Subs Done the Right Way

One of the benefits of going to school in Pittsburgh is that there are infinite dining options to save you from getting tired of having the same campus food every day, and at the top of
the list of great places to eat is Uncle Sam’s Gourmet Subs.

With two locations close to campus, Uncle Sam’s is a convenient stop that only requires a few minutes’ walk. At the Squirrel Hill location, customers can watch their sandwiches being prepared behind a counter by the door, and a big board above the grill informs everyone about the restaurant’s perfectly sized menu — there are enough items to add variety without making the decision too diffi cult. Classic options range from the cheese steak to the turkey breast and provolone to the Italian sausage and cheese. A quick tip: If you eat at the restaurant, fries are included.

Aside from the standard fare are the Specialties and the Ultras: subs loaded with extra meat and toppings. Customers are faced with hard decisions like picking between the Ultra Philly Cheese Steak with its grilled onions and provolone cheese and the Ultra Uncle Sam’s Special, which comes with extra steak, sweet peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms, and
provolone cheese.

The service is good and the food usually comes just in time to quell the hunger built up by watching everyone else eat. On one side, the fries lie in a perfect heap with a red
peppermint candy hiding underneath. On the other half of the basket is the sandwich, cut down the middle, too big to fit into the basket as a whole. From the first bite, the flavor, the
temperature, and the texture are all just right. The soft, warm roll with its layer of mayonnaise leads directly to the meat, cheese, and toppings. It happens all at once and creates many different degrees of taste, making each bite distinctive from the next. The shoestring fries are equally good, and they help customers pace themselves on the sandwich. As the fries dwindle, a peppermint candy can be found at the bottom — this serves as a well-deserved reward for making it to the end.

Simply put, this is a sandwich joint. There are no fusses and everything is very simple. The décor only gets as complicated as old photographs of Pittsburgh and some mirrors to make the room feel bigger. That said, you need to play by their rules. It’s cash-only, which can be frustrating. They have an ATM attached to their register, but there is a service charge, so drawing some cash on the way is a good idea. Also, Uncle Sam must have an early bedtime because the restaurant closes at 8:30 p.m. every day. Drinks are reasonably priced, but there’s a nominal fee for refills. All in all, the amazing sandwiches require you to forgive the minor faults.