It was fairly easy for Randy Raymond to come up with menu items for his new sub shop in River Hills Plaza.
"I just chose things I like to eat," said Raymond, owner of the new Pappy's Subs, 4377 Lynx Paw Trail, Valrico.
Raymond also wanted to give his customers value for their money, so he incorporated large portions at reasonable prices.
The result is a menu where hungry customers can get everything from foot-long subs filled with 10 ounces of meat to burgers, sandwiches and salads.
Raymond never intended to go into the restaurant business. But the owner of the 4-acre River Hills Plaza had an empty storefront that begged for a sandwich shop. The plaza already includes and .
"I knew all I needed with good food and good people around me," said Raymond, who lives in River Hills.
He chose the name Pappy's because it's a nickname that a friend gave him when he had his first child.
Angelina's owner Anthony Cimino lent Raymond his expertise, and the two came up with a menu designed for a quick lunch or takeout.
Specialties include a foot-long filet mignon sandwich for $9.99, featuring 10 ounces of tender-cut filet mignon sauteed and topped with grilled mushrooms and onions.
"It's become very popular in the eight weeks we've been open," said Raymond.
Hailing from Minnesota, Raymond is partial to Pappy's Italian Beef sub, a sandwich popular in his home state. It features sliced Italian beef with sauteed green peppers and onions, soaked in au jus.
Raymond's wife, Cindy, also helped with the menu, designing an array of salads guaranteed to appeal to diet-conscious women, including Cindy's Salad Special for $6.99 that include tri-color greens, dried cranberries, gorgonzola cheese, cucumbers, green peppers, sugared walnuts, avocado and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
For traditional eaters, Pappy's offers 1-pound burgers, sliders, quarter-pound hot dogs and a Chicago Chili Cheese Dog.
Sandwiches include chicken salad, the River Hills Club Special (with applewood-smoked bacon, turkey, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatos and mayo on the bread of your choice), a Reuben and a chicken caesar wrap.
The restaurant also features fresh soup daily. Pappy's potato soup was the hit of the recent Corks & Forks fundraiser at the . The restaurant offers a soup of the day, such as chicken gumbo, and chili is a constant on the menu.
The atmosphere at Pappy's is strictly casual, said Raymond. The 42-seat, 1,800-square-foot restaurant features two big-screen TVs and a game room for the kids.
Happy hour takes place from 4-8 p.m. and features a two-for-one-beer deal.
There's also a kids' menu featuring chicken nuggest, mac and cheese, sliders, hot dogs and grilled cheese.
"We've tried to give customers value," said Raymond, noting that a foot-long turkey or roast beef sub is just $6.99. "We wanted large sandwiches with lots of meat, nothing skimpy."
In addition to serving customers at the restaurant, Pappy's offers a catering menu featuring cold cuts, a wings platter, macaroni and potato salad, a Cuban sandwich platter and all of the salads are available in sizes to feed 12 to 15 people.
"We've had a great reception from the community," said Raymond. "People tell us they love the food. And we've had many repeat customers."
For more information, call 813-662-7827.