Apparently, the diner near the University of Memphis commonly known as the Chinese Sub Shop is actually called the Super Submarine Sandwich Shop. My mom (who used to eat there while she was a student at the U of M in the 1970s) calls it the Sub Wash Pub. No matter what you call it, the tiny, dimly lit diner is worth a visit.
When you walk into the Chinese Sub Shop, place your order at the counter. The menu is fairly simple – you can either have a submarine sandwich or Chinese food (though, I’ve never heard of anyone actually ordering from the Chinese food half of the menu). As you place your sub order, you’ll be given the choice of soft or hard bread. Get the soft bread. I can’t stress this enough – you want the soft bread. It’s made in the store, and it’s slices of toasted, buttery heaven.
To fulfill my scavenger hunt obligation, I ordered an eight-inch turkey sub with everything (white cheese, tomato slices, lettuce, spicy mustard) on soft bread. The sandwich came with a bag of chips. The man behind the counter gave me a slip of paper with a number on it, and I grabbed a table in the middle of the room and waited.
The decor in the restaurant is a little weird. The lights look like they came from a 1960s hotel bar, and there are fake flowers “potted” by the windows. The seating is utilitarian, and there’s a small, unused buffet in the center of the room. It’s incredibly dark inside – when you walk out to the parking lot, be prepared to squint a little bit.
When my number was called, I went up to the counter to collect my sandwich.
Turkey and lettuce were piled high between two pieces of thick, flat soft bread. Every messy bite was completely amazing. I didn’t care that there was mustardy lettuce stuck to my fingers, or that a handful of turkey had made a break for it. The sandwich was just so amazingly good. It was also amazingly inexpensive – my 8″ sandwich, chips and drink came out to $6.11.
The Chinese Sub Shop is open daily for lunch and dinner. Be sure to stop by an ATM first – they only take cash.
Super Submarine Sandwich Shop
614 S. Highland
Memphis, Tn 38111