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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sub (Gold) Standard

Found myself in Atlantic City, NJ, this past weekend, home of (sometimes) rundown casino hotels, (mostly) shmaltzy boardwalk sites... and one of the finest sub shops this country has seen. White House Sub Shop has been on my radar for quite some time, ever since my sister told me her well-travelled and well-connected neighbor, Stan, has them shipped to his house in Maryland for the occasional fix. I'd heard they were that good. Now I know...
I brought my production crew with me, and none of us knew what to expect. A good first omen: the parking gods were smiling on us, as we found an open spot virtually right in front of White House, which sits on the corner of Mississippi and Arctic Avenues (Yes, you feel like you're living inside a game of Monopoly when you travel the streets of AC). The second sign of good things to come: Only a 10-minute wait to be seated. This is a minor miracle, considering this joint been around for 60+ years, and no on seems to mind waiting 2-3x that long on a regular business lunch hour.
The exterior looks just about the same as it has since Anthony Basile and his Aunt Basilia and Uncle Fritz Sacco in 1946. You feel like you're walking into a sepia-toned photograph from the World War II era as you join the cramped que inside the door.
There's always a line of people picking up their subs to go, but we wanted the whole White House Experience, so we waited a bit longer to be seated. Like I said, the short downtime was worth it...
While my comrades went with the Regular Italian, I felt compelled to invest in the White House Special, although we weren't sure how it differed from the Italian, other than the fact that it boasted "Extra Salami." Now, here's where I can use this forum as an instructional guide for anyone who reads this and cares to visit White House: Their "halves" and "wholes" ate DOUBLE what any other shop's are. If you've ever picked up a loaf of Italian or Cuban bread from a bakery...you know what you're getting yourself into when you order a "whole," which, of course, is what I did. It was literally TWO FEET worth of (Extra) Salami, Ham, Cappacolla, and Provolone, dressed with shredded lettuce, tomatoes marinated in oil and vinegar. The bread was super fresh: just crusty and hearty enough on the outside; still soft and spongy inside. I can only guess they get their breads from the formidable Formica Bros. Bakery, located right across the street. Philadelphians and the like always boast it's the bread that makes the real difference in their Cheese Steaks and such... and the Formica Family has a big say in that...
The meats were as fresh cut and delicious as they were abundant. You almost have to eat a good amount of the meat portion before even getting the bread itself! Yes, what you see the the right is ONE SANDWICH!!
(take that, Subway!)
NOTE: White House is a no-frills place, and they serve their food with a hasty smile, righteous speed, and a healthy dose of New Jersey attitude on the side. Ask for pickles or mayo at your own risk -- they don't do either.
So, I check another must-visit food destination off my list, and if you are ever in the South Jersey/Philly area, you should do the same.

1 comment:

  1. Love White House. Cheese Steak is amazing as well. I get one for there and one to go. Tastes even better after sitting for a while in the fridge. Wish they served fries. Gotta get a tastykake to wash it down.