In Praise of Subway

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BT
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2006/02/17 02:59:38 (permalink)

In Praise of Subway

I think we may have done this topic before, but I'm pretty sure it has been a while and there are a quite a few new participants, but what got me going is up in the sandwiches area there's a thread going on Quiznos and many people have said about Quizno's, "At least it's better than Subway."

I want to put in a good word for Subway, but I think it probably makes a big difference WHAT you order. I pretty much stick to their BMT which I find to be an honest, basic sub/hoagie/grinder type sandwich. If I were to criticize it, my criticism would be about bread. They make an issue of baking the bread on-site and I think that's a mistake. Personally, I'd far rather have a good French loaf from a quality bakery than the too-soft, bland, flavorless stuff Subway bakes. But otherwise, they use decent coldcuts and veggies and they will make the sandwich the way I like (minimal lettuce, lots of onions and peppers, plenty of oil/vinegar. If it were on better bread it would be a pretty darned good sub.

I suppose if you go beyond the cold cuts into cooked foods like meatballs or whatever, you start getting into areas that taste more and more processed, homogenized, bland, tasteless. But I don't go there so that issue doesn't matter to me.

The biggest reason I wish more people would give Subway a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T is that without them, the sub sandwich would be unknown and unobtainable in a large part of rural and semi-rural American away from the East Coast. Here in my winter hideaway in the Arizona desert, there just isn't anybody else selling subs--even Quizno's (yet). Bottom line: It may not be perfect, but Subway comes a lot closer to selling a decent sub sandwich than Pizza Hut or Domino's comes to selling edible pizza and I'm glad they are available.
#1

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    Rt66Mike
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 08:39:31 (permalink)
    Subway seems to vary an awful lot depending on the franchisee. The one where I live is very clean and has good help, but in a neighboring town, the Subway is awful - always dirty, bad service, etc.
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 08:40:39 (permalink)
    In my opinion, the Subway is like making a sandwich from your own fridge except easier. I like their fresh baked bread.

    It is not often that I stop there but I have to say for a ordinary sandwich, they are pretty good.

    I do not always have stuff in the frige to make a sandwich like they have to offer.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #3
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 08:41:03 (permalink)
    I find their wraps to be viable. Usually, I get the veggie and cheese wrap.
    #4
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 09:27:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Parses6

    Let me be the first to offer praise: the food is somewhat edible.


    Is "somewhat edible" better than "dreck", which we already know is 3 steps better than "vomit"?

    I think you're going to have to assign a new valuation to Subway, as you have not reduced it to a single word.

    Steve Koe and WJ await your pronouncement

    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 11:08:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Parses6

    Don't mind Ol' TJ folks, he's been cranky with a stick up his butt ever since I referred to his beloved McDonald's food as "vomit"

    Don't mind Ol' Parse6 folks, he just takes apparent personal delight in using words that center on the less than pleasurable outflow of food from the human body on a website where you and I come with the intent to read about the pleasurable intake of food. He's well within his rights based on forum rules to generalize and label entire eateries without regard to your gag reflex or to individual differences between individual eateries or individual menu items within a given eatery.
    #6
    Catracks
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 11:15:03 (permalink)
    It's kind of like Olive Garden. You know: Italian food for non-Italians. Perhaps like Taco Bell: Mexican food for North Dakotans.

