Sub shops satisfy Super Bowl needs

A Belly Buster sandwich is one of Bobby’s recommended hoagies from FD Subs. (Photo courtesy of Bobby Olivier)

For most who partake in enjoying the biggest night of the sporting year, the Super Bowl means more than just football.

For tens of millions of viewers, the first Sunday in February is a night of the year’s best commercials, a time to spend with friends and family and an evening to engorge oneself with food. Many a fan takes pride in his or her Super Bowl spread, but the centerpiece is often the same — a massive sub or hoagie fit for a small army of beer-bellied former Pop Warner superstars.

I have been in charge of Super Bowl party food for the better part of a decade, and I know as well as anyone that a high-quality hoagie can make the most boring Super Bowl watchable, while a poorly constructed monstrosity can throw off the whole night. Lucky for me and other party planners near the College, there are two local sub shops, as well as an unconventional late-night eatery, that are ready, willing and able to accommodate students’ need to feed while glued to the largest television they can find.

FD Subs: 1980 Olden Ave., (609) 882-6888

Hidden away in Ewing Plaza on Olden Avenue is FD Subs, a shop lesser known to students but a delicious sandwich stop nonetheless. When I am craving over-processed lunchmeat and condiments on a roll, this is always my first stop. The meat is sliced thinly, the lettuce and tomatoes are always very fresh and the bread, which for me, makes or breaks a sandwich, is firm enough to hold things together, while soft enough that I do not chip a tooth. If you are afraid to venture too far off campus, I beseech you: Give FD a shot.

For Super Bowl purposes, FD offers all 28 hoagie varieties in six-foot, three-foot and party platter forms. Prices vary from sub to sub, but a traditional Italian sandwich is $72 for six feet, $48 for three feet and $40 for party platters. FD also offers 10 free buffalo wings on Sundays with the purchase of two whole, 16-inch subs ($9-12 each).

During the week, popular items include roast beef, turkey and pork subs ($11 whole, $5.50 half), all of which are roasted in-house daily. Also a favorite is the Belly Buster, a combination of ham, peppered ham, capicola, salami, pepperoni and provolone cheese ($11 whole, $6 half).

Ray’s Sub Shop: 1540 Pennington Rd., (609) 771-8006

A College students’ favorite, Ray’s Sub Shop on Pennington Road is also a popular place for a hoagie, panini or anything else available on their rather large menu. I have eaten at Ray’s several times, and I am not sure if it is me or them, but whenever I order an Italian sub, I am greeted with a stomach ache afterward. Despite my digestive problems, the sandwich is tasty, and comparable to FD, with the meat being sliced a bit thicker and the lettuce being cut more finely.

Ray’s offers several specials as well for the Super Bowl season. Like FD, six-foot, three-foot and party platter hoagies are available at $72, $40 and $33 respectively, in addition to buffalo wings combos — a party platter of subs and 50 wings for $56, or 100 wings for $50.

Super Bowl or not, Ray’s features a 10-percent discount for College and Rider University students every day. According to management, the selection of Belly Buster-style sandwiches are a big hit with the college crowd. Unlike FD, a Belly Buster at Ray’s is not a specific, individual sandwich, but a type of hoagie that is six inches wide, 14 inches long and features two pounds of meat — enough to feed four people, according to Ray’s. Prices of the nine hoagie varieties, which include Italian, turkey, roast beef and other common sandwiches, range from $12-14 for whole subs and $6-7 for halves. Ray’s is pick-up only, no delivery.

The Fat Shack: 1410 Parkway Ave. (Inside RJ’s Bagels), (609) 310-6797

For those who want to eat away the fact that their team did not make it to the big dance, The Fat Shack is the definition of deep-fried, college gluttony … in the tastiest way possible, of course. I may be in the minority of students who soberly enjoy these artery-clogging concoctions, but I must say that in my four years of college, I have enjoyed no eating experience more than biting through a day’s worth of calories in one sitting, and I can think of few better ways to get over the Jets’ loss in the AFC Championship than with a Fat Shack coma.

For Super Bowl Sunday, The Fat Shack is offering several combos: two 12-inch sandwiches and 25 wings ($30); four 12-inch sandwiches and 50 wings ($55); 30 mozzarella sticks ($20); and 30 chicken fingers ($25).

All fat sandwiches, minus the mammoth Fat Shack, cost $6 for an eight-inch hero, and $9 for a “Fatty Foot Long.” The Fat Shack is cheese steak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, French fries and choice of sauce on a bun and costs $7 (eight-inch) or $10 (12-inch). Delivery is available.