A longtime Dallas sandwich shop has closed: Antoine's Foods, which had been doing good quality sandwiches on Harry Hines Boulevard for 42 years, served its final po'boy this weekend.
Their last day in business was Saturday, August 13.
Owners Sam and Maria Ayoub are closing to retire, although the couple hinted they might do occasional catering orders out of their home.
"With sad news we shut down our operation at Antoine's," Sam said. "[But] stay tuned ... we may resurface one way or another even doing catering at home."
Located at 4234 Harry Hines Blvd., it was a no-frills sandwich shop that preceded the invasion of the sandwich chains.
Sam, Maria, and their fixture employee Mario Chavez, turned out well-made sandwiches, in lunch combos with sandwich, bag of chips, and a drink — a great cheap option for workers in the Market district, the Medical district, guests at nearby hotels, and UT Dallas students.
Their menu was concise. The signature was the Original Po'Boy, with ham, German salami, provolone cheese, mayonnaise, pickles, and chow-chow on bread baked in house. The chow-chow was their signature condiment.
Other sandwiches included the Supreme — a bigger version of the Original — plus a turkey sub, roast beef, pastrami-peppered beef, tuna, and minced ham.
Their side dishes gave a peek into the family's Lebanese heritage, with stuffed grape leaves and baklava for dessert.
Much of the charm derived from the wonderful personal touch, including proud photos of their military veteran son hanging on the wall.
They'd clung on for decades, but Ayoub says that the pandemic and its aftermath dealt a fatal blow: first with a disruptive lull in business, then with major cost increases that made it difficult for them to hew to their famously low prices.
A comment from one of their regulars summed up their appeal:
"I can safely say I've had at least one of your sandwiches every year you've been open, up to just last Thursday or Friday. My mom worked at the trade center when I was a kid (50 now) and began bringing home your fabulous sandwiches during market days and we were hooked.
But you guys served the city well and some time off wouldn't be a terrible thing. Thanks so very much for the decades of the softest bread, the perfectly cut meats, chow-chow to die for, and the ubiquitous smiles with service. Happy trails to y'all."
The closure marks the second upheaval in Dallas' vintage sandwich scene, following Great American Hero, the quirky sandwich shop that closed in late July on Lemmon Avenue after 48 years at that address. It's relocating to a center in northeast Dallas.