    I hate to be a snobb, but Subway is just plain weird.
    #7
    howard8
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 12:08:43 (permalink)
    I only eat at fast food franchises infrequently with the exception of White Castle.
    Several months ago, Subway had a limited time promotion for a pastrami sub. I do not
    know if it was offered at all their locations. Even in NJ, it is not so easy to find
    what is considered NY deli type pastrami ala Jewish or Jewish style. The supermarkets and
    most deli's sell this processed, pressed product devoid of fat and the taste is definetly
    far from pastrami. Anyhow, Subway had the real thing. It was plate pastrami and was truly
    damn good and at a very reasonable price. Hope they bring that one back.
    #8
    scbuzz
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 13:12:16 (permalink)
    My gripe with Subway is that they precut their meats and then let them sit in those containers for who knows how long. Maybe different stores have different practices, but the several Subways that I've eaten at all do it the same way. I have had sandwiches where the meat actually had that spoiled/old taste to them. I like the sub sandwich places where they cut the meat to order.
    #9
    BT
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 13:34:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Catracks

    It's kind of like Olive Garden. You know: Italian food for non-Italians. Perhaps like Taco Bell: Mexican food for North Dakotans.

    I hate to be a snobb, but Subway is just plain weird.


    You're not a snob, you're confusing. Calling it "weird" calls for further explanation because, to me, it seems among the least "weird" and most "plain vanilla" of the chain sandwich operations. Quizno's is "weird" in the sense that they sell sandwiches that are unusual food combinations that never existed before. Subway's BMT is just a hoagie/sub/hero/grinder whether you think it's a good one or not.
    #10
    BT
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 13:41:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz

    My gripe with Subway is that they precut their meats and then let them sit in those containers for who knows how long. Maybe different stores have different practices, but the several Subways that I've eaten at all do it the same way. I have had sandwiches where the meat actually had that spoiled/old taste to them. I like the sub sandwich places where they cut the meat to order.


    Very few sandwich shops (as opposed to delis) don't work with precut cold cuts on the serving/sandwich prep line. It would be extremely slow and labor intensive otherwise. I'm familiar with family-run Italian delis where they might have 3 or 4 people behind the counter and can afford to slice the salami to make a sandwich as they do when someone just orders a pound of the stuff but lots of Subway outlets have only one or maybe 2 people working at any one time and it would take forever to serve a group of waiting people if they had to slice all the meats before they could make a sandwich. Besides, I don't think pre-sliced meat is likely to spoil if properly refrigerated in the case and overnight in a fridge. Maybe the place you got spoiled meat wasn't chilling it enough or was making some other food-storage error.
    #11
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 14:22:06 (permalink)
    I agree with Sundancer, as a fresh made sandwich with plenty of options Subway is a great stop. My only real complaint is they no longer have swiss cheese. You won't find black olives on a hoagie but on a subway you can along with jalapenos and green peppers.
    #12
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 15:22:54 (permalink)
    It's nice that green pepper and black olives are available as options.....more options = a good thing
    #13
    scbuzz
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 15:30:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT


    Very few sandwich shops (as opposed to delis) don't work with precut cold cuts on the serving/sandwich prep line.


    We have two chains in my area that cut the meat while you wait. Sub Station II and Blimpies. So I usually give them my business. But, it could have just been a quality control problem in the stores I went to.

    One big thing that Subway has going for it is that there are so dang many of them, so you never have a hard time finding one. I swear there is one on every street around here. They're getting as plentiful as Chinese resturants.

    I do like their bread.

    #14
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 17:06:17 (permalink)
    What I find amazing about Subway is the fact that someone from the epicurian center of Italian sub sandwiches, Southern Connecticut, could come up with the things Subway puts out and dare to suggest that they bear the slightest resemblance to a sub sandwich. That said, I've been known to grab a sandwich at Subway. I find that as long as I think of the product as a sandwich and not a sub I can eat it.
    #15
    roossy90
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 17:35:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

    quote:
    Originally posted by Parses6

    Let me be the first to offer praise: the food is somewhat edible.


    Is "somewhat edible" better than "dreck", which we already know is 3 steps better than "vomit"?

    I think you're going to have to assign a new valuation to Subway, as you have not reduced it to a single word.

    Steve Koe and WJ await your pronouncement




    TJ, check my reply on the post for nachos...

    In the meantime.....
    I, for one love the veggie subs on the parmesean oregano bread.
    They just load it up with as much veggies that I want.
    Then I take it home and put a little dab of Tuscan sun hot garlic oil on it.


