Sub-periority Complex

Tremont gets a gourmet sub shop and the Flying Monkey gets great bar noshes.

Matchstick Men Shaker Square Cinemas

Tremont's trendy restaurant and bar scene must have something for every taste at this point -- especially with the recent launch of SubStance, Susan Walters and Mark Shary's little kitchen and carryout at 815 Jefferson Avenue. The duo are Cleveland dining-industry veterans -- Shary was the original owner of Players Pizza and Pasta in Lakewood and later joined Walters in opening the now-defunct KeKA in Ohio City -- and their reunion has resulted in a good-tasting assortment of oversized subs, salads, and lushly loaded pizza-pies, freshly assembled inside a bright, colorful storefront. And although Walters and Shary intended SubStance primarily as a carryout, the two small tables in the front of the shop get a real workout. "We get people in here, and we can't get them out," chuckles Shary.

The imaginative subs ($5.50 for a half; $10 for a whole; and $13.50 for an entire loaf of Orlando's artisan bread, crammed with fillings) range from The Smokin' Vegetarian, with artichokes, oven-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, asparagus, goat cheese, and 'shrooms, to The Big Salami, a giant stack-up of prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, cappicola, provolone, banana peppers, and Italian dressing. And the pizza options ($7 to $15) are nearly endless, with six specialty numbers and a long list of sauces and toppings to mix 'n' match.

The menu also includes such starters as stuffed artichoke hearts, panko-breaded fried pickles, and nachos topped with cheese, salsa, and homemade guacamole. If you're thinking those sound a lot like upscale bar noshes, give yourself a cigar: The entire SubStance menu is also available at next door's The Flying Monkey Pub, where you can pair your drinks with items such as Flying Fries (hand-cut, enthusiastically seasoned potato wedges, served with housemade ketchup, roasted-garlic mayo, or malt vinegar) or Slap the Monkey, an Italian-style sub sprinkled with fresh basil.

For dessert, Shary bakes cookies and dense, chewy brownies, and there's a freezer filled with Woo City ice-cream cups. To drink, a nearby cooler holds bottled iced teas, smoothies, and juices -- but even better is the SubStance Lemonade, a refreshing homemade potion which, at least on the day we visited, was spiked with watermelon juice and ginger.

SubStance is open from noon to midnight, Monday through Thursday; noon to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday; and 4 p.m. to midnight on Sunday. Delivery is available in select areas, with a $10 minimum order. Call 'em at 216-771-YUMM.

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