Sub sandwiches: India-Oak Grill

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From the February 23, 2012 edition

India-Oak Grill is an unassuming neighborhood pub with an ad tagline that’s always made me laugh: “The Best Subs in Clintonville!”

I mean, how many subs can there possibly be in Clintonville? Which subs from the rest of the city are keeping the India-Oak folks from declaring theirs the best in Columbus?

Anyway, I thought it’d be amusing to try every sub in Clintonville to see how India-Oak’s stacks up. And then I started digging in and found out that, well, there are actually an awful lot of subs in Clintonville.

In an attempt to narrow the playing field, I eliminated the pizza places (Gatto’s, Dante’s), and my unscientific reasoning disqualified Villa Nova because it’s more Beechwold than Clintonville.

Here are the best of the rest.

India-Oak Grill

590 Oakland Park Ave.

The Sandwich: “The Classic” Italian Sub, $5.75

What’s on it: Ham, salami, provolone, onions, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers and Italian dressing. This is a masterfully composed sandwich. A layer of cheese is melted nicely onto the underside of a fresh, toasted Auddino’s bun. The veggie components sit between the two layers of thick-sliced meats, preventing any potential sogginess. And there’s just enough creamy Italian dressing to add a nice flavor punch.

Best sub in Clintonville? Yes, I’d have to agree.

O’Reilly’s Pub

2822 N. High St.

The Sandwich: The Italian Sub, $6.75

What’s on it: Salami, ham, pepperoni, onion, banana peppers, tomato, lettuce, provolone and Italian dressing. This was a close runner-up. It’s the tallest of the bunch, with a lot of veggies adding some nice crunch. Slightly spicy with great, well-balanced flavors.

Best sub in Clintonville? Almost. Note: O’Reilly’s is also home to the Pepper Burger, aka the best burger in Clintonville.

Smith’s Deli

3737 N. High St.

The Sandwich: Super Sub, $6.19

What’s on it: Hot ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, onions and Smith’s special dressing. This is Smith’s Spicy Italian Sub with the addition of pepperoni. The spicy meats are all layered together in a thick pile in the middle of the sandwich. Said meat pile was too thick for my tastes, but the guy friend who tasted these with me enjoyed the meatiness.

Best sub in Clintonville? No.