‘Watts for Dinner’: The Publix deli delights

Will Watts
Tuna salad sub from the Publix deli, South Naples.

Our next dining destination is the Publix Deli, this time in Freedom Square, South Naples. Whether it’s in the middle of or after a hard day’s work, there are few things more satisfying than a giant Pub Sub.

We talked about the piled-high deli meats sandwiches and the allure of the chicken tenders sub, but Publix offers even more, including some new additions.

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First up, the garlic and herb tofu sub (starts at $4.99, price depends on size and bread). It features garlic and herb tofu crumbles, spinach, spice, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. You can have it on a regular, spinach or tomato tortilla, as a sub or on flatbread. You can also customize with your own toppings.

The garlic and herb tofu in a wrap from the Publix deli, South Naples.

While healthy and tasty, we did not feel as though the person making this or our other new sub was well versed in making it. It’s also sometimes hard to get the attention of someone in the deli to make your order. And if there’s a line, well, you’re going to be there a while.

Publix is one of the best supermarket chains I’ve ever shopped. But their efforts are ambitious and not fully executed.    

We also tried the Publix Greek Sub (starts at $4.99). It features hummus, feta, banana peppers, cucumber, avocado, red pepper, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. I liked this one better than the tofu, but it could have used more hummus. And the illustration had more than my flatbread.

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You can also get deli salad sandwiches, including egg. Ham and tuna. We got the tuna salad sub (starts at $5.99, as photographed $7.49). The deli uses the same salad you can buy prepacked in the deli area. We picked the full size Italian bread.

This sandwich is huge. The tuna’s “fishier” tasting than what I use at home.

The Publix Greek on flatbread from the Publix deli, South Naples.

While there, we bought some watermelon to accompany our feast (fresh and delicious, and already cut up). We also picked a tres leches for dessert. It’s a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. And you won’t find it at most supermarkets (that aren’t Publix). To be fair, some Walmart stores have the cake, but I wouldn’t advise trying it. 

Publix has a huge line of selections in the deli – perhaps too many. And there’s always a ton of tempting desserts and breads in the bakery. And the grab and go (at the front of most stores) is a lifesaver when you need a meal in a hurry. Happy eating!

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Publix Deli

  • Inside most Publix Supermarket locations
  • Publix.com