A beige brick building with its hand-painted sign just starting to show its age, stands alone between a car wash turned car lot and a gas station left abandoned from a time before Jacksonville experienced the blessing of suddenly lower gas prices.
A man is finishing his cigarette on a strip of grass near the entrance, a small distance away from a cluster of locals speaking with whom I would soon find out to be the owner of the sub shop and the son of the founder, Ms. Lu.
Faded red chairs and beat up concrete flooring are intentionally left to stand the test of time within the quiet evening atmosphere of the sub shop. Looking out the glass front from my seat, I feel as if I’m separated from my fast-paced two-jobs-and-an-education lifestyle via wifi and the emptiness of neighboring businesses.
The relaxed vibe isn’t the only thing different about Lubi’s Hot Subs on Beach Boulevard. Its signature menu item is a steamed sub — regulars know it as a Lubi. You can’t toast it in the oven or pick it up with your hands, but it’s a sub nonetheless.
The Famous Lubi is made with ground sirloin, Kraft american cheese and onions — every sub below it is simply a variation of this steamed sub.
I ordered the Mozzarella Lubi, which features sour cream, melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce in addition to everything on the Famous Lubi. The taste of the sub reminds me of lasagna, with bread taking place of both noodles and toast.
Because Lubi’s subs are steamed rather than cold or toasted, plastic utensils replaced my hands as I enjoyed my meal from a crib of aluminum foil. After I finished the meal and learned of upcoming events from a local magazine, I spoke with the owner, packed my leftovers, and headed out the door.
Ospreys looking for a spot to escape from studying or work or who want a fresh taste of local cuisine can visit Lubi’s Hot Subs on Beach or their University Boulevard location.
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