And our friends are all aboard

Lacey Velasquez, 19, enjoys a “yellow sub” at Yellow Submarine while fending off invading caterpillars on the video game.

Lacey Velasquez, 19, enjoys a “yellow sub” at Yellow Submarine while fending off invading caterpillars on the video game.

Photo By David Robert

After working up an appetite skateboarding at Burgess Park, you can’t do much better than to head across the street to Yellow Submarine for some grub. The sandwiches are kick-ass. The only disappointment is that, despite the name, there isn’t really a Beatles theme. Nary a mop top or Blue Meanie in sight. There is, however, a “Tommy” pinball machine, old tabletop Centipede and Ms. Pacman arcade games, books and board games—so it is a great spot to hang out in for a bit during lunch before heading back out to enjoy the spring weather. There’s also a picture of Kiss praising the wraps (and since it was Kiss doing the recommending, I was sure to avoid them).

Overall, the atmosphere is really kicked back—with a great, hot-fun, warm-weather vibe. There are pictures on the wall of Pyramid and Tahoe and a lot of plants—which I see as a good sign: If a place can keep its plants alive, they can probably help you.

I went with my sister. She had a six-inch veggie on wheat ($4.30) that included avocado, onions, sprouts, tomato, provolone and Swiss cheese. She was happy with her sandwich and ecstatic about her cup of warm, delicious broccoli cheese soup ($1.90).

I had the 12-inch “yellow sub” on sourdough ($8.20). The “yellow sub” includes salami, ham, pastrami, provolone and Swiss as well as onions, oil and vinegar and huge piles of sprouts and lettuce. It’s one of the biggest sandwiches I’ve ever seen. It’s almost so big that we all really could live in it. I had a hard time getting my mouth around the damned thing. I only ate half and took the rest home. It’s a really good sandwich, though—there’s a nice balance of flavors and textures: you can taste every ingredient distinctly, and nothing, not even the onion, is overwhelming. There’s parmesan mixed in with the crisp lettuce, which is a nice touch.

Sub sandwiches are something of a sure bet, fairly difficult to mess up, but it is really nice when you have one that elevates the art above and beyond fast-food fare. Still, they come wrapped in paper, so if you do just want to pick up subs to go, Yellow Submarine is a good choice.

The service is another plus. The woman who helped us managed to walk that fine line of being engagingly friendly without being overbearingly annoying. Just before we were going to leave, I asked her if she would wrap up the other half of my sandwich. She pleasantly agreed and then asked if I might like a soda refill for the road. That impressed me. Most places begrudge you the soda refill, especially if you’re on your way out.

So Yellow Submarine is bitchin'. It’s got friendly service and a cool, relaxed environment that includes old video games and great sub sandwiches that are way better than whatever that Jared guy is hawking these days. And with a name like Yellow Submarine, they’ll never need to write an advertising jingle.