Pizza Den’s Submarine Sandwich

Frank Bowen sent me this recipe an embarrassingly long time ago, and I lost it amid a sea of email shufflings. Frank, I do apologize, and hope in some way you’ll forgive me. Here I reproduce his original mail with the reminder that Pizza Den is still open, and Bob’s family is carrying on the tradition of great local food in Oxford. Go see them the next time you’re there.

The following is a recipe that was posted on an Ole Miss Spirit message board several years ago. I made it several times and can attest that it is faithful to the original at the Pizza Den. It is not in standard recipe format, but it tells how to make the sandwich very well. I don’t know who made the post. He had a user name of Reblanta. I have found that the instructions of letting it rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes to simulate delivery is an important step.

Pizza Bob’s Famous Submarine Sandwich

In May, 1983, I had just bought a new car and decided that I would take it out on the road and drive up to Oxford for the afternoon, primarily to drop by Pizza Den and pick up some submarines to take back home and share with my Ole Miss friends that night. Things were slow late that afternoon when I got there but Pizza Bob was in good spirits. Since nobody else was there, I decided to broach the sacred subject on just how Bob made his famous submarine sandwich. Whether he was thinking of the good times he’d had in Nam, the money he had made off of me over the years, or perhaps he just felt sorry for me, I couldn’t tell, but this is what he told me. I watched him make the submarines and committed the process to memory.

Take your baguette, split it down the middle. Pour butter over the open slices of bread, sprinkle on a generous portion of both Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and place several thin slices of ham, salami, AND luncheon meat! Bob dusted all slices in between with the same cheese mixture, then in the middle of the meats he ladled in spaghetti sauce. Over the top of the meats he sprinkled more of the cheese mixture and then placed the other half of the bread on top. Finally, just as he was ready to seal up the sandwich in foil, he poured more melted butter over all. I cook mine about 20 minutes total in 350 degrees, turning it over about half way to disperse the butter evenly throughout. Finally, to make it authentic, take it out of the oven, and leave it on the counter top for about 15 to 20 minutes to simulate the delivery to Fraternity Row. Always remember to press the sandwich down as well.

I make it a point to make “Pizza Bobs” for every first televised football game of the year and I suggest that you do as well. I make mine exactly like he told me to except for that luncheon meat stuff. I hope that when you make your “Pizza Bob” sandwiches, you’ll think of Pizza Bob. I once heard this said and believe it now to be true: If food were a religion, Pizza Bob would be the High Priest.

11 Replies to “Pizza Den’s Submarine Sandwich”

    1. You’re exactly right. The Stromboli is made of ground Boston butt, sausage, spices and ?? with a tomato sauce, cheese and onions on top. There’s no sliced anything on a Pizza Den Stromboli. We eat there regularly. I’ve never ordered anything but Stromboli.

    1. It’s a commonly-found cold cut in this part of the country. In any given supermarket, you’ll find it among the other sliced meats in the packaged deli section, along with the sliced ham, olive loaf, head cheese and other processed and packaged meats. It has a very high pork/fat content. You might call it processed ham of some sort.

  1. Hate to break it but this is the submarine not stromboli. They grind their own ground beef and sausage used for the stromboli. I’m pretty sure he didn’t go to Vietnam because he has so many children they wouldn’t allow him to go. Also the Submarine is made slightly different then it used to be. He changed a few things before he passed

    I’m glad that people are still talking about him and keeping his name and memory alive. He will forever be missed.

    1. As I said, this is an issue you will have to take up with someone else. If you have a Facebook account, you should join the group “Restaurant History of Oxford Mississippi” and engage your discussion there. If this post is in error, I will certainly amend it. Thanks.

  2. Loved Pizza Bob and that Stromboli sammich! I think about it and him when in Oxford along with Ole Miss delivery spaghetti !

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