Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas’ restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.
Dino’s Subs in Arlington is celebrating its 40th year in business this year. Over that time, many have grown up going to this sandwich shop and are now raising their own there: Because every kid deserves to know a good sandwich.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there have been large signs hanging outside Dino's with their phone number for call-in orders. It feels like that’s what they want customers to do. And a menu taped to the front door feels like a last-ditch effort to get customers to call. So, I did just that, standing at the door reading the menu waiting for someone to answer. Then, two other customers just walked in, and I felt silly standing there, so I hung up and just went in, too.
Inside, the place hasn’t changed much, perhaps not at all, over the past four decades. Coolers line the wall behind the sandwich counter, full of meats and cheeses. A weird turning cabinet of meat still twirls. It's all comfortably the same.
Rookie tip number one: Spend some time studying the menu before ordering. The sandwich options aren't simple necessarily, there are some nuances and layers. Plus, the essential sandwich makers there don’t seem to like indecision. They’re not rude, just all business.
A few other rookie tips: Order by number; always get “The Works” (red onion, lettuce, tomatoes, wine vinegar and oil, Parmesan, oregano and salt); and Dino dressing (marinated red and green bell peppers with garlic).
I had the Black Jack, which comes with ham, peppered beef, mushrooms, provolone and cream cheese. The Big “D” is stacked with ham, salami, peppered beef, capocollo, cheese, pepperoni and bologna.
The guy ahead of me in line said he’d been going there 20 years and orders the same thing every single time: a hot meatball sub with tomato sauce.
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The white bread is always soft and the sesame seeds on top are a nice detail. The wheat buns are pretty dark than other wheat loaves you'll see around town, but they have a touch of sweetness, and I think I like wheat more than the white.
A regular size sandwich was enough for lunch and dinner. And just as you probably suspected, the sandwiches absolutely get better after a few hours chilling in the refrigerator.
Dino's Subs, 2221 S. Collins St., Arlington. 817-274-1140. Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.