Lubi's

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BT
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2005/02/01 18:41:07 (permalink)

Lubi's

Sp do you Florida Roadfooders already know about this and would you care to comment on what the Wall Street Journal has to say?
quote:
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Jacksonville Eats

By DOROTHY J. GAITER and JOHN BRECHER
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
February 1, 2005; Page D5


While fans pick sides for Sunday's Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., our wine columnists -- Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher -- offer their pick: a special sandwich shop that is a local institution.

In the years since John grew up in Jacksonville, the city has developed a burgeoning wine and food culture, but whenever we visit, we still go straight to a place we will always consider Jacksonville's unique contribution to the culinary world: Lubi's, home of the Lubi. If you find yourself in Jacksonville, change out of any light-colored clothes or anything you care dearly about, and drop in.

It's difficult to describe a Lubi, at least in terms that make it sound delicious. But trust us, once you've had one, you'll never forget it and you'll dream and scheme about how to get another. The four Lubi restaurants are little, informal places where you get a tray and stand in line. There are all sorts of typical snack-bar sandwiches, like camel riders, meatball subs and chicken-salad sandwiches, but the classic is the Lubi, listed on the menu as "Our Famous Lubi." It is a wonder: seasoned ground sirloin topped with mayonnaise, mustard, American cheese and a hot-pepper sauce and wedged into a steamed hero roll.

The restaurant offers a choice of five free toppings that you can heap on top of that. The result is so messy that its creators suggest you eat Lubis with a knife and fork. It is also, in another gastronomical way, a challenging dish. John's Aunt Miriam used to come down from New York, have a Lubi, suffer with indigestion for a day, and then have another.

There are many variations -- five others in fact, all built on top of the "Famous" Lubi. There's the Stroganoff Lubi that adds sour cream, mushroom gravy and mozzarella cheese; the Mean Machine, which has lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and Italian dressing; the Chili Lubi, which is topped with spicy homemade chili and American cheese; the Mozzarella Lubi, which is the best-seller and is topped with mozzarella cheese, sour cream and marinara sauce; and the Fiesta Lubi, which comes with chili, sour cream, American and mozzarella cheese, and lettuce and tomatoes. We like the Famous Lubi, the classic.

In fact, we have been so enamored of the Lubi that years ago, we figured we could duplicate it in our small Manhattan apartment. We bought a bottle each of the hot- and sweet-pepper sauce, schlepped them back to New York, and failed miserably. High art cannot be replicated.

Lubi's is a family-run restaurant that Lu and Bill Wallace opened in 1969 as a sideline to the couple's principal business, an ambulance service in the rear of the same property. The name is a combination of the first names of the couple, who later divorced. About six months after opening, while Lu and Bill were casting about for something unique, a salesman suggested they try a steamed sandwich and described one that he loved. Over time and with suggestions from customers, the Lubi evolved into what it is today.

How the Lubi is made is a family secret. They'll say only that it takes two days to make. The classic Lubi originally sold for 69 cents; today it costs $4.49. Lu Wallace now runs the restaurants with her son Niccolas DiRamio and daughter Nina Teuschel.

Oh, and by the way, before you ask: No, there is no wine that goes with a Lubi. You must eat it with their special cherry limeade, made from hand-squeezed limes. It comes in a large cup and costs $1.99. There are other beverages on the menu, including beer, but a Lubi must be eaten with the cherry limeade. There's a law about that in Jacksonville -- or at least there should be.
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    carlton pierre
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/01 23:19:30 (permalink)
    It's almost embarrassing that the WSJ would discover this place before anyone here tells us about it. Sounds like a neat place. I'm going to Jaxville in a few weeks and hope to find Lubi's.
    #2
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/02 09:14:08 (permalink)
    Originally posted by BT
    There are all sorts of typical snack-bar sandwiches, like camel riders, meatball subs and chicken-salad sandwiches, but the classic is the Lubi, listed on the menu as "Our Famous Lubi." It is a wonder: seasoned ground sirloin topped with mayonnaise, mustard, American cheese and a hot-pepper sauce and wedged into a steamed hero roll.-------
    This sounds like a Maid-Rite on steroids, with a range of toppings added. I want one.
    What's a "Camel Rider", though? These writers seem to think that's common knowledge, but I've never heard the term.
    http://www.maidrite.com/about_maid-rite.html

    #3
    Skylar
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/04 16:30:20 (permalink)
    I am glad to see this post. I posted day before yesterday requesting the recipe for Lubi's sandwich after reading about it in The Wall Street Journal. I have telephoned Lubi's three times trying to winiggle the recipe out of them to no avail. However, I did order a jar of hot peppers and regular peppers that they use on the sandwich. I wanted the seasoning for the meat but they said NO. When someone goes there please post what you think the sandwich taste like and the proper ingredients.
    #4
    harriet1954
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/04 19:41:32 (permalink)
    Well, this is their website: http://www.lubis.com. Looking at the photos of the sandwiches, it seems like a cross between what a Maid-Rite must be like and a cheesesteak, only it's ground beef instead of chopped up or sliced.
    #5
    UncleVic
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/05 01:04:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by shaynas_mom

    Well, this is their website: http://www.lubis.com. Looking at the photos of the sandwiches, it seems like a cross between what a Maid-Rite must be like and a cheesesteak, only it's ground beef instead of chopped up or sliced.


