Receiving tips from folks about their favorite eateries is one of the best aspects of being a food writer. When it’s something new and undiscovered, I’m obviously going to be interested. But when it’s been around for years—hidden in plain sight—and I still haven’t heard about it? Priceless.
U.S. Sub Base is tucked away in an inconspicuous strip mall. This is definitely a business sustained by its hardcore regulars. And yet my informal polling found that a surprising number of Carson City natives have never eaten there. The space is basic and utilitarian. There are plenty of community involvement awards on the walls, and a well-tended, hanging vine threatens to obscure the menu. Even during the lunch rush, the service is quite efficient, unsurprising given the team has been working together for more than a quarter century.
Like most sub shops, customers can build their own from a list of ingredients or choose one of the house specialities. Unlike many sub shops, there’s a full list of hot items including burgers, deep-fried sides, salads, soups, wine and bottled beer.
Sandwich toppings included with any sandwich are lettuce, tomato, dill pickle, red onion, black olive, pepperoncini, jalapeño, Parmesan, wine sauce, mayo and mustard. Avocado, cream cheese and cranberry sauce are extra.
Choosing from a series of eight-inch specialty subs, my hungry group started with the Torpedo ($6.45)—turkey, ham, salami, pepperoni—and the Hoagie ($6.45)—capicola, Genoa salami, mortadella—with all the regular toppings save jalapeño. Next was the Nuclear ($6.85), which is basically any or all of the cold cuts, plus cheese. We kept things traditional, with provolone on all three sandwiches, and every single one was huge and delicious.
Moving on to hot stuff, we sampled a Philly cheese steak ($7.40). My one quibble is that a Philly must include chopped, grilled beefsteak to earn that name, but this sandwich was stuffed with deli roast beef—topped with grilled bell pepper and onion, melted American and provolone cheeses and tons of pepperoncini. It wasn’t a true Philly, but it still managed to make my tongue happy.
Next up was a meatball sub ($6.85). The seasoned meatballs filled the roll—combined with loose meat, marinara, red onion, black olive, provolone and Parmesan. The sauce had some zing, and the ’wich didn’t disappoint. The hot beef and smoked cheddar sandwich ($6.85) was essentially the Philly with different cheese and no grilled bell pepper and onion. And I couldn’t detect much smokiness in the cheese. It was fine but easily the least amazing thing we tasted.
From the broiler we sampled a mushroom burger ($6.45) and chicken cordon blue ($8.25). The one-third pound beef patty was loaded with sauteed fungi, Swiss cheese and veggie accoutrements—and really hit the spot. Even better was the cordon blue’s combination of grilled chicken breast, ham and Swiss cheese with lettuce, tomato, mayo and mustard.
U.S. Sub Base offers huge sandwiches with high quality ingredients, an awesome find if you live or work nearby—and worth the trip if you don’t.