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Vennie’s Sub Shop

Coming from off of the high of Drive Canteen, I was excited to try another restaurant by the team that has brought the city the wildly popular Juke’s Fried Chicken and Downlow Chicken. This is their newer sandwich shop option: Vennie’s Sub Shop, located kitty corner to Downlow. In fact, my first taste of Vennie’s was when we were waiting in line for 2 hours, for one of Downlow’s limited edition collaboration sando, and we got hungry. So, Mark of @fooddaddyca thought it would be a good idea that we get a sandwich from Vennie’s as a waiting in line snack.

The day was a Tuesday, and seeing as they have daily specials, he got their Tuna Melt for us to try. Two thick pieces of buttered toast, sandwiching a substantial amount of mashed and whipped smooth tuna fish spread. Creamy and tangy from mayo, salty and sharp from aged cheddar. As tasty as it was on the first couple of bites, I found it got heavy fast and I was left craving for the freshness. The addition of chopped celery or pickles, would have been welcomed.

I would later return on a separate day to get a better feel for their regular subs, ordering a few to go. Their small shop has limited seating inside and out, a couple of small side tables and space saving chairs.

The cumin smoked lamb sounded interesting but didn’t present all that well. Smoked lamb rubbed in cumin and chilli with black garlic mayo, pickled shiitake mushroom relish, and shredded lettuce. It was so saucy that the juices were quick to cause the bread to go soggy. I wanted more lamb meat for a more even bread to filling ratio. And more notable fillings so it is not just a sandwich of lamb, gravy, and lettuce. I did not taste any garlic mayo or the enjoyable tang of a relish. Therefore, I wanted another element from this, and it left me hanging, feeling incomplete.

The Classic Deli was the most flavourful of their subs that we tried, with plenty of mixed ingredients to sort through to keep you coming back, bite after bite. Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Spicy Calabrese, Shredded Lettuce, Slivered Onion, Spicy Red Pepper Relish, Herb Seasoning, Olive Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar. They did not cheap out on the types and amount of salty sheet meet. Although It did become a little overwhelming midway through for my tastes; but nothing, a slice of cheese and some dressing could not easily balance out. I did like the spicy tomato aioli to help flavour and moisten, especially as I found the bread on the tough and dry side.

Here, our side order of corn salad helped to add moisture and balance out the additional saltiness. This is their Street Corn Salad with buttered Corn, Cilantro Vinaigrette, Fresh Cilantro, Feta, Tajin, and Scallions. It was cold and soggy due to its extended time sitting in wait. Whereas I wanted the kernels crispy and the seasonings fresh. I liked the idea of this as a side to sandwiches, just not the execution. On that note, I was also sad they did not have any soups available on the menu, because I truly believe a soup and sandwich is the ultimate combo.

The Fried Bologna was great. Served in a flaky egg bun with a smokey mustard sauce, it felt more like a breakfast sandwich, and ate just as comforting. Bologne, Bologne Sauce, Swiss Cheese, Martins Potato Roll, Slivered Onion, and Dill Pickle. I did find the pickle a little obtrusive and that tangy fried tomatoes would have made for a better fresh component in this, instead. Although, this was still the best one of the lot.

In conclusion, I did not feel like the sandwiches and subs above stood on the same level as their predecessor restaurants. A decent offering, but if I am in the area, I will go to Downlow for a 100% delicious and consistent sandwich instead. Although if you are carving something lighter and cleaner, Vennie’s is the only place for sandwiches in the neighbourhood.

Vennie’s Sub Shop
1692 Venables St, Vancouver, BC V5L 2H2, Canada

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