The person in line ahead of me at Galligaskins Submarines (5817 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-377-0196) had a lot of questions.
“Um, can I get the mushrooms from the steak sub on the marinated chicken breast sub?”
The polite woman working the walk-up counter tried to explain to her that the steak and mushrooms were pre-cooked together.
“OK,” the customer mumbled with one eye on her phone and the other on the laminated menu. “Can I just get them on the side?”
It was the height of lunch hour, and the line was growing. The woman gumming up the gears was visibly rattled by the deep sighs and angry gazes of the people behind her. She panicked and just ordered a burger.
It was now my turn to order, and my sense of calm and the speed at which I ordered were almost heroic. I knew what I wanted before I ever stepped foot inside the venerable Westside sandwich shop: The Galli Delux Sub ($7.99) and I have a lot of history.
The last time I set foot in Galligaskins I was a teenager. My high school steady worked there, and back then free subs and all the Dr Pepper I could drink were quite the aphrodisiac. These days, it might take more than a free sandwich and a soft drink to pique my interest. Maybe some chips. And a pickle.
The signature sub of my misspent youth was an ambrosial goliath that I could inhale like cotton candy. But, as I sat in the unchanged dining room of green tablecloths and wood-paneled walls, I wondered if time, neurosis, and chronic gastritis would change my opinion. The sad prospect of that sandwich failing to live up to memory hit me like bold coffee on an empty stomach.
When the server called my name and delivered the Galli, I was relieved that it looked the same –– like an open-face wheat bread couch cushion brimming with shredded lettuce, lifeless diced tomatoes, chopped pickles, and sweet cherry peppers piled on top of a mound of roast beef, ham, turkey, and provolone cheese. It’s not quite knife-and-fork huge, but it’s definitely a two-handed affair.
My first bite was mostly bread and lettuce. Unfortunately, so was just about every other bite. The lettuce was loaded on like Christmas tree tinsel. The whole thing was dry, tasteless, and unseasoned. I added mayo and mustard, thinking that would fix it. But then it tasted like I had just raided the condiment stand at Billy Miner’s.
Perhaps the fact that I’m no longer making out on the reg with the person working the counter made the whole experience disappointing. But I’ll stick with The Great Outdoors (3204 Camp Bowie Blvd., 817-877-4400) for my sub fix. The Outdoorsman ($7.15), with turkey, pastrami, capicola, spiced ham, salami, bologna, pepperoni, and cheddar cheese on wheat is dressed with the perfect amount oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and mayo and mustard on request –– and you can definitely add mushrooms.
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