Cheap Eats

$10 Lunch: Mr. Nick's Sub Shoppe

The deal: This blue shack is little more than a takeout window with a modest porch and a few patio tables, but it gets packed during the week with area workers looking to grab a quick lunch to go. It's been open in Fort Lauderdale since 1975 and is famous for cheese steaks.

What you get: There are half-a-dozen kinds of cheese steaks, ranging from a regular variety with onions to a "gourmet" cheese steak with garlic butter sauce and herbs cooked into the meat. Most of the

hot sandwiches run $5.75 for a six-inch (more than enough for one hungry dude) to $9.75 for a

12-inch. There is also a huge variety of cold subs like ham and cheese,

turkey, and roast beef, plus an assortment of salads with crunchy

homemade croutons for under $7. A daily sandwich special is $6 and

comes with pasta salad, potato salad, or chips.

We tried:

Just about everything we've tried at Mr. Nick's has been fresh and

tasty. The cheese steak sandwiches aren't made with Cheez Wiz like an

authentic Philly, but they do have plenty of American cheese melted

throughout and some chewy-soft bread that's hard to top. The cold subs

full of lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, and whatever else you could

ask for won't break you of your LaSpada's habit, but they are good for

an honest sandwich. The only miss is the daily-made chili -- it's just

too sweet.

Bonus points: Service is friendly and fast even when the line is extra long.

Mr. Nick's Sub Shoppe
901 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale 33071

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John Linn