Hidden Gem: Subbs by Carl

If you’re looking for an old-school sandwich shop, Subbs by Carl fits the bill.

That’s because it hasn’t changed in decades. As Carl himself will explain to even the most casual visitor, he didn’t want to be kicked out of his building, so he arranged to buy it not long after it opened more than 30 years ago, and he’s stayed put.

He’s also resisted making any changes to the menu. You won’t find Subbs by Carl online or on Instagram. There are no tables or chairs, although you can sit on an alcove by the window. And you won’t find any hot menu items or even a microwave inside.

“You’ve got to hold the line somewhere,” Carl explained to a recent customer.

What you will find: Cheap, well-made and hearty sub sandwiches like the No. 1 (Genoa salami, provolone, pepper ham and capicolla) or the No. 5 (roast beef, turkey and provolone) or the No. 8 (cooked ham, provolone and turkey).

Every sandwich is made with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and onions, and you can get hot or mild peppers if you ask. (Beware the hot peppers live up to their name.) For sides, you have a variety of Utz chips and sodas, including locally made Rock Creek.

Most customers call ahead with their order (you can find a menu online here, such as it is) at (202) 529-6225. Located at 2208 Rhode Island Ave. in Woodridge, D.C., Subbs by Carl is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays.

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