Atlantic City, NJ 08401
- Cost: $
- Alcohol: None
- Parking: Street
- Take Out: Yes
July 9, 2013
From the moment you glimpse this shop on the corner of Mississippi and Arctic Avenues, with its huge neon signs, red and white awnings, and constant line out the door, you sense some New Jersey food history. For sixty-seven years, Atlantic City visitors have flocked to White House Sub Shop for submarine sandwiches.
Forget the “foot-long” national chains. At White House Sub Shop, a “whole” New Jersey style sub measures 20 inches, carries a hefty amount of fillings, and can easily feed 3-4 people, if not more. Wrapped up in deli paper, the sub doesn’t even fit in a brown paper sandwich bag. The regular Italian Submarine with everything comes with salami, provolone, ham, capicolla, tomatoes and a vinegary hot cherry pepper relish. Subs are served on fresh baked bread from an Italian bakery across the street. When I visited, one of the chatty guys behind the counter was handing out morsels of the hot bread to taste while he made sandwiches to order. The result is one of the best Italian subs in New Jersey. The meatball, steak, cheese steak and pepper steak subs on the menu are also justifiably famous. You can order half sandwiches if you are not up to eating a whole.
Whether you call these sandwiches subs or hoagies depends on where you grew up in Jersey. The “hoagie” zone spreads out from Philadelphia to cover much of South Jersey, with the notable exception of Atlantic City. Central Jersey can go either way. In North Jersey, it’s all “subs.” (New Jerseyans never call these sandwiches a “hero” or, God forbid, a “grinder.”)
Growing up in Somerville, NJ, my baseline for an Italian sub was Hoagie Hut’s #3 – layers of Italian cold cuts and thin-sliced provolone cheese; topped with shredded lettuce, tomato and onions; sprinkled with oregano, salt and pepper; and doused liberally with oil and vinegar on a soft Italian submarine bun. No day trip to the Shore was complete without stopping first on Route 28 in Finderne to pack one of these bad boys in the cooler. The White House Italian Sub – dare I say it – might be just as good as the #3 I remember. The cherry pepper relish gives it an added zip with the same oil and vinegar flavors (never mayo).
White House Sub Shop has the traditional feel of a small diner, with a line of booths across from the stainless steel counter. Walk in and take a number from the deli counter if you are ordering your subs to go. There’s a satellite location inside the Trump Taj Mahal casino, but don’t go there. Get some fresh air. Walk three blocks from the boardwalk to the original location. Look at the dozens of celebrity photos while you wait for a booth or order take out at the counter. Enjoy one of the best sandwiches in New Jersey and forget about all the other dough you did or didn’t win in Atlantic City.