Shop owner Pete Adenski said that is exactly why his eatery has thrived since Jimmy Carter was president: keep it simple and use quality ingredients.
Adenski on Sept. 27 marked the sub shop’s 40th anniversary. The authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak restaurant—perched on a hill at the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and Mesa Drive—has survived multiple economic dips, the proliferation of chain sub shops and, most recently, the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, Adenski said he would not trade the occasionally bumpy ride as an independent restaurant owner for his original career path. After graduating from St. Edward’s University in 1974, the Wilmington, Delaware, native became an accountant for the state comptroller.
“It was monotonous. It was just not in my DNA. After my third year, I said to myself, ‘I don’t know if I can do this for 30 years,’” he said.
So, on Sept. 27, 1980, Adenski opened Delaware Sub Shop with a simple business plan: offer authentic cheesesteaks and Italian hoagies.
“We buy all the product line from Philadelphia-area suppliers,” said Adenski, who grew up 30 minutes south of the “City of Brotherly Love.” “We have a lot of •people from that area that are here now that actually give us credit and attest to what we sell.”
From the ribeye sandwich beef steaks to the pickled peppers, the sandwich’s adherence to Philadelphia style has attracted loyal customers. Eating lunch in the restaurant, Joe Zygarlenski said he has been coming to the restaurant for decades.
“I’ve been eating here since high school,” Zygarlenski said. “It’s a really good sandwich. It’s the best around.”
Delaware Sub Shop
8105 Mesa Drive, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.