    #16
    Tommy2dogs
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 19:14:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by scbuzz

    quote:
    Originally posted by BT


    Very few sandwich shops (as opposed to delis) don't work with precut cold cuts on the serving/sandwich prep line.


    We have two chains in my area that cut the meat while you wait. Sub Station II and Blimpies. So I usually give them my business. But, it could have just been a quality control problem in the stores I went to.

    One big thing that Subway has going for it is that there are so dang many of them, so you never have a hard time finding one. I swear there is one on every street around here. They're getting as plentiful as Chinese resturants.

    I do like their bread.




    I try and steer clear of places that invent their own cold cuts. Ex: Blimpies "Black peppered prosciuttini ham"
    #17
    Adjudicator
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 20:22:48 (permalink)
    I used to go there only for the BMT. Used to order same double meat with swiss & jalepeno jack cheese with romaine lettuce & spinach and quite a few of their other toppings. First they d/c'ed the "other" cheeses. Soon after that they d/c'ed romaine lettuce & fresh spinach as toppings. That was well over two years ago and I haven't been back since. They never got the "toasted" issue right, either. No one there could comprehend that toasting comes BEFORE the cold toppings/veggies added, etc. My LAST visit was so snafued that I got a letter from the owner for a free replacement sandwich. Still haven't used it. Never will.
    #18
    BT
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/17 20:38:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    I used to go there only for the BMT. Used to order same double meat with swiss & jalepeno jack cheese with romaine lettuce & spinach and quite a few of their other toppings. First they d/c'ed the "other" cheeses. Soon after that they d/c'ed romaine lettuce & fresh spinach as toppings. That was well over two years ago and I haven't been back since. They never got the "toasted" issue right, either. No one there could comprehend that toasting comes BEFORE the cold toppings/veggies added, etc. My LAST visit was so snafued that I got a letter from the owner for a free replacement sandwich. Still haven't used it. Never will.


    Some of these factors seem to vary from franchise to franchise. The outlets I visit--both in AZ and in SF--offer several cheeses. Since I always get provolone, I don't know what the others are. I've never seen a Subway offer romaine or spinach and I've been eating at Subway since 1980 or so. But what I have seen is regional offerings--here in AZ, they offer guacamole or fresh avocado but I haven't seen that in SF. As for the toasting thing--one of the things I like about Subway is that you stand right there and can interact with the person making the sandwich as it proceeds. If you want the bread pre-toasted, why couldn't you say, "NO--WAIT--toast the bread first!" when you see them start to pile meat on the untoasted loaf?
    #19
    MandalayVA
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 02:29:53 (permalink)
    For what it is, Subway's not bad. The ones around me make a decent sandwich. Better than Quizno's by a long shot IMO. At least I have two Jersey Mike's near me, which is as close to a real sub as I can get here in south-central Virginia.
    #20
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 03:01:09 (permalink)
    Hello All,
    Subway was a good introduction for me to subs. I lived in a world of burgers and sandwiches til Subway
    hit our area. And like BT said, after Subway, so many other places introduced subs to backward places like
    where I live. Though now, we are no longer backward.
    The years have passed by and Subway has become like white bread. No energy, no flavour, no...well, flavour.
    It truly may be my tastebuds. As I get older, I need more than processed foods to make my tongue feel alive.
    Please don't take this as a downer on Subway. I really believe it is a matter of my body's changing needs for
    enjoyment. I'm 50 and getting more selective.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #21
    mr chips
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 08:59:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    What I find amazing about Subway is the fact that someone from the epicurian center of Italian sub sandwiches, Southern Connecticut, could come up with the things Subway puts out and dare to suggest that they bear the slightest resemblance to a sub sandwich. That said, I've been known to grab a sandwich at Subway. I find that as long as I think of the product as a sandwich and not a sub I can eat it.
    I agree with Michael. It is a decent sandwich(I prefer the tuna). It was my introduction to that type of sandwich and it is better than what I make at home.
    #22
    Adjudicator
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 10:42:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BT

