Sub Station worth the trip

June 28, 2011 

Sub Station II can get sub love from me any day.

The sandwich shop is part of a franchise and locally owned by Tripp Baiden, a 43-year-old commercial contractor who works at the eatery with his girlfriend, Dawn Rochester, an assistant manager.

I truly appreciate Baiden for putting the Sub Station II back on the map, after one closed years ago in Surfside Beach.

On March 13, at the intersection of 62 Avenue N. & U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach (6104 Ave. N.), Baiden open right next door Little Pigs Bar-B-Q.

Unlike other sub joints, the meat isn't pre-sliced and sitting in a container waiting to be plopped on your sandwich bread of choice. Instead, it is sliced after you have ordered.

The footlong sub I ordered on sweet wheat, dark wheat the color of pumpernickel bread, was what the stomach doctor ordered.

It was huge. I only ate half of it and saved the rest for dinner.

The sandwich, No. 13 with ham, salami, pepperoni and provolone (or other cheese of choice), was so satisfying. It costs $7.89. The highest sub on the menu is the Super Special, No. 19, with ham, capicola, bologna, salami, turkey breast, pepperoni and cheese.

I also thoroughly enjoyed my sweet iced tea and sampled a knockout chicken salad with sunflower seeds and grapes, with a base of spicy mustard and mayonnaise, made by Harold Morich, general manager. Next time, I'm getting that as a sub.

The menu is a sandwich lover's dream because there are 200 different combinations you can create if you don't see what you like in the 30 numbered options. If you order a sandwich all the way, it will automatically come with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano. Other toppings are available upon request.

Baiden has struck an exclusive deal with the franchise that allows him to be the only individual to open stores in Horry County.

Baiden told me he believes the breads, which come from New York, and the meat used is what separates his subs from the pack.

I also think having a grill gives him an edge. You can actually get a hot sandwich that isn't heated in what is essentially an uppity microwave.

He has weekly specials featuring salads that are no more tan $7.25, including the Southwestern Chipotle Grilled Chicken Sandwich and 8-inch sandwich combos accompanied by a side, including a choice of a fresh fruit cup.

Sub Station II also caters.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Call 692-7827

Hibachi champ

You can't always trust a suggestion made by an employee of an eatery.

Sometimes, they suggest entrees that simply suck.

Alora Hunley, a 16-year-old church choir singer who attends Carolina Forest High School, told me the truth.

The Hot Barbecue Chicken entree at Jo Hibachi is good stuff.

Jo Hibachi, at 300 Elm St. in Conway, is the new hibachi restaurant owned a former chef and waitress at Yamato Steak House of Japan at Broadway at the Beach.

Joe and Pon Phouksouvath are husband and wife and once again coworkers.

"He worked at Yamato for 13 years, and I was a waitress there for 8 years," she told me when I visited their eatery, which opened June 5.

I adore the eatery's logo inside behind the cash register because it's an orange sumo wrestler outlined in black.

When I asked her why was "Jo" was spelled without an "e," she told me it was because "Jo" can more readily be associated with an American or Asian name.

Anyway, back to that chicken entree.

The dish was a delight. Tender chunks of chicken breast are grilled to juicy perfection and slathered with a thin barbecue sauce with a subtle sweetness and smokiness.

It comes with the standard hibachi zucchini-vegetable mix and with fried rice or noodles

The noodles, cooked with garlic butter, were simple and lip-smacking good. The meal costs $7.50, and it was worth every bite.

I dipped both the noodles and chicken with the house made hot sauce, which is the perfect kick of heat without making your eyes bulge and water.

The Yakiniku Beef is a sweet and spicy dish, which along with the Hot Barbecue Chicken, are Jo's Special dishes. It costs $8.50.

Outside of those two entrees, the usual hibachi suspects are here: sushi rolls, miso soup, bowl meals featuring one meat over rice or noodles and banana spring rolls.

Nothing on the menu is higher than $13.50, an honor that goes to the Hibachi Scallops entree.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Call 488-3999.

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