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Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 | 1 comment

Mr. Zub’s in Akron: Hot Sammies & Cold Beer

Mr. Zub’s in Akron: Hot Sammies & Cold Beer

I’m certain I consumed a stick of butter yesterday. On purpose. At one meal. And I hold our good friend and TAB guest blogger Amber responsible for this. A few weeks ago, she told me and Lisa about a must-try deli in the Highland Square neighborhood of Akron that stacks tater tots and cream cheese on their sammies. Obviously, I was now obligated to go.

Mr. Zub’s Deli is a funky, semi-hipster, dive-like spot a few doors down from the Highland Theatre on West Market Avenue. It’s also a few doors down from Square Records, making it an easy sell for Futureman who is always up for more vinyl.


Mr. Zub’s makes it clear before you walk through the door what you’re about to experience. Their signage is basically an illustrated STICK OF BUTTER. No shame. No obligatory salads for the health-conscious foodie. They proudly display their love of butter on their branding, menu, wall art, as well as the golden deli walls themselves.

They’ve named their indulgent sandwiches after famous and not-so-famous movie characters, which is fitting given their proximity to Highland Theatre. Usually, ‘restaurant kitsch’ irritates me, but Futureman and I enjoyed trying to 1) identify every movie character on the menu, and 2) figure out the correlation between the character and sandwich. {OK. So we’re nerds} Apparently, we’re also movie soulmates with the Mr. Zub’s guys – look at all these mutual faves: Rushmore, Goodfellas, Spinal Tap, The Graduate, Napoleon Dynamite and The Royal Tenenbaums.

The Food

Futureman and I shared two sandwiches: the Aunt Margie {aptly described on the menu as GIANT corned beef, tons o’ swiss, one fried egg, with lots of butter on grilled rye} and the Borat {three falafel patties, hummus, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sriracha on pita}. Both were awesome {and big!}, but in the end, we fought over the Borat. It was less over-the-top and more in-line with our taste buds these days. That said, you can hardly go wrong with a meat-cheese-egg-butter-bread combo.

Since we’re Parents of the Year, we ordered our middle son the Dirk Diggler (Google it if you need an explanation), a foot-long grilled hotdog with a side of slaw and onions. It was very good as far as giant hot dogs go. Our oldest son was boring and created his own pepperoni and cheese hoagie. It’s good to know Mr. Zub’s will accommodate picky eaters by creating just about anything you want. And given all the calories we were about to consume, what’s an order of tater tots? So, we got a box of those to share. “Napoleon, give me some of your tots!”

We also schemed what we’d order next time – the Ren McCormack for me {chicken shawarma on pita}, the Uncle Rico for Futureman {roast beef, tater tots, and onion & chive cream cheese on a wheat bagel}. There are 38 options on the menu, so please don’t hold us to these.

The Drinks

A nice bonus to the Mr. Zub’s experience is their full bar. Well, sort-of full bar. Mr. Zub’s has a limited selection of sodas and bottled beers, but if those aren’t what you have in mind, no worries – next door {literally, through a doorway} is the Matinee, a tucked away bar with a full selection of craft beers, wine, and liquor. While Futureman was placing our order, I walked a few footsteps to the Matinee and ordered a couple of IPAs. Heck, I could have ordered dirty martinis with extra olives and brought them over.

Alternately, if you’re in the bar and want food, you can order Mr. Zub’s sandwiches and tots and eat in the bar, which closes at 3 AM. Pretty cool concept. I can definitely see Futureman and me hanging out in the Matinee for a date night on the cheap.

The Vibe

Mr. Zub’s is not fancy, but is just right for what it is. Expect to order at a counter and get your food about 10 minute later in brown paper bags, whether you’re dining in and taking out. No china or stainless silverware to speak of. There are a handful of black vinyl booths, and bright gold and black walls are wrapped with their lengthy menu, typographic art, and random ‘stuff.’ Behind our booth was a Jane Fonda workout poster from the ‘80s. My son: ‘Why does that woman look weird?’ …Where do I begin?

All told, our meal, with beers, was around $40. Not bad. Definitely a good, super-casual, affordable spot for creative sandwiches and craft beers. We’ll be back. But first…time to hit the treadmill.

On the web:

PS – Aunt Margie is NOT a movie character. She’s the only non-movie reference on the menu. :)

Mr Zub's Deli at the Matinee on Urbanspoon

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1 Comment

  1. I always get the Louis Winthrop III or the Juno Macgruff. Though that’s hit and miss. I have never wandered over to the Matinee.

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