Nothing subpar about Charley's
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Nothing subpar about Charley's

Sitting at the counter facing Branson Landing, we watched the evening lights and passers-by while savoring our freshly grilled sub sandwiches from Charley's.

The mood

Formal or casual dining at Branson Landing is special just because of the location. The atmosphere extends beyond the walls.

Restaurants use glass fronts to bring the flavor of the landing inside to blend with the taste and style of the establishment.

Here, the Italian theme is undeniable, from references to South Philly immigrants on the menus, to the calls of "AmorŽ" from the staff whenever an Italian deli deluxe is ordered.

The story of Charley and the beginnings of what is now a chain of 300-plus sub shops is written on the walls.

The decor is functional, not fancy, with the counter where orders are placed and picked up along the wall to the left.

Booths and the front counters comprise the rest of the space.

The food

Although you won't have to wait long to receive your order, this isn't prepackaged fast food. Watch as vegetables and meats are sliced and grilled, not put into a microwave.

Charley's signature sandwich is the Philly cheese steak, which comes in five varieties. I ordered mine as the original with steak, onions, provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, and made it a combo with fries.

My wife decided on the Italian deli deluxe, a newcomer to Charley's. It features salami, ham, provolone, banana peppers, lettuce, tomato, and Italian dressing.

We were pleasantly surprised to see the sandwiches grilled before our eyes. And we enjoyed the food. Although I couldn't coax the secret ingredients from the cooks, there was something about the seasoning that makes these subs unlike any we have ever tasted.

Charley's also serves a number of grilled chicken and deli subs such as a chicken fuffalo and a turkey cheddar melt. Additionally, they offer breakfast and grilled salads.

The service

Employees at Charley's are part cooks, part entertainers.

The bottom line

Charley's is not just another sandwich shop.

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