“This goes against the grain,” I said. “Coming all the way to Jacksonville and not picking up any new content for our blog.” We were in town for Christmas to meet my mother halfway between our base of operations on Saint Simons Island and her place in Apopka. We dropped Marie’s sister’s boyfriend at the airport and then made our way to Jacksonville Beach for our four year-old to play and rampage at South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground. Nearby, we’d have lunch with Mom and her husband at TacoLu, which I figured, correctly, that her husband would really enjoy.
But getting anything new was not on the agenda. It was the afternoon of December 24 and I didn’t wish to risk spoiling any of my mother’s time with her grandchildren with a new place that she may not enjoy. It was best to go with what we knew, and the frankly awesome TacoLu was reliable.
So we moseyed on up the road to meet with my mom at the playground, and then we got off I-295 and saw this incredibly lovely place on the left. Stop the presses.
“If they’re still open when we leave, we’re stopping,” I said. They were, and we did.
Not long ago, Lubi’s Hot Subs had expanded to four locations around Jacksonville, but two of those have closed. One shuttered in 2011 and made way for a Pita Pit, and another was knocked down the next year to become a Dunkin Donuts. Jacksonville’s having a really hard time resisting the siren call of national chains.
I went in expecting to order a regular sub sandwich, having no idea that the restaurant has its own unique offering. A Lubi is made with “fresh, never frozen ground sirloin, mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream, pepper sauce and cheese” in a sub roll. What that description really doesn’t make all that clear, however, is that the ground beef is loose, like a midwestern “canteen,” a loose-meat sandwich like you can get at a Maid-Rite. There are six varieties of Lubis and I went with the Marinara Lubi, which is extremely odd. It’s like a Maid-Rite version of a meatball sub.
I’m not going to claim that this was a killer sandwich or something worth a hundred-mile drive, but we’re about to start our seventh year blogging and we’re still finding brand new-to-us meals that we’ve never experienced before, and little local specialties that we can’t get at home, and that is awesome. We drove back to Saint Simons and I slowly – very slowly, it had to last – sipped on my cherry limeade, which had been mixed fresh that morning, and I was so glad that we didn’t let circumstances prevent us from trying something new. I was sorry to learn that Lubi’s has had some financial setbacks, but honestly, anybody in that town who’d go to a national chain for a sandwich over all the great local places to get one (like Angie’s or Whiteway) needs to knock that off at once.
Other blog posts about Lubi’s Hot Subs:
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