One way for a restaurant to be distinctive is to be located where customers would never expect to find it. People rave about barbecue tacos from a car wash in north Scottsdale, and several years ago Guy Fieri visited a Mexican restaurant in an Anthem gas station. In Tempe, the award for least likely restaurant location might go to Hangover Hoagies, a sandwich shop situated within Sun Stop Liquor, a quarter mile west of the Dorsey / Apache light rail station where the track switches between Apache and Terrace.
|Intoxicated Turkey Strami|
Sun Stop is your basic liquor store located near a college campus. It’s full of beverages of all types, along with a few “smoking accessories” and some nudie magazines behind the counter. What makes the store really interesting, though, is the decision to serve food right inside the store. That’s the role played by Hangover Hoagies, which is partitioned from the rest of the establishment.The minimalist setup is a counter where the sandwich maker works, a cooler full of beverages, and just three two-top tables. A bike rack is located at the other end of the strip mall.
Hangover can be lonely or crowded without much predictability. Sometimes, a visitor can be the sole customer and have a choice among the grand total of six seats. A other times, particularly when a crew from the Tempe Fire Department is having lunch, you’ll have to wait for a chair or get your sandwich to go. The person behind the counter is usually pretty quick, but if you’re in a hurry, a few grab-and-go specimens of the restaurant’s most popular sandwiches are kept in the same cooler as bottled drinks and are ready for immediate purchase.
|multiple modes of transport|
The food here is exactly what the name suggests: sandwiches made on long rolls, either six or twelve inches long, available in both white or whole wheat varieties. Depending on where you come from, you might know these as subs, heros, or even grinders. Hangover has chosen the Philadelphia term, hoagie, to describe its version of the popular hand food. There’s a menu listing twelve signature sandwiches, half warm by default and the other half cold, although staff are happy to toast any of their hoagies for a few minutes.
|Chicken Pesto Bomb|
The hoagie names all reflect the hangover theme of the restaurant’s name. The Italian Hangover bursts with cured meats of all sorts, along with provolone and various condiments. The Tipsy Meatball continues the Italian American theme with spheres of hearty ground meat in a chunky, zippy marinara sauce and several slices of slightly melted provolone. A cold sandwich, the Chicken Pesto Bomb, is full of basil and fresh mozzarella. Request any of these with yellow banana peppers for a little added heat or red cherry peppers for a more noticeable burn.
Many of the hoagies here combine multiple meats. The Inebriated Sub amazingly crams roast beef, pastrami, ham, and turkey into a single sandwich. Likewise, the Plastered Turkey BLT and the Effed Up Reuben add bacon to the fillings, without, as the menu makes clear, diminishing the serving of the other meats within. If all this is too much, though, a simple sandwich like the Faded Turkey is limited to just one meat and the D.D. (as in designated driver) Veggie foregoes meat entirely in favor of a mix of avocado, crumbled feta, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, and more.
To keep ordering simple, all sandwiches are priced the same (currently $5 for six inches and $8 for twelve). Additional toppings generally cost 50 cents with the exception of double meat and double cheese indulgences, which are more. The best value is a combo meal, which adds a bag of chips and a fountain drink for a dollar extra. The chips are either SunChips or Miss Vickie’s potato chips, both Frito-Lay product lines, available in multiple flavors. The fountain offers various sodas and lemonade, but, surprisingly, no iced tea.
For that seemingly obvious beverage choice, it’s necessary to go around the partition into Sun Stop to buy some bottled tea. The much larger cooler there is also home to a wide variety of juices and other soda alternatives. Of course, it might be tempting to pick up some beer or wine to enjoy with a hoagy, but the store’s liquor license doesn’t allow for on-premises consumption. To pull that off, you’ll need to get everything to go. A liquor store may be an unlikely location for a sandwich stop, but the sandwiches here are good enough that even teetotalers are likely to enjoy them.
1212 E. Apache Blvd., Tempe AZ 85281