Zunzi’s: Your One-Stop Sub Shop

Zunzi’s can be found at 1971 Howell Mill Rd. Photo: What Now Atlanta

Between all the work and stress from classes, one might wonder what eateries they can visit to relax and enjoy some delicious food. Look no farther than Zunzi’s Takeout and Catering. This new restaurant on Howell Mill Rd. provides an assortment of healthy lunch and dinner options. Originating in Savannah in 2005, the first Zunzi’s restaurant took off and became a local hit. Building on the success of the initial restaurant, franchise owner Chris Smith expanded the business to Buckhead at the end of May.

Zunzi’s is not your typical sub shop, but it instead offers an interesting take on classic sandwiches. Rooted in the heritage of the original owners, the food is South African, with hints of Swiss, Dutch and Italian cuisine. The menu provides a list of predetermined sandwich combinations, such as the “Conquistador” and the “Godfather.” During my visit, I went with the “Build Your Own” choice that allows the customer to get creative. The three steps include choosing one of the different breads or wraps, then picking from an array of different meats such as boerewors, smoked sausage and old Indian curry, and topping it off with their specialty sauces, including  “Mustafa” sauce, “Dank” sauce and “S**t Yeah” sauce. I started with a “Johnny Roll” containing chicken and smoked sausage, topped with “Sheba” and “S**t Yeah” sauces as well as common toppings like cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Many of the restaurant’s options are also vegan.

Restaurants are often accustomed to criticism, and Zunzi’s is no exception. Local parents have launched complaints on the community forum NextDoor about the establishment’s catchphrase, “S**t Yeah.” Grievances ranged from claims that the slogan is too inappropriate for children to see, to the impure morals of the country itself. Beth McKibben for Eater Atlanta interviewed owner Chris Smith regarding the contentious catchphrase. “It’s really simple,” said Smith. “’S**t Yeah’” is our promise to our customers that we hope they’ve had such a great experience, they leave saying, ‘S**t yeah!’” Smith made clear that the slogan is not meant to offend any customers. Arrangements have been made to put up posters and dispense cups with the restaurant’s mission statement and explanation for the slogan.

I enjoyed my visit to this unique eatery. The service was fantastic, with smiling faces all around. I was able to polish off my sandwich in the sun on the outside patio. Despite issues surrounding the restaurant’s catchphrase, plans to open a second Atlanta location are in the works, so it is safe to say Zunzi’s is here to stay.