Penny Hill Subs- Vero Beach- 2 Stars
Ask any local in any town in America where the best sandwich place is and they will undoubtedly direct you to a hole in the wall joint well off the beaten path.
While I didn't ask anyone for the best sandwich place around, I did find a local hole in the wall sub shop while in Vero Beach. Tucked in next to a tattoo parlor in a rinky-dink strip mall off of Old Dixie Highway sits Penny Hill Subs, as they share a parking lot with said tattoo place and other businesses it was hard to determine what size lunch crowd, if any, awaited inside. This is a take-out only place with no inside seating and only two small tables outside.
Upon entering my olfactory sense was at once assaulted by the smell of freshly baked bread. As everyone knows the secret to a good sub is twofold. First, you have to start with freshly baked bread, second, you have to pile it high with quality meats and fresh veggies. At least Penny Hill got the first part down. However, the second part? Not so much. I placed an order for an Egg Salad sub (asking in advance how it was seasoned) and a Monte Cristo.
The Egg Salad sub came as I was told it would, with zero seasoning. That's right, nothing but eggs and mayo, at least the bread was warm and chewy. The Monte Cristo was a huge letdown. Traditionally, this is a ham or turkey and Swiss sandwich that is battered, then fried en massè, often times dusted with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup or preserves. While I did not expect this Monte Cristo Sub to be fried in any manner, I was expecting it to exhibit some resemblance to the traditional sandwich. What I got instead was a skimpy amount of processed low-grade turkey foodstuff with industrial Thousand Island Dressing on top, a bit of shredded iceberg lettuce, a few slices of tomato and a smattering of fresh from the can banana peppers. It was crap, plain and simple. I recalled that the window display announced freshly baked bread, but I didn't remember seeing the Subway or Jersey Mike's sign above the door. I looked again just to make sure. Just as I thought, the sign read Penny Hill Subs, not Subway or Jersey Mike's. As all my dedicated devotees know, I despise Subway and Jersey Mike's as both low rent places that appeal to the lowest common denominator of food and as such cut as many corners as they can beginning with processed meats. Sadly, while the bread was fresh, warm and delicious, the inside of my Penny Hill Monte Cristo was the same as those other low-end spots--severally lacking in quantity and quality.
The Big Boy says, "Skip it, you won't miss it." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout