.......if a particular sandwich (and place) lives up to all its hype and then exceeds it, then I feel it deserves the recognition that any fine dish and/or restaurant gets on Chowhound. I am talking about the White House Sub Shop, located on the corner of Artic and Mississippi in Atlantic City.
On the day we were departing Atlantic City, after a less than satisfactory dinner at Bobby Flay Steak at the Bogata the evening before, we decided to get some lunch before driving home. After a little discussion I suggested getting some subs at the White House. I had not had a sub from there probably for 35-40 years. I told my wife that the place was legendary and has a rep for the best subs in New Jersey and maybe in the universe. She agreed to get some subs and we would take them out and eat them in the picnic area at Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge.
When we got to the WH at about 2:00pm there was a line out the door. That line was waiting for table/counter service, and we were told if we wanted take out just to go inside. We entered and the aroma of cold cuts, garlic, olive oil, peppers, cheesesteaks was overwhelming (in a good way). The place was small, with booths on one side and the stoves/sub making area on the other side. We went to the rear of the store and waited on a short take out line. Lining the walls above the eight or so booths were photos of celebs: music people, entertainers, politicos....all who have been to the WH. Quite an impressive collection! Behind the counter were about five or six guys making subs, cooking cheesesteaks. These guys all looked as if they actually enjoyed what they were doing. We ordered one and a half Italian (one of their "Our Famous").
In less than five minutes the fellow we ordered from put the big brown bag in front of us and told us to pay at the front. The whole sub was sticking about half way out the bag. The bag had alot of weight to it.Just beyond the stove/prep area was a small counter with maybe four stools and then the cashier. She was a classic, chewing gum with red lipstick and pencil in her hair, looking as if she had worked there for many years. Total cost for the one and a half Italian sub, $19.50. As we left the place the line was still out the door.
OK finally to the "meat" of this narrative. We got to Brigantine and went to a picnic table under the trees.....we were the only ones there. We took the whole sub out of the brown bag. It was triple wrapped. The sub was about 11/2 in length, no lie. And must have weighted two pounds.
Bread: As said it was long.....maybe 18"-22". Bread was somewhat narrower than any other sub bread I have had. Had a wonderful crusty top, but wasn't hard. It was, hands down the very best sub bread I have ever had. Apparently a local bakery delivers fresh bread to the WH many times a day.
Meats: Both the capicola and ham were extremely fresh and favorful. Lots of meat that had to be rolled up a little to fit in the narrow bread (it was impossible to just lay the slice of meat flat on the bread). I think a little of the inside of the bread was taken out to make a nice "bed" for the meats.
Cheese: The provolone was outstanding....again extremely fresh and favorful.
Tomatoes: Fresh and lots of slices, overlapping one another from end to end.....no "blank" areas.
Onions: Tasty and just enough.
Oil: Again just enough without creating a nasty oil sog.
Peppers: Another one of the things that makes this sub special is the peppers. A very liberal amount of chopped hot peppers, again from end to end, not missing any area of the sandwich. They were awesome.....warm but not hot or overpowering.
Lettuce: Fresh iceberg but not shredded. Like the lettuce alot more this way.
Findings: We both agreed that this was the best sub either of us has ever had...nothing came close. The quality of the meats and cheese, the correct amount of tomato and onions, and the two things that probably really took this sub to another level was the chopped hot peppers and the bread.
The one whole was enough for both of us so we took the other half home. The following day we split it....amazing that only a very small area of the bread had any sog to it.
Bottom line is that the White House Sub Shop lives up to the hype. I would find it hard to believe there is another place that is any better than the WH.