Trailer-Made: All City Subs
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 10.18.11
Wedged right up against Ben Pezzi’s 04 Lounge, All City Subs is painted like a skateboarder’s clubhouse, in bold graffiti strokes and lettering suggesting a sense of dynamic motion. The Italian influence is undeniable, with both of the classic roasted meats — beef and pork — and chicken parm, plus meatballs and sausage and peppers. The trailer roars like a beast as they turn on the vent hood to put your sandwich together, and the sounds of clattering pans and the rising aroma of garlic suggest some real cooking is going on behind those screened windows.
The 04 is one of those noon-to-2 bars where the cheap domestics flow for the crowd that shies away from natural light, and All City seems to fit, with sandwiches that are undisciplined and messy but lovable all the same. The bar will let you carry sandwiches inside for a beer and a game of pool. They come in slider, 6-inch and 9-inch versions. The sliders ($3.50) are gateway drugs, especially for roasted sliced pork with pickled onions and collard greens. That one comes from Italy by way of the American South, with thin-sliced, tender pork and greens with a bitter edge that plays counterpoint to the sour-sweet onions. A slider of roast beef didn’t account for itself as well, coming off dry and salty, in spite of and likely because of a dip in au jus.
If you order the chicken parm ($6/small), know that it’s assembled from roasted rather than fried chicken, and because of that you get more chicken flavor, almost like a cacciatore in its sweet tomato sauce with provolone on a toasted roll. A passerby commented that the bread was different that day because they couldn’t get their usual sweet Italian rolls from their baker. The H-E-B fill-in rolls fell apart on the bigger sandwiches, turning dry and crackery on the outside.
The right bread would have helped the Bellucci ($6/small), a mashup of meatball and Italian sausage and peppers. The marinara tasted like salsa and the sausage had a personality more like lazy backyard brats. But the green and red bell peppers were cooked soft and sweet, and the meatballs were like little Italian meatloaves, exploding with spice and herbs. On the right bread, they could have been the base for one of the best sandwiches in the city. The cook told me they’re made from the owner’s family recipe, and a trailer’s as good as a family cookout to me.
All City Subs
UPDATE 07.012.12: All City has moved and changed hours. Now at 515 Pedernales St. at East Sixth. 512-516-3660, Facebook page here.
New hours: 11 a.m. to midnight daily.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking. At top: Sandwiches from All City, clockwise from front: The Bellucci with meatballs and sausage and peppers, a roasted pork slider, a roast beef slider and a chicken Parmesan sandwich. Inset: Roasted pork slider with collard greens and pickled onions.)