With Subway, Quiznos and Jimmy John's flooding the market, sub sandwich shops are a dime a dozen. Same with convenience stores – 7-Elevens are pretty much everywhere. But a sub sandwich shop that doubles as a convenience store? That's just brilliant American capitalism right there, the entrepreneurial spirit at its best – probably why the Loop's Americana Submarine proudly displays the old stars and stripes in its logo. This shop will easily resonate with any previous Subway customer who craved a pack of Camel Lights with their foot-long Italian BMT.
The menu boasts 21 different kinds of subs with four different sizes – mini (4 inches), junior (6 inches), regular (12 inches) and super (about 16 inches) – featuring pastrami, chicken breast, turkey bacon club, and hot meatball. Unless you're a wuss, order your sub like you order your hot dogs – with everything on it. That includes provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, onions and peppers (and those are big, Chicago-style peppers).
A 6-inch sub runs $4.54, and you can add the obligatory chips and a drink for about $2, but why stop there? Add some cheap cigars, a Snickers bar, soft-serve ice cream(!), a Gatorade from the fridge or a Slushie. If it's breakfast time, try one of their breakfast sandwiches (egg & cheese and ham & cheese, among others) with a cup of coffee for $3.17. Basically, if you're craving anything other than alcohol, Americana will probably have it.
Americana has one more ace up its sleeve – the awesome decision to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a fairly bold move in a part of town where just about everything is closed by 6 p.m. Nothing here - including the food - is of the highest quality, exactly, but when you're in a pinch and nothing else is open, sometimes the only option is your best option.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert