Find the Best Italian Combo (and Richie Podvesker) at SoHo Subs in Coral Springs

The Italian sub at SoHo Subs in Coral Springs.
The Italian sub at SoHo Subs in Coral Springs.
Photo by Nicole Danna

Just barely open, SoHo Subs in Coral Springs is making one of the best Italian subs in South Florida. The deli has been operating under-the-radar for the past two weeks, serving free subs to anyone who walks in the door. Right now, there's  brown construction paper on the windows. An official open date is slated for Monday, December 19.

This particular sub has all the requirements of a perfect Italian combo: a hefty helping of ham, capicola, and Genoa salami, thick-sliced provolone cheese, fresh-cut tomato, crispy lettuce, sliced white onion, and roasted red peppers, all slathered with oil and vinegar and a dash of salt, pepper, and oregano — all of it stuffed into a fresh-baked, sesame-studded Italian sub roll.

It's all thanks to SoHo Subs founder Jeff Lassen (a self-described sandwich connoisseur) and his general manager (a well-known South Florida sub chef and creator of one of the ten best sandwiches in Palm Beach County).

For loyal fans of Seaside Deli in Boynton Beach, the best part of ordering a sandwich from SoHo Subs might be the chance to have Richie Podvesker make it for you.

SoHo Subs general manager Richie Podvesker (left) and founder Jeff Lassen.
SoHo Subs general manager Richie Podvesker (left) and founder Jeff Lassen.
Photo by Nicole Danna

For the time being, Podvesker can be found training employees behind the SoHo Subs counter while also serving up a side of Seaside nostalgia for those who miss seeing his smiling face since he sold the two-generation-strong business to former major league baseball shortstop Rafael Belliard in 2014.

"I missed this," says Podvesker. "After a year cooking [in a regular kitchen], I've realized this is my passion. It's what I'm good at."

A native New Yorker, Lassen — also founder of several local businesses including Coral Springs-based Rite Way Auto Transport — says he met Podvesker while on a similar hunt for the perfect location to open a deli. Rather than go it alone, they decided to join forces with SoHo Subs, a concept Lassen plans to expand and franchise in the coming years.

"I couldn't find what I was looking for around here. Every day I would go out with my employees for lunch and nothing was up to my standards," says Lassen, who grew up in his grandfather's deli in Lynbrook, New York. "I always wanted to have my own sub shop. It's in my blood."

Today, you won't find the #13 (my favorite Seaside sub) on the fancy LED SoHo Subs menu, but you will find a few of the longtime Palm Beach County deli's best attributes, like a megasized selection of canned and bottled beverages — more than 130 different sodas, iced teas, and soft drinks in all. Or the dozens of varieties of potato chips, shelves lined with colorful bags of specialty brands in dozens of flavors, from Zapp's Sweet Pimento Cream Cheese to Dirty's Maui Onion. A daily selection of fresh-baked cookies, square slices of cake, and various baked goods will also be available.

For the past several weeks, SoHo Subs was giving out free sandwiches to customers who walked into the not-yet-open business.
For the past several weeks, SoHo Subs was giving out free sandwiches to customers who walked into the not-yet-open business.
Photo by Nicole Danna

Quality will also be a main focus. When it officially opens later next week, the place will feature a concise selection of hot and cold classic subs made using only Boar's Head meats and cheeses and fresh produce sourced from nearby farms. Bread is delivered daily from a local artisan, whole leaf Romaine in used in place of bagged, shredded iceberg, and tomatoes are sliced to order.

For Lassen, it's all about being the best. "I believe you build a brand on quality. You've got to have the best money can buy to serve the best," he says.

The eatery, located in the former Sushi Run space in a strip mall off Wiles Road, has a distinct New York vibe compliments of Lassen, from its subway-styled decor to the cityscape panorama on the back wall. The bathrooms are equally colorful, custom painted by a local artist: a sports theme for the men and Fifth Avenue fashion icons for the ladies. Take note of the penny floor Lassen designed himself, combing through thousands of pennies to create a shiny, uniform pattern.

"SoHo Subs is really something special. It's like Seaside Deli on steroids," says Podvesker. 


SoHo Subs. 8040 Wiles Rd., Coral Springs; 954-688-4001; sohosubs.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram

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