David Tucci describes his two South Austin sub sandwich shops as true hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Through 10 years owning Tucci’s SouthSide Subs, he said he only invests money in something if it will make his food taste better.
“It’s all about the food and keeping the customer service to the level of the product,” he said. “We don’t really care about the dining room decorations or marketing. It’s about real food made by real people.”
Originally part of Austin’s Delaware Sub Shop chain for over 15 years, Tucci said he broke his two restaurants away in 2008 to create East Coast-style subs with lighter Italian bread and deli meat shaved thin and stacked tall. He said his goal was to invest money where national sub chains were not: in the ingredients.
Tucci said he first reached out to New World Bakery in Kyle to craft a custom bread that replicated the sandwich bread from Philadelphia the he grew up eating in Pennsylvania. He next made sure his shop only served Boar’s Head brand deli meats, something national chains would never invest money in, he said.
He has since continued to elevate his menu by adding local products to the restaurant, like Pogue Mahone pickles and Maine Root beverages, he said.
“I decided to just go over the top,” Tucci said. “Boar’s Head is a niche product, but we can never switch because that’s the quality our fans have been counting on for 10 years.”
Tucci’s menu offers over 15 varieties of subs—from cold cut classics, such as the spicy Italian to a Jalapeno Philly Cheesesteak hot off the grill—each earning his personal stamp of approval. However, Tucci said he does not go a day without eating a Tucci’s Turkey sub, with Cajun turkey, spinach, onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic mayo.
Similar to the quality ingredients at Tucci’s, the business’s two managers, Roscoe Carter and Chris Kuykendall, have been present at the stores from the beginning. Tucci said he and his staff are passionate about making subs, and his customers have become just as passionate about eating them.
“People are so committed to us,” he said. “For me, feeling that love back …you don’t expect that passion in return from the customers.”
Tucci’s SouthSide Subs
801 E. William Cannon Drive, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
7101 W. Hwy. 71, Ste. A5, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.