Go to the legendary Lakeshore Super Submarine for the sandwiches, stay for the good-natured Leafs ribbing

“Auston Matthews is gonna score a hat trick, you’ll see.”“No way! The price is going to be right tonight, my friend.”It’s six hours before the puck drops between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on a Saturday in February, and I’m at Lakeshore Super Submarine in Etobicoke, watching two hockey fans rib each other playfully about the oldest rivalry in the NHL.The Leafs fan is customer Jim Quick, 63, as much a dedicated fan of Toronto’s hockey team as he is of the sub sandwiches he’s been eating regularly for the past 30-plus years. He’s trying to get a rise out of George Kozaris, the 67-year-old owner and sole employee of the Islington and Lakeshore sandwich shop that’s been serving Torontonians simple, sublime subs since 1974.Kozaris repeats his quip just after he makes a pizza sub and hands it to Quick, a bit louder this time to make sure he hears him through his mask: “You’ll see, the price will be right tonight,” referring to Montreal’s star goalie, Carey Price. Kozaris will be watching the game later on his in-store TV between happily slinging subs for his many, many dedicated patrons.Kozaris isn’t a Habs fan because he has roots in Montreal — he came to Toronto from Greece when he was 17, finding work at Cara Operations Limited (now Recipe Unlimited) as a dishwasher and cook. He soon decided he was going to go against the Leafs fandom he saw overwhelming the city — and even his family — for a laugh. “My kids, they love the Leafs, and we argue about the Leafs-Habs rivalry a lot as well,” Kozaris says with a gleeful laugh.  Kozaris is passionate about all things hockey, and he rattles off his NHL connections, pointing to the upper row of his NHL altar: “Here, I have autographed photos of Crosby, Brad Marchand, Mike Keenan. Oh, I know Mike’s uncle; he’s a good friend. And here’s me with the Stanley Cup four years ago.”A customer, another regular, interrupts the tour of his NHL wall of fame. Kozaris hooks a thumb at the woman entering and tells me, “She comes from Eglinton and Rexdale, all the way from there.” He says she’s not the only one who jumps on the highway just to buy a sub sandwich — many folks visit from all around the GTA just for one of his succulent subs. Here, you won’t find artisanal bread or fancy aiolis. Lakeshore Super Submarine keeps it blissfully old school with the comfort classics: deli meats, one type of mozzarella cheese, the staple veggies and the usual sauces you’d find at a diner. “I have this secret sauce that everyone loves, but I can’t tell you what it is,” Kozaris says, pointing to a squeeze bottle of dressing that many customers want their sandwiches drenched with.Kozaris is behind the counter from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day except Sunday. No vacations, no sick days (”I don’t get sick”) and no holidays aside from Christmas and New Year’s Day. “I’m the only one who works here because if I can’t serve my customers, I don’t want anyone else to,” he says with a matter-of-fact expression when asked why he hasn’t hired anyone to help him on his busier days. Kozaris is so devoted to his business, he isn’t too surprised when all those years of selling subs begin to ripple into his dreams. He says his wife woke him up one morning, laughing. “She said I mumbled in my sleep, ‘Would you like mustard on your sub, sir?’ So, yeah, maybe I work too much. But I love what I do.”

Go to the legendary Lakeshore Super Submarine for the sandwiches, stay for the good-natured Leafs ribbing

“Auston Matthews is gonna score a hat trick, you’ll see.”

“No way! The price is going to be right tonight, my friend.”

It’s six hours before the puck drops between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens on a Saturday in February, and I’m at Lakeshore Super Submarine in Etobicoke, watching two hockey fans rib each other playfully about the oldest rivalry in the NHL.

The Leafs fan is customer Jim Quick, 63, as much a dedicated fan of Toronto’s hockey team as he is of the sub sandwiches he’s been eating regularly for the past 30-plus years. He’s trying to get a rise out of George Kozaris, the 67-year-old owner and sole employee of the Islington and Lakeshore sandwich shop that’s been serving Torontonians simple, sublime subs since 1974.

Kozaris repeats his quip just after he makes a pizza sub and hands it to Quick, a bit louder this time to make sure he hears him through his mask: “You’ll see, the price will be right tonight,” referring to Montreal’s star goalie, Carey Price. Kozaris will be watching the game later on his in-store TV between happily slinging subs for his many, many dedicated patrons.

Kozaris isn’t a Habs fan because he has roots in Montreal — he came to Toronto from Greece when he was 17, finding work at Cara Operations Limited (now Recipe Unlimited) as a dishwasher and cook.

He soon decided he was going to go against the Leafs fandom he saw overwhelming the city — and even his family — for a laugh. “My kids, they love the Leafs, and we argue about the Leafs-Habs rivalry a lot as well,” Kozaris says with a gleeful laugh.  

Kozaris is passionate about all things hockey, and he rattles off his NHL connections, pointing to the upper row of his NHL altar: “Here, I have autographed photos of Crosby, Brad Marchand, Mike Keenan. Oh, I know Mike’s uncle; he’s a good friend. And here’s me with the Stanley Cup four years ago.”

A customer, another regular, interrupts the tour of his NHL wall of fame. Kozaris hooks a thumb at the woman entering and tells me, “She comes from Eglinton and Rexdale, all the way from there.” He says she’s not the only one who jumps on the highway just to buy a sub sandwich — many folks visit from all around the GTA just for one of his succulent subs.

Here, you won’t find artisanal bread or fancy aiolis. Lakeshore Super Submarine keeps it blissfully old school with the comfort classics: deli meats, one type of mozzarella cheese, the staple veggies and the usual sauces you’d find at a diner.

“I have this secret sauce that everyone loves, but I can’t tell you what it is,” Kozaris says, pointing to a squeeze bottle of dressing that many customers want their sandwiches drenched with.

Kozaris is behind the counter from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day except Sunday. No vacations, no sick days (”I don’t get sick”) and no holidays aside from Christmas and New Year’s Day. “I’m the only one who works here because if I can’t serve my customers, I don’t want anyone else to,” he says with a matter-of-fact expression when asked why he hasn’t hired anyone to help him on his busier days.

Kozaris is so devoted to his business, he isn’t too surprised when all those years of selling subs begin to ripple into his dreams. He says his wife woke him up one morning, laughing.

“She said I mumbled in my sleep, ‘Would you like mustard on your sub, sir?’ So, yeah, maybe I work too much. But I love what I do.”

Source : Toronto Star More