8955 Wake Fern Drive, Bonita Springs, FL
Capriotti’s in Bonita Springs serves up nostalgia in every hearty sub.
The small sub shop owned by Regina and Dan Gorski is known for its specialty sub sandwiches packed with fresh pulled meat that is roasted for 12 hours overnight at the store. Their famous turkey sandwiches are stuffed with all the usual trimmings left over after Thanksgiving, bringing back the warm feeling of family and food.
“It really is just like Thanksgiving,” said Regina Gorski, co-owner and manager of the 4-year-old franchise restaurant, “Biting into the sub and tasting each ingredient reminds you of the holiday and everything that goes with it.”
Capriotti’s most popular turkey sandwich is the “Bobbie.” The cold sub has pulled turkey meat, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayo. It’s named after Lois Margolet’s Aunt Bobbie. Margolet started the first Capriotti’s 34 years ago in Delaware’s Little Italy to capture the hearts of “real turkey lovers.” Gorski said the sub is the shop’s most-ordered item, but demand for it dies down around Thanksgiving.
“I guess people are sick of eating turkey during that time,” she said with a laugh, “But once turkey is off the mind, it always makes a comeback.”
Melissa Sherwood is doing the opposite. Sherwood comes to the small eight-table shop a few times a week and usually orders the cheese steak sub. She has not tried the “Bobbie” yet but plans to when it’s closer to Thanksgiving.
“Me and my friend always want to order it, but we’re going to wait until Thanksgiving is closer,” said Sherwood while waiting at the counter of the modestly decorated shop for her sandwich, “We want to eat it and be reminded that the holiday is coming.”
In addition to the “Bobbie,” the shop offers other turkey sandwiches. All are cold and use fresh roasted meat. The triple-decker “Cran Slam Club” has turkey, cranberry sauce, mayo, ham and lettuce. The “Cole Turkey” has mayo, turkey, fresh-made coleslaw, provolone cheese and Russian dressing. Daughter-in-law and longtime employee Rachel Gorski said all the turkey subs are popular because of the fresh meat. They roast from one to two turkeys a night.
“No one else has it,” said Gorski during a break from making sandwiches in the kitchen, “The meat is definitely the draw.”
Capriotti’s also bakes its roast beef overnight. The roasted meat is used on the “Slaw Be Jo,” which includes mayo, coleslaw, provolone cheese and Russian dressing.
“You can certainly taste the difference when things are made on-site as opposed to being sent to the store frozen,” said Rachel Gorski as she prepared a sub for a customer, “We pride ourselves on giving people that homemade experience.”
The subs all come on a 9-inch, 12-inch or 20 inch roll. The bread is baked at a nearby Fort Myers bakery and sent to the store daily. The 20-inch sub is commonly ordered for families to share, but there have been some who wanted to eat it themselves.
“It’s always the skinny guys that want to do it,” Rachel Gorski recalled. “One guy came in with his friends and said that he was really hungry. He ordered the 20-inch ‘Bobbie,’ which is a lot of carbs with bread and stuffing. It took a few hours for him to eat half and little more, but he couldn’t finish it.”
At 2 p.m on a Wednesday, a steady stream of customers came in and out of the store, toting white sandwich bags. Greyson Hernandez quickly ordered his “Bobbie” and bolted out the door.
“I want to get home and eat before it gets cold,” he said, laughing. “It’s the best sandwich, stuffed with everything from Thanksgiving. Gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.”