Lenny's News and Interviews

Sun Herald - A darn good sandwich shop

February 02, 2007

Lenny's Sub Shop offers up classic sandwiches for a busy Coast

About noon on a recent Saturday, the parking lot of Lenny's Sub Shop was full and the line at the drive through was hopping. Needless to say the order counter was a bit backed up.

Some of the people waiting in line seemed a bit confused by the ordering process, which isn't like some other chain-brand sub shops. Make no mistake, this sub shop ain't like those others sub shops.

The booming business after being open only a few weeks bears testament to the quality of Lenny's Sub Shop.

"It's all based on word of mouth," said Doug Wood, owner and manager of the latest Lenny's franchise in the Hardy Court Shopping Center on Pass Road.

At first glance, you might think Lenny's is a local mom and pop operation, which, to some extent, it is, but it is actually a franchise with its roots dating back to 1979 when Len and Sheila Moore started selling Philly cheesesteaks on the boardwalk at their Wildwood, N.J., Sub King Restaurant.

In 1998, they branched out with the first Lenny's franchise in Tennessee and the business has grown from there.

The Gulfport store is No. 394, and Wood, a Pascagoula native, is no stranger to the franchise. He has opened Lenny's franchises from Tennessee to Florida in the past eight years. The Gulfport location is his first sole proprietorship of a Lenny's.

It has been a busy first few weeks as the word of mouth has spread and customers are coming back for more.

Obviously, sub sandwiches, and Philly cheesesteaks in particular, are the standard fare for Lenny's Sub Shop, but they have all sorts of sub sandwiches on the menu, prepared to your specifications, with fresh cut meat and served on bread that is baked fresh daily. They also make their tuna and chicken salads fresh, in house, each day.

What do you have when you're reviewing a restaurant whose specialty is the Philly cheesesteak? The Philly cheesesteak, of course, with the works, which includes lettuce, tomatoes, pepper relish, Swiss-American cheese, grilled onions and piles of thin-sliced sirloin steak on soft wheat bread.

Even though I'm a healthy eater, considering my New Year's resolution and all, I went with the regular size (7-and-half-inch), rather than the 15-inch large.

The sandwich was beautifully prepared with shredded lettuce and small diced tomatoes. It was served piping hot and the bread was soft and delectable.
The whole thing melted in my mouth with each bite and the flavors melded together the way a true Philly cheesesteak ought to.

"I've had people come in and say they are from Philly and it better be an authentic Philly cheesesteak," Wood said. "We've had them satisfied every time. It's the best Philly south of Philly."

Not being from Philly, I can't testify to that, but I can say, it's a darn good sandwich.


What: Lenny's Sub Shop.

Where: 11 Pass Rd., at Hardy Court Shopping Center, Gulfport.

When: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.

Specialties: Hot and cold sub sandwiches, Philly cheesesteak, chicken and tuna salad, Italian sub, meatball sub, turkey sub, veggie subs, served on fresh baked bread. Fresh baked cookies, Lenny's brand potato chips.

Service: Dine in, carry out, drive through, catering.

Contact: 228-867-6044.

Contact Lenny's Public Relations:

Jenna Duett
Marketing and PR Manager
(901) 753-4002