Every Friday through the end of 2018, the Rant will feature a dish that stands out among Lee County’s restaurant scene. We’ll usually focus on lunch, but there aren’t any rules – we just want to let you know (if you don’t already) about the many dining options we have that are owned and operated by people right here in Lee County. Bubba’s Subs and Pizza began life as a chain restaurant named Lil’ Dino’s, but has been a mom and pop shop for the last decade.
Lil’ Dino’s opened on South Horner Boulevard in Sanford back in the mid-80’s and was always a great chain place to get a sandwich or pizza for lunch. In 2009, for whatever reason, the owner and the franchise went their separate ways and the place was rebranded “Bubba’s” in honor of his son, who was given the nickname after being born weighing a whopping 10 pounds (this is per the restaurant’s takeout menu). Bubba’s hasn’t lost a step since the change, offering all kinds of delicious sandwiches, pizzas, soups, and salads. And honestly, they’re probably even a touch better now that they’re independent.
THE DISH: The Pastrami Reuben is really more of a sub, coming in 4″ ($4.66), 8″ ($5.95) and 16″ ($10.55) sizes, and it tastes every bit as good as you’d expect it to. Served on a crusty but delicate bun, it’s piled high with thin sliced pastrami, giving it a mix of saltiness, smoke and spice that’s balanced out by melted Swiss and rich, tangy Thousand Island dressing. The sauerkraut that tops it all brings both funk and brightness, making for a pretty darn close to perfect sandwich. You drool just thinking about it. All manner of sides are available – choose from waffle fries, fresh cut taters, sweet potato fries, onion rings ($1.59 each), or cheese fries ($2.15) – but we splurged and ordered the fried green bean appetizer ($2.99). The batter is thick, but the green bean is more than firm enough to hold up to the cook, which probably drained it of all nutrients, but whatever.
WHAT ELSE TO TRY: The pizza – a 10″ will run you between $5.75 and $7.65 and a 16″ between $12.30 and $16.25, depending on toppings – is nothing to sniff at. And any of Bubba’s subs involving salami – there’s the Bubba’s special ($6.35 for an 8″), Jeff’s Favorite ($6.25 for an 8″) or the ham, cheese and salami ($5.95) – are definitely worth your time. The turkey and cheese wrap ($6.25) is also good, as is the anitpasto salad (also $6.25). And any deli type restaurant worth its salt isn’t complete without an excellent tuna sub. Bubba’s is no different, and at $5.85 for an 8″, it’s one of the best deals on the menu.
Bubba’s Subs and Pizza is located at 1932 S. Horner Blvd. and can be reached at (919) 774-4438. They are open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and are closed on Sunday. Visit their Facebook page here.