inches of a specialty bread recipe that was created in Milwaukee with a baker. The bread is similar to that in European deli sandwiches or to Cuban bread. It has just the right crunch, texture, and softness; this bread is baked several times per day in the shops. For me, NO to plain ham on an Italian sub. Rather, this gem consists of handcraft and heritage meats, a housesliced mixture of Cappacolla ham, Coteghino Bologna, Genoa Salami, fresh Wisconsin Provolone cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, salt, oregano. The ingredients are all sourced as locally as possible, and the commitment to this quality makes this my perfect Italian sandwich.
So how did Monster Subs compare to my fail and fave? Let me show you a photo.
Monster Subs got a lot right. The bread comes from a local bakery and is big and soft, and the meats are also hand-cut in house, good cheese, thinly sliced tomatoes, slices of onions, lettuce, and yes that Italian herb seasoned oil/vinegar dressing.
MEGastars– I give Monster 4**** I really liked this sandwich, and would for sure try other deli-sandwiches on their menu. As of this writing, the shop only had soda in a cooler. So, I purchased a can of diet coke, they were out of diet cola products, I had to go back to the counter to pay more for another brand.
- Link to their website with the two Spartanburg locations, and on Greenville location. Link to Monster Sub
- They are closed on Sundays, (meh.) Operating hours are from 11a.m.-7:30 p.m.
- Next visit, I want to try the “Goodfella.” Like the Italian but this sandwich adds Soppressata (salami,) and I might skip that plain ham.
- Their menu includes hot and cold sandwiches and classic deli on rye. As well as deli sides, salads, kids menu, and even cannoli, tiramisu, and cheesecake.
- Check the cooler before you order your drinks.
- The sub sandwiches come in 7-inch or 13-inches.
This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.
Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina, as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way.
*I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order. The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab. I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”
Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”
I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.
I use a 5 MEGastar system. For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience. I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry. I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience. I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.
- *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or, the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina. This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
- ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
- *** good but not outstanding or unique.
- **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.