Stanlieo’s Sub Villa
“What’s for lunch?”
“The best sandwich in Huntsville.”
Nathan had his first Kitchen Sink at the Governors Drive location of Stanlieo’s Sub Villa on Christmas Eve, 2012. We had just come from passing out parking tokens at the hospital. (It’s maybe one person in 10 who parks in a hospital garage and isn’t having a bad day, so why not drop some Christmas spirit there?)
Glenn Watson opened Stanlieo’s in May 1971 on Jordan Lane, one door south of the current location, with the idea of bringing Boston-style subs to the South. (That’s what the cubed onions, tomatoes, and pickles are about.) The Kitchen Sink has been exactly the same sandwich that entire time. That’s Genoa salami, cotto salami, ham, turkey, roast beef, cappicola, and pepperoni. It’s Swiss, American, and provolone. It weighs a pound. It comes hot or cold.[sws_pullquote_left]If you were trying to name an Official Sandwich of Huntsville, it’d be tough to say anything but the Kitchen Sink! [/sws_pullquote_left] I’ve eaten at Stanlieo’s regularly since we moved to the Huntsville area in 1986, and I’ve only very rarely had anything else on the menu. The Kitchen Sink is just too perfect. It’s good both ways, but I prefer mine cold. I think the vegetables have a more intense flavor that way.
(And actually the sandwich did change once. Current owner Connie Ward shared with me last week that she once accidentally changed the bread when she changed distributors, and heard about it long and loud from several regular customers. The inadvertent yet serious error was corrected quickly.)
Stanlieo’s has what is likely one of the more extensive sandwich menus you’ll ever encounter. You can get standby classics, like meatball, tuna, or corned beef. You can get seven different steak subs, including the Steak Bomb, which may be the second most well-known Stanlieo’s sandwich. There are nine specialty subs, like the Kitchen Sink and the Pizza Sub (Connie’s favorite). There are numerous vegetarian offerings, including several with meat analogues.
There are also salads and several delicious side dishes that go beyond the expected bags of chips, or French fries. (Not that those aren’t available too!)
The Stanlieo’s experience is a fast casual one. Order at the counter, and then they bring it to you by number. Lea and the boys met me for lunch at the Jordan Lane location. Nathan and I each had a Kitchen Sink. Lea had a steak kabob sub, and Aaron had a pepperoni sub. We shared fried cheese sticks and fried dill pickles (spears, not chips; how’s that for a twist?).
There is an intensity in Stanlieo’s subs that is generally absent in the offerings of large chains. A lot of it is the piquancy of the cubed onions, tomatoes, and pickles that are a Stanlieo’s trademark. I think it’s also that the meats and cheeses are always very fresh.
There is consistent excellence in a Stanlieo’s sandwich. Once you have your favorite, you can reliably look forward to it, because you can count on the experience time after time.
Finally, and know I say this with much affection: Stanlieo’s is kind of a dive. We’re talking way too cazh for the prom or the big business dinner. However, it’s a fantastic choice for lunch during the week, or for an easy and delicious sack of I-did-so-cook for dinner. Restrooms are single-seaters without changing tables. Highchairs are available.
Stanlieo’s is also an institution. If you were trying to name an Official Sandwich of Huntsville, it’d be tough to say anything but the Kitchen Sink!
Location: 605 Jordan Lane, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 837-7220
Hours: 10AM to 9PM, Mon.-Sat. & 11AM-3PM Sun.
Location: 602 Governors Drive SW, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 536-6585
Hours: 10AM – 7PM, Mon.-Sat.
Lifelong Alabamian Bo Williams is a Christian, husband, father, writer, and human trafficking activist. He has strong opinions on many things, including good food, IndyCar racing, and the importance of high-quality socks. You can keep up with him day to day at BoWilliams.com.
Roast beef hold the oregano and the gravy OR Pizza Sub with just a little bit of mayo – trust me on this. Always finish with a big Root Beer.
Paula, the pizza sub with a little bit of mayo tip reminds me of the old Italian sub at Subzone. Did you ever have that one? It was really tasty, but it should have come with nitro pills.
I think I’m a Kitchen Sink man forever.
Steak Kabob is my favorite the only one i have eat for past 30 plus years. Stanlieo’s is my all time favorite place to eat. Plus I love the people too.
Linda, the steak kabob is my wife’s favorite too!
I live in the house that is next door to Stanlieo’s on Jordan Lane. The smell of fresh bread baking each morning at Stanlieo’s is one of my favorite things! It is wonderful !! During the remodel of our home was when we learned just how good their subs were. Visitors love to go next door and order a kitchen sink. They think it’s cool I live so close to such a great sub shop and so do I !!!
I took my teenage son to the old Stanlieo’s over by the Von Braun a year or two ago. He said “Why did we come here?” Then the sandwiches came out and he understood COMPLETELY. KITCHEN SINK KITCHEN SINK KITCHEN SINK!!! The Steak Bomb is nice as well, but KITCHEN SINK!!! That glorious tomato onion pickle stuff had my car smelling like Stanlieo’s for three or four wonderful days. Simply unbeatable!
That stuff doesn’t wash off your fingers so easily, either. 🙂
The Day Glenn Watson opened in April or May 1971, I entered the store to buy a Sub and for me and my family the rest is history. I am a world traveler and when I leave huntsville for extended periods of time the first stop to eat is Stanlieos. Spent 3 years away in Germany. When we came home before going to see the family yes we went to Stanlieos. By far the best Subs in the world.