By Anna-Marie Menhenott
Visiting Miranda's Subs is like taking a walk down memory lane.
The family business has been a staple in the Fort Pierce community for 15 years. What once was a small sub shop that occupied space at the end of a strip mall has expanded into two dining locations, one in Vero Beach and a large one across the road from the original shop, which includes an expansive bakery.
"I grew up in the restaurant business," said Cecilia Gazzara, co-owner. "My father owned restaurants in Fort Pierce all my life. I grew up with his recipes and his passion. When he took over Miranda's about 15 years ago, we kept the name and he added his sandwiches from Mama Mia's, his other restaurant. Over time, we added to the menu and it soon became more than just subs."
And more than subs it is...
The smell of freshly baked bread can be detected long before entering the restaurant and the cakes and pastries that line the cases in the restaurant give patrons an idea of the what to expect when they visit.
From soup and freshly-made salads to subs, pizza, brownies, cannoli's and all types of cakes, Miranda's can satisfy every craving.
When I visited Miranda's on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I wasn't surprised to find Mrs. Gazzara, her husband Sebastiano and others hard at work filling a steady stream of orders.
One customer came in to pick up an 80th birthday cake.
"We make all types of cakes for every occasion," Mrs. Gazzara said. "We make tiered wedding cakes, birthday and quinceanera cakes and cater."
Since I've always liked steak and cheese subs, I chose one for lunch. The tender meat sat on freshly baked bread that was soft and warm. The sub was topped with grilled peppers, onions and mushrooms, with the icing on the cake, so to speak, melted provolone cheese. The sandwich was the best decision I'd made all day.
My companion had a pepperoni pizza, which at $6.95 for eight large slices is a great deal. The pizza crust was crispy and the cheese melted to perfection. The pizza is definitely enough for two or more.
While enjoying our lunch, Mrs. Gazzara brought us a homemade cannolo and a brownie.
"I make all of the desserts here. They're all homemade," Mrs. Gazzara said. Although there wasn't a boastful tone as Mrs. Gazzara spoke of the sweet treats, there should have been. The cream in the cannolo was out of this world. The crispy shell broke nicely, making the crunch of the cookie and the sweetness of the cream a perfect combination.
The warm brownie was covered in walnuts, however a version without nuts is available for those who don't care for them or who are allergic.
"We make sure that those who have allergies can also enjoy our products," Mrs. Gazzara said. "We have a full line of gluten-free products that are baked on the premises. We have a special bakery just for those products so they don't come in contact with products that do have gluten in them. Diane Burchard helps make all of the gluten free products, and we use the Mrs. B's gluten-free line."
Miranda's Subs goes above and beyond to satisfy customers. With a free delivery service to local businesses with a $20 order, catering, special occasion cakes and sandwiches that are second to none, it's no wonder that Miranda's second location in Vero Beach is doing well.
"My daughter, Josie, runs the shop in Vero Beach and it's really doing well. There are the same menu items and the same quality in each sandwich made."
Miranda's Subs is open seven days a week. The Vero Beach shop is located at 692 21st Street, in the Miracle Mile Plaza.
The Fort Pierce shop is located at 3307 Avenue A, in Fort Pierce, on the corner of Avenue A and Angle Road. The number there is (772) 464-5458.