See what shop won Readers' Choice in N.J.'s best sub/hoagie shop showdown

See what shop won Readers' Choice in N.J.'s best sub/hoagie shop showdown

White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City is the Readers’ Choice winner in our N.J.’s best sub/hoagie shop showdown.

The legendary hangout – the Beatles, Elvis, and countless Miss Americas have eaten here – easily outdistanced Fiore’s in Hoboken, Sergio & Co. in Denville and Bogie’s Hoagies in Hawthorne in the voting.

All were among the ten finalists in our search for N.J.’s best sub/hoagie shop.

The state’s best-known sandwich shop has been serving cheesesteaks and subs with a side order of attitude at the corner of Arctic and Mississippi since 1946, and scarcely seems to have changed since. Orange booths, coatracks, the walls plastered with photos of the famous and not-so-famous.

And don’t forget to check out the framed towel Frank Sinatra used in his last Atlantic City appearance.

At this White House, it helps to first know the rules. If you’re eating in, a waitress will not serve you until you’re seated at a booth (putting your stuff down on the table and then walking around taking pictures doesn’t count). If you’re doing takeout, you must take a number; the machine is at the back of the shop.

First-timer? The safe choice for subs is The Famous Italian Submarine, with capicola, salami and provolone. The bread is from Formica Brothers and Rando Bakery.

You might run into waitress Holly Smith, who’s worked here for 41 years, and Grace Reitzler, who met her future husband when he worked at White House. They now have four kids, and their 18-year-old daughter worked at the sub shop this past summer.

“I owe a lot to this place,” Grace says, smiling.

Holly always needs to ask customers about every single ingredient on their sub. “I can’t assume that what you’re talking about is a sub is what I’m talking about,” she explains. “I ask every table, every customer.”

The guys who make the subs and cheesesteaks have seen and heard everything over the years. Customers who say “Motorola” for mozzarella, stuff like that.

“We’ve heard it all, believe me,” one cook says.

The judges who joined me in the final round visit fell in love with the White House Special (the Famous Italian Submarine with extra meat).

“Plenty of meat, plenty of spices and just the right amount of oil and vinegar made this sandwich a taste of heaven,” Fred Schaffer said. “Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.”

John Cohl, another judge, said the sub was “everything that an Italian sub/hoagie should be – balanced, big and branded to impress. Definitely a sandwich I’d return for. Often.”

Whether you love it or hate it, the White House is a timeless slice of Jersey culinary culture, the kind of place where the conversation sounds more real than any movie script. On my recent visit, the conversation between one customer and a cook seamlessly segued from the movie “Weird Science” to hot peppers to ketchup to “Star Trek.”

Peter Genovese may be reached at pgenovese@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PeteGenovese or via The Munchmobile @NJ_Munchmobile. Find the Munchmobile on Facebook and Instagram.

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Published at Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:30:00 +0000