Friday, February 13, 2009

Lunch #66: Sub Sand

Sub Sand Last week on the way back from lunch I noticed a new store front on 6th. On closer inspection I realized it was a new restaurant. I stopped in found out that they had been open for over a month. How did that get past us? I guess we've been slacking. But we're on it now. Today we headed out in full MSG150 fighting strength to find out what Sub-Sand was all about.

Sub Sand, Seattle
Address: 419 6th Ave S, Seattle, WA, 98104
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Average rating: 4.1 chopsticks
Lunch date: 12/15/2008 @ 12:15:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 1 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 10 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 45 minutes
Chopstix quality: Metal!
Do they use MSG?: Yes
Where is the owner/chef from?: Vietnam with Chinese ansestry
Number of tables: 3
Number of occupied tables: 3 (100%)
Number of business lunch tables: 3 (100%)
Number of "local" tables: 0 (0%)
Healthcode Score: 0
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
Sub Sand

Luncher: Adam

Tofu Vermicelli NoodlesLunch: Tofu Vermicelli Noodles - $5.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

A new Bahn Mi joint: we're on it. This place isn't much larger than a hole in the wall, so the 7 of us in the group pretty much filled the place to capacity. I figured someone else would review the deliciously stacked Bahn Mi sandwiches, so I went with the Tofu Vermicelli Noodles (a.k.a. Bun noodles).

Bun noodle dishes aren't very complicated, and it really feels like the "secret" is in fish sauce. This fish sauce was good (not great, not Pho Bac... but pretty damned good). The one beauty of their fish sauce is that I wasn't burping garlic all afternoon: a true treat. The noodles were the right texture... and the helping was pretty huge. The pickled dicon and carrots are good. The lettuce in the noodles was surprisingly fresh and crispy. Overall a very solid meal that I would recommend.

With a nice owner and some good food, I definitely recommend this one.

Luncher: Geary

Spicy Beef Noodle SoupLunch: Spicy Beef Noodle Soup - $6.50
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

Sub-Sand is a Vietnamese/Chinese sandwich and soup place. The owner is from Vietnam but of Chinese ancestry. The restaurant is small with only four tables. The Sub-Sand logo is an orange cartoonish submarine with a smile and is panted on the back wall under a large neon Sub-Sand sign. There is also a giant mural of a military submarine surfacing on the wall next to the tables. There is a sandwich bar like most sub shops, but since we were eating in they asked us to sit, brought us tea, and took our order at the table.

I ordered the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup based on the beautiful photo of the dish on the wall. While we waited for our food we enjoyed Hong Kong TV on two flat screens and watched the owner carefully prepare sandwiches. He puts an amazing amount of care and effort into each. The soup we good and I ate it all, but it was a bit too divergent from the standard American pallet to be fully enjoyable. For instanced, it contained chunks of congealed blood and a whole pigs knuckle. The tender hunks of beef were good, but the broth was a bit to pungent for me.

I have since been back and have had the BBQ Pork Sub and Salt-and-Pepper Tofu Sub which were both delicious. These subs are more substantial than typical Bahn Mi and include a large toasted bun, lettuce, and cucumbers among other things.

Luncher: Emmett

BBQ Pork Sub SandwichLunch: BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich - $3.99
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

Sub Sand has a peculiar name for its tiny storefront, nestled between Unicorn Crepes and a Travel Agent. Unlike Subway, which has wallpaper showing early 20th century subway maps, Sub Sand gets it right and has an 8 foot World War II Submarine on the wall. Hand painted too. It's a small joint, with only 3 tables or so with lava lamps instead of salt shakers. The televisions were showing either Justice John G screwing up Barack's moment, or some crazy TV show with Frodo dancing with robots. It was like we entered some crazy alternative reality - a reality with GREAT sandwiches.

The ordering situation is a bit awkward because it appears to be a deli, so you want to order at the counter, which we do. However, the guy making the sandwiches takes his time making them, so we end up sitting down at the table. If there were more people here it'd be a little cramped. Fortunately the food is worth it. On this visit I ordered the BBQ Pork Sandwich. The sandwich is fresh, delicious, and made with the utmost attention to detail. They are very similar to Vietnamese Bahn Mi, with the spice and veggies, however, Sub Sand adds the lettuce and tomato and does away with Cilantro, aiming for a more American style sub.

