elsie's tuna sub 112913The tuna half-sub at Elsie’s. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

morsels mediumWhat’s For Lunch? How about half a tuna sub from Elsie’s Sub Shop, on Monmouth Street in Red Bank, with lettuce, tomato, onion and hot peppers, for $5.15?

In a world with only about a billion sub shops, what makes for a good sub?

“In a sub, there’s so many flavors going on, they’ve all got to be right,” says Elsie’s-owner-slash-standup comic Chris Covert. “The bread, the meat, the cheese, the lettuce. It’s all got to be fresh.”

Keeping it fresh seems to work. Elsie’s has bee around for 54 years. Covert’s wife, Tish, acquired it almost 25 years ago.

Where does tuna rank in popularity?

“During Lent? It’s in the top two,” he says. “We sell a lot of tuna, egg salad, eggplant on Fridays in Lent.” Otherwise, it’s in the top five.

The best seller? Turkey.

“The day before Thanksgiving, I sell more turkey than any other day of the year. I swear to god,” he said. “It always baffled me, too.  It’s like, ‘you’re going to get enough of it the next day.’ But I guess it’s on people’s minds.”