    Either way, subs on that site look pretty tasty!
    #6
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/06 13:12:08 (permalink)
    I'm from jacksonville and my wife manages the LUBI'S down on the beach. I'm not sure what a maidrite is, the closest thing I know of to a LUBI is the loose meat sandwich from the roseanne show or a super taco in a torpedo roll. It is virtually impossible to recreate a LUBI at home because of the way its made, the meat is a basic ground beef, freshly ground to a secret recipe, its placed in a roll with sweated onions wrapped in foil then steamed until the final ingrediants are applied when its ordered. The sandwichs are huge and one will satisfy if not overfill the largest appetite. The Hot Peppers are a fascinating blend of hot and sweet peppers and seasonings that are spicey but not overwhelming. For those not in the know a camel rider is a sandwich made in half of a pita bread, the filling can be anything from ham and chese to tuna salad to the basic LUBI. If you happen to visit Jacksonville be sure to see Jacksonville Beach and when you go to the LUBI'S on 3rd street tell "Mom" I sent you....
    #7
    Skylar
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/06 13:49:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dreamzpainter

    It is virtually impossible to recreate a LUBI at home because of the way its made, the meat is a basic ground beef, freshly ground to a secret recipe,


    Do you mean the seasonings ground into the meat? What exactly are you talking about?
    #8
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/06 15:33:22 (permalink)
    The only thing "special" about the meat is that its of high quality and freshly ground only basic seasonings are used when cooking. The hardest part to copy at home is the steaming, the foil wrapped sandwichs are placed in a steam table until a sandwich is ordered, then the toppings are added (chili, stroganoff, pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc, etc.)then the sandwich is microwaved to warm the toppings. The result is a warm moist roll and steaming filling that is eaten with a knife and fork becausae its (almost) impossible to pick one up without making a mess.
    #9
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2005/02/06 16:08:40 (permalink)
    sheeeeeesh I just got lectured!!! I let the wife read my reply... Apparently I was mistaken about a camel rider!! Probably because my favorite sandwich is a feista lubi in a pita and I ask her to bring home one of my camel riders.... A REAL Camel rider is ham and salami and cheese with lettuce, tomatoe, onion, hot peppers, homemade italian dressing, mayo and mustard.. sorry for the misinformation =( of course they will make any sandwich to the customers specification..
    #10
    Mecoman
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    RE: Lubi's 2006/02/25 21:32:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Skylar

    I am glad to see this post. I posted day before yesterday requesting the recipe for Lubi's sandwich after reading about it in The Wall Street Journal. I have telephoned Lubi's three times trying to winiggle the recipe out of them to no avail. However, I did order a jar of hot peppers and regular peppers that they use on the sandwich. I wanted the seasoning for the meat but they said NO. When someone goes there please post what you think the sandwich taste like and the proper ingredients.