My biggest complaint is that for a sandwich shop, it's not a quick in/out. I've been the only person in the restaurant and it's at least 5 minutes to get a to-go order. Fortunately the courteous service, the beautiful wall art, the zen-like ambience, and the delicious subs keep me coming back for more.

Luncher: Michael

Lunch: "Look Luck" Beef Fried Rice - $6.95
Rating: 5 Chopsticks

Michael's Review

One of the finest lunch spots in the area. Huge sandwiches, juicy and tasty, made with great care for very little money. The fellow behind the counter really takes his time and lays out all the ingredients with great precision. This is how you want your food prepared.

I have been back to SubSand over twenty times since our first visit. We are going at least 2-3 times per week. No other lunch spot in the ID has seen so many return visits after a review.

Get the Pork sandwich. Get the Herbed Duck with Noodles. Split an order of spring rolls. And then go back and get another sandwich to go for dinner.

Luncher: Al

Beef Stew NoodleLunch: Beef Stew Noodle - $6.95
Rating: 5 Chopsticks

Al's Review

BBQ Pork “Sub-Sand”: at $3.95, with all the fixings, and fresh bread that is just the right amount crusty, it is magical. 5 chopsticks.

Luncher: Emily HD

BBQ Pork Sub SandwichLunch: BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich - $3.99
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Luncher: Jared

Spicy Beef Noodle SoupLunch: Spicy Beef Noodle Soup - $6.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Sub Sand Photos

Sub-Sand
Sub-Sand

Sub-Sand counter and awesome neon sign
Sub-Sand counter and awesome neon sign

Sub-Sand menu
Sub-Sand menu

Sub-Sand submarine mural
Sub-Sand submarine mural

Tofu Vermicelli Noodles
Tofu Vermicelli Noodles

Bún + Lava Lamp = Subtastic
Bún + Lava Lamp = Subtastic

Sub production
Sub production

Sub artistry
Sub artistry

BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich
BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup
Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Stew Noodle
Beef Stew Noodle

"Look Luck" Beef Fried Rice


BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich (the NSFW view)
BBQ Pork Sub Sandwich (the NSFW view)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

This 4.1 review is not high enough. This is a 5+ lunch place.

Jason Schklar said...

As I've said before -- I love this site. Great detailed reviews. Can't wait to check out Sub Sand!

Anonymous said...

Went there today after reading this site. Had the BBQ pork sandwich and it was absolutely delicious. Cheap and Good is a great thing. They also had very attentive service which is always a plus. We will be back there for sure.

Anonymous said...

I also went there recently and the food was extremely good. The man making the sandwich certainly wasn't the fastest in the world, but he was extremely careful and very nice.

I'll definitely be going back and telling friends.

Anonymous said...

i'm occasional msg150 reviewer dave, and i endorse this message: eat at sub sand. it's only sheer force of will that keeps me from having the salt-and-pepper tofu sandwich for lunch every work day; as it is i'm pretty happy with twice a week. $4 plus tax for a meticulously made, toasty warm banh mi with marinated and seasoned tofu, lettuce, tomato, carrot, daikon or something, a sprig of cilantro, mayo and some other sauce, and optional onion and jalapeno. if you like banh mi, you need this.

Anonymous said...

As a Vietnamese, who is used to paying $2.50 for a Vietnamese sandwich, I got to say the extra $1.49 more at Sub Sand is worth it. It is my favorite Vietnamese sandwich place. They put more vegetables, use fresh ingredients, and you get to watch them make it. Thanks MSG for letting me know about this place!

Unknown said...

Wonderful food. The service is as good as the food. Although there are only 4 tables, I've been lucky enough to be seated each time I've visited. It's a joy to bring someone to this little restaurant, because the food is so unexpectedly good, and the reactions of your friends are always positive.

I've had a few of the Sub sandwiches. They're inexpensive, and the best quality of any in the area. The Beef Satay Noodle soup is simply to die for. Garnished with fresh lettuce, the soup is savory and delicious.