Yellow Submarine is sub sandwich shop tucked away in a strip mall off Pyramid and Holman in Sparks. I paid them a visit
with my girlfriend, Kaitlin. Upon first entering the shop I thought, “I’ve walked into an episode of Hoarders starring my grandma.” My grandma’s house, like Yellow Submarine, is full of bizarre knick-knacks, toys, photos, and pop-art up the wazoo. Several photos were out for my heart: Johnny Cash, Hank III, Jack White, Glenn from The Walking Dead, and Selma Blair. The shop also houses a pin-ball machine, Galaxy, and Ms. PacMan. The décor seemed to reflect the staff and owner’s sense of humor, much of which mirrors my own. Individual photos of people crouched on all fours were placed side-by-side creating the illusion that each person’s mouth was connected to his or her neighbor’s butt. A fifteen person human-centipede inside my local sandwich shop? Yes fuckin’ please!
There were two women working. I introduced K and I as bloggers, and asked the younger woman to give us the lowdown of their restaurant. Both women happily obliged by pointing out a decent beer selection on top of the regular fountain drinks, some bottled sodas, homemade lemon-aid, and homemade iced tea. I opted for the lemon-aid while K grabbed a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. They also explained that each of their subs comes standard on locally bought Franco’s bread. Standard condiments include mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
They advised that the Yellow Sub was their most popular sandwich. The younger woman said her favorite was the Turkey, Salami, Cheddar, and Kosher Dill. I was going to order the younger woman’s favorite until I saw a separate menu dressed in laminated glory. The laminated menu described one sandwhich, the Ring-O-Fire. The divine creature was described next to a photo of Johnny Cash and hand-drawn jalapeños. The description read, “Tangy home-made tomato mayo, roast beef, onions, jalapeños, melted pepper-jack, and hickory smoked bacon.”
The ladies also advised that all their soups are made in-house. The Artichoke Bisque immediately called my name. K ordered the Hot Canadian Bacon & Pineapple with the Sweet Potato Stew. Given the love at first sight, I ordered the Ring-o-Fire. The ladies prepared our food with care in a timely manner. The sandwiches came first and the soups followed maybe five minutes after. The complexity of flavor in my sandwich blew my mind all over the walls. The base flavors were spicy, savory, and cheesy. The crowning accomplishment, though, was the tomato mayo. The tangy and creamy spread unified the other ingredients like Charles Manson handing out Kool-Aid.
Eventually we came to introduce ourselves and chat with the staff. The older of the two was named Tawnie, and the younger was Kyra. Tawnie and Kyra are mother and daughter. They showed K and I genuine warmth and sincerity. Tawnie explained that the shop has been in place since 1976 and under current ownership for a pinch under a decade. A husband and wife, Rich and Michelle, own the establishment, but the shop is Michelle’s baby.
I enquired about the sweet tunes to which we were all listening. Tawnie said that they switch between playing Pandora and Spotify. Kyra said that the tunes change with each personality that works in the shop. Sometimes you can hear Metallica, sometimes Outkast, but always something awesome. Tawnie was decked out in tattoos, a nose ring, thick-rimmed glasses, red lipstick, and straight bangs. Again, a look out for my own heart. Kyra was rocking a septum ring, a Monroe, and a beanie. Again, a look out for my own heart! I wouldn’t normally comment on the appearance of a restaurant’s staff, but the look of the ladies exemplified the feel of the place: comfortable outside the norm and fuckin’ awesome!