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Detroit area: any ideas for *good* (yet relatively inexpensive) party subs?

boagman May 8, 2011 04:33 PM

Hey folks. I'm a locksmith, and every month, I have an association meeting wherein a bunch of Michigan locksmiths get together for educational, promotional, and security purposes. One of the things we do is have dinner on site, and that task falls to me.

Usually, it's pretty straightforward: I end up ordering some XL Papa Romano's pizzas with various toppings, and that works out well. Since I've taken over the "dinner duties", we've gotten better product and at a lower cost, which is great. I'm pretty proud of that, and if I have to keep going to Papa Romano's every month, it won't hurt my feelings one bit. It's a pretty good fast food pizza, if you will.

However, lately I've sort of been inspired to branch out a little bit and offer something else. A party sub comes to mind, as it's one of the easiest ways (besides pizza) to feed 30 or more people for a reasonable amount of cash (budget is definitely a factor). Having called around to the obvious place (Tubby's), and gotten their quote, it occurred to me that there simply *must* be some better options with higher quality meats, cheeses (blech!), and veggies that would either be competitive with Tubby's price-wise, or even be lower than Tubby's. Party subs are *major* cash cows, and I would think that smaller, quality, family-owned shops or bakeries might be willing to do a little bit better than places like Tubby's, Subway, or Jimmy Johns. Being that party subs are so profitable, they might want to grab that business that's currently going elsewhere.

It helps greatly if the place(s) is in Oakland County somewhere in the Troy-Waterford area, or relatively close by. I'd be willing to drive a little bit to get it, but going somewhere such as DiMaggio's in Redford (much as I love them) would probably be too far out of the way, though for the right cost/quality aspect ratio, I might be willing to make the drive. It obviously helps if the place makes their own bread, has quality meats and cheeses, and has been doing it for a while. Cost definitely counts, though, and I have no problem just reverting to pizza if I can't do better than Tubby's pricing. I have to plan to feed at least 30 or so, and possibly more, but usually the subs are ordered by the foot, and the places that make them can tell me how much I'll need to feed how many people.

Ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? Have at it!

  1. rainsux May 14, 2011 08:39 AM

    I haven't eaten at Buscemi's (party store, pizza, subs & stuff) in ~30 years, but I recall them
    doing a very good job.


    1. momskitchen May 13, 2011 06:40 PM

      Gonella's in Dearborn makes the best subs I have ever had in my entire life.


      Also, Buscemi's makes a good party sub but they are an east side thing.


      1 Reply
      1. re: momskitchen
        xman887 May 14, 2011 12:35 PM

        i grew up on buscemi's subs (and thick pizza squares too) and they are great.

        i had a baby sub a while back and it was as good as i remember

        they have 3 and 6 foot subs - order 24 hours in advance

        and they have a store on rochester rd, just north of big beaver

      2. r
        RedTop May 13, 2011 12:41 PM

        Be sure to tell us where you opted to for the party sub, boagman.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RedTop
          boagman May 13, 2011 01:30 PM

          I ended up, unfortunately, going with Papa Romano's pizza again. Actually, I shouldn't say "unfortunately". I've never had a problem with buying the pizza from there, but really wanted to try something a bit different.

          With the subs, though, the best options would have required too much extra driving considering the location of the meeting (Troy), and the extra expense already involved in buying the subs. Say what you like, but pizza is by far (to my knowledge anyway) the least expensive way of feeding a decent number of people.

          I'm very intrigued by a couple of the suggestions, though, especially JP's. His favorite party sub place is also a Thai place, which I think is a crazy marriage of things, but I trust his judgment. They also seemed to have the best pricing if I was going to be buying 3 of them, which I would have been. I'd very much like to give their individual subs a go first to ascertain whether they'll pass muster with me.

          1. re: boagman
            JanPrimus May 13, 2011 02:59 PM

            Boagman...The Pizza/Sub/Thai thing was created by a Pizzeria owner hooking up with a Thai lady. He pretty much quit the business to concentrate on Real Estate (He is a friend of a family friend) and let her run the show. I have never tried the Thai dishes..so I can not comment there. I just know I love the subs from there.

        2. m
          Markcron May 9, 2011 11:40 AM

          I think the catering at Rudy's Market in Clarkston (across from the Woodshop) is generally expensive, but a check on their website shows Party Subs for:
          3 ft (serves 10-12) for $39.95
          6 ft (serves 20-25) for $74.95
          Not sure what your budget is, but Rudy's will be better then Tubby's.

          Greg's Gourmet is another place in Clarkston (on M-15 just south of town) They have a Sub/Drink/chips for $4.99 a head. Not sure if they do a party sub.

          1. r
            RedTop May 9, 2011 07:26 AM

            Bellacino's is a MI-based chain, with a Troy location. Upscale from Tubby's, I think. Here is their catering menu.


            1. coney with everything May 9, 2011 06:14 AM

              I don't know about their party subs, but Mr Pizza Bootleg party store, Adams and Walton, makes some really good normal size subs.

              Apparently they don't have a website and I tossed their menu when our office relocated

              1. JanPrimus May 8, 2011 08:04 PM


                Get the Sub's with the Pizza bread option. Do not get the normal bread....ask for the upgrade.Second favorite subs in town.

                As for my Favorite....it is a odd little place. http://www.tonybalonys.com/

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