Empire Sub Shop

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Published on: February 16, 2014

The wife and I dropped in to this relatively new restaurant on Valentine’s Day.  It was later in the afternoon, after the lunch rush.  The parking lot was relatively clear of snow, easy to find a spot.  There was a couple eating lunch, and another two tables with single diners.  Empire is located in the former Burger King in downtown Liverpool.  The inside is somewhat remodeled, but it’s pretty easy to tell what the place used to be.

The menu is extensive, and is displayed on an easy-to-read panel over the counter.  Whole subs, half subs and wraps are all listed there.  According to their web site (www.empiresubshop.com) they also offer daily soups.  Prices seemed to be pretty good, but I wanted to reserve judgement until after the meal.

The counter person was efficient and polite, if not overly perky.  That’s fine by me – I don’t necessarily want to be waited on by the battery bunny on happy pills.  She took our order – a whole Empire Combo and a Pastrami on rye with spicy mustard.  It appears they only serve bottled drinks – no fountain service.  I know some people who get ticked over things like that, but a bottle of diet was fine by us.  The sandwiches were delivered in short order, and we took them to a booth by the front door.  Total bill was just under a $20 bill.

Okay, bad part first.  The floor was dirty, and someone had obviously spilled something with a lot of sugar on the floor by the booth.  They had 4 or 5 people behind the counter, and at least one was just standing there – the others all seemed to be busy.  I would have hustled someone out there to mop the floor.  Yeah, a constant job in the winter, but it would have raised the ambiance by a factor of 10.

The wife thought her sandwich could have used more pastrami.  Especially since the only other thing it had on it was a spicy mustard.  I thought it was pretty hefty, but the bread was thick.  My fault with her sandwich: they didn’t seem to know what “deli mustard” was.  Instead of a spicy brown mustard, they put on a thin, aromatic mustard.  Eh, it wasn’t my sandwich.

Now for the good stuff.  My large sandwich was just that – large.  It was cut in two, and both halves barely fit on the plate.  Ham, turkey and roast beef with plenty of veggies (no onions as requested).  The rolls were just like I prefer – soft.  The crust was enough to keep my fingers from hitting the insides of the roll, and there was enough mayo slathered on to keep me licking the corners of my mouth.  Shredded lettuce and a couple thick slices of tomato topped it off.  There was a thin line of chili paste on there, but I didn’t really taste it.

While we were there, they were putting together a large “to go” order, and another couple people popped in to get a sandwich.  It was quieter, but not dead by any stretch of the imagination.

I’d happily return.  If you’re a sub connoisseur it might be worth a trip across town.  If you’re in Liverpool anyway, I’d say it’s worth a stop.


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