    I was living in Jacksonville in 1969 when Lu opened the first Lubi's on University Blvd. My cousin Pat was a friend of hers, and introduced me to the delicacy. I, too, am one of those who cannot pass anywhere near Jax without stopping for my "fix." Pat even had her own lunch restaurant downtown with her friend Wanda (Muggs, for those who might remember it). She knew the recipe for the Lubi and gave it to me. I have it written down, but haven't made it in years, mostly because it never came out as good as the original and. before anyone asks, the answer is no, I will not disclose it. I always get two of them, a Classic, and the Italian style. I eat half of each and save the rest, carefully wrapped in the foil. They do reheat well if you're careful to retain the moisture of the steamed roll. Though I've thought of it, I've never asked if they would ship frozen Lubi's. I almost hope they won't since it would have to suffer in the thawing.
    #11
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2006/02/26 17:13:04 (permalink)
    We get "mistakes" a couple times a week and the Mrs. brings them home. Refrigerated but not frozen they comeback just fine in the microwave. Sometimes (like when training new help) theres more "mistakes" than we can use so the dogs eat VERY well. Ms.LU is still very involved in the operation, unfortunately the area around the orginal store has declined in recent years and there's been some talk of closing it. With the I295/9a bypass almost completed the main store on Beach Blvd. will be easily accesable to travellers (less than half a mile)
    #12
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Lubi's 2006/02/26 17:31:24 (permalink)
    Never heard of em, but they sound heavenly! Just my kinda sandwich! I used to make something similar by hollowing out a loaf of french bread and dumping in ground beef, cheese, and whatever else I had on hand.. then wrapping and heating in the oven.. goes great with some nice tomato soup!
    #13
    BT
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    RE: Lubi's 2006/02/27 01:23:16 (permalink)
    dreamzpainter--I had trouble with the web site so could you post the actual address so I can find it with MapQuest. Next time I'm in north FL, I may be able to drop in and try one. This past winter, when visiting the relatives in Ormond I rented a car in Jax (near the AMTRAK station) to drive down and may do that again so if it isn't too far out of the way . . . .
    #14
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2006/02/27 01:37:42 (permalink)
    The main store is 11633 beach blvd, jacksonville, fl. If your coming from AMTRAK you may as well continue to the Jax Bch location (another 7? miles) at 3rd ave and 3rd street so. Get there before 3pm, tell MOM we talked on here and get a discount.
    #15
    winger383
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/03/30 01:21:10 (permalink)
    Just to add my two cents. I have lived in Jacksonville since 1982 and encountered by first Lubi (at the store on Sunbeam) around 1990. The first time I went there, I was a little horrified (it's not your typical diner), but then obsessed about the darn thing until I finally had to go back, and now have to visit at *least* once every couple of weeks. ;) To call a Lubi "quirky" would be an understatement, but once you've had one you'll be addicted.
    #16
    rebeltruce
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/03/30 07:18:30 (permalink)
    I WANT A LUBI NOW!!!!!!.....LOL

    This sounds like an excellent sloppy mess......the descriptions in this thread make me want to head south today for a Lubi.

    I couldn't see the any pictures on the website am I missing something, I notice this is an older thread so maybe the site doesn't have pictures any longer?
    #17
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/03/31 23:02:47 (permalink)
    Winger the store on Sunbeam is kind of the stepchild of the operation, if you get a chance to stop at the store on 3rd and 3rdN Jax Beach, ask for mom and tell her I sent you.

    BT, the closest and easiest to get to from the airport would be the main store on Beach Blvd. From the airport take I95 south about 2 miles then 9A south to Beach Blvd (I90) east, the main store is about a half mile down on the left, but you have to go to the light and make a Uturn. You could also follow beach blvd for about 8 miles to 3rd st in Jacksonville Beach, make a left and go 3 blocks, the store is on the left.
    #18
    Adjudicator
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/04/01 11:13:20 (permalink)
    There are NO pics on the Lubi's site. What's the deal?
    #19
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/04/01 11:42:50 (permalink)
    I too see no pictures on the website....what pictures are you folks referring to?
    #20
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/04/04 17:26:01 (permalink)
    I cant say why there are no pictures available but the site looks like it has changed. I'll try to get the information and put a bug in the owners ear that pictures help
    #21
    Karnbach
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/07/02 20:33:42 (permalink)
    LOL... We loved Lubi's But it's a little of a long drive from Orlando to J'ville..... my wife's a great cook... and I wanted a Lubi... I found an interesting recipe.. passed it to my wife... and she tweaked it a bit.... wham-o!!!

    My wife won't get me the recipe right now... watching Emeril... but I'll keep on her and I will post the recipe.... those of you who have had Lubi's... trust me... as good or better! Without a freaking soakin wet bun! Still can't eat it with your hands though!

    Now only if we knew how to make Blue Boy's sandwiches!!! LOL
    #22
    Karnbach
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    RE: Lubi's 2007/07/03 20:24:25 (permalink)
    ok... Diane gave it to me... we're having it this weekend and I can't wait!

    My Version of Lubi’s Mozzarella
    By Diane Karnbach

    1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
    ½ pound lean ground pork
    Pepper
    Salt
    Sub rolls (or hot dog rolls for the kids)
    Sliced mozzarella cheese
    Sour cream
    Marinara sauce
    Your choice of toppings
    Aluminum foil

    Cook ground beef and ground pork in frying pan until well done. Season with salt & pepper. Open sub roll and layer on sour cream and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Form foil around the sub roll. Add meat, layer on mozzarella cheese slices, top with marinara. I also like to add banana peppers, roasted red peppers or “Mezzetta” deli-style bell pepper relish. Place under broiler until cheese bubbles. Enjoy!
    #23
    Karnbach
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    RE: Lubi's 2008/09/05 21:31:56 (permalink)
    Bump! Good recipe!!!!
    #24
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