    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    I used to go there only for the BMT. Used to order same double meat with swiss & jalepeno jack cheese with romaine lettuce & spinach and quite a few of their other toppings. First they d/c'ed the "other" cheeses. Soon after that they d/c'ed romaine lettuce & fresh spinach as toppings. That was well over two years ago and I haven't been back since. They never got the "toasted" issue right, either. No one there could comprehend that toasting comes BEFORE the cold toppings/veggies added, etc. My LAST visit was so snafued that I got a letter from the owner for a free replacement sandwich. Still haven't used it. Never will.


    Some of these factors seem to vary from franchise to franchise. The outlets I visit--both in AZ and in SF--offer several cheeses. Since I always get provolone, I don't know what the others are. I've never seen a Subway offer romaine or spinach and I've been eating at Subway since 1980 or so. But what I have seen is regional offerings--here in AZ, they offer guacamole or fresh avocado but I haven't seen that in SF. As for the toasting thing--one of the things I like about Subway is that you stand right there and can interact with the person making the sandwich as it proceeds. If you want the bread pre-toasted, why couldn't you say, "NO--WAIT--toast the bread first!" when you see them start to pile meat on the untoasted loaf?


    The cheeses I have seen were the original "white" american, swiss, provolone, and pepper-jack. As far as the toasting thing; I did watch them. I wanted my bread toasted first then meats, cheeses, toastable veggies (i.e. onions, bell & bananna peppers, etc.) toasted AGAIN. Then it was back to the table to add the tomatoes, romaine, spinach, sliced pickles, etc. That procedure was far to complicated for the staff, obviously. A funny thing, also. When they d/ced the romaine and spinach they did add a new veggie to the menu -- 1/4 th inch thick sliced cucumbers. To date, I never figured that one out.
    #23
    shortchef
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 12:47:00 (permalink)
    I had a great BMT the other day here in Steubenville, Ohio. I had her put all the veggies on it, provolone cheese, oil and vinegar and lots of red peppers. This is a good franchise. The bread is superb. I ate at Quizno's, also in the mall here, one time. The salad (meat etc. toasted and put on greens) and the broccoli and cheese soup had so much sodium I couldn't finish them (and I really do like salt) and was drinking water the rest of the day. I didn't find the quality of the meat all that good either. It was a nasty meal.
    #24
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 13:47:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by shortchef

    I had a great BMT the other day here in Steubenville, Ohio. I had her put all the veggies on it, provolone cheese, oil and vinegar and lots of red peppers. This is a good franchise. The bread is superb. I ate at Quizno's, also in the mall here, one time. The salad (meat etc. toasted and put on greens) and the broccoli and cheese soup had so much sodium I couldn't finish them (and I really do like salt) and was drinking water the rest of the day. I didn't find the quality of the meat all that good either. It was a nasty meal.

    The Subways around here don't have red peppers. They have green bell peppers and banana peppers, only.
    #25
    saps
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 15:19:38 (permalink)
    The smell of Subway's bread makes me nauseous- like chemicals.

    Subway and Jimmy John's both have awful bread.
    #26
    roossy90
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 21:36:10 (permalink)
    I learned to tell them as I order my sandwich, to "toast the bread first"...
    #27
    BT
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 21:38:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by saps

    The smell of Subway's bread makes me nauseous- like chemicals.



    Baking bread actually gives off a substantial amount of alcohol, a product of fermentation by the yeast. Years ago when I used to work in Oakland and took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), if the trip had a highlight, it was when the door would open at the West Oakland Station, which happened to be next to a commercial bakery, and the smell of baking bread would permeate the train. But the CA Air Quality Board got on their case and made them install equipment to block the discharge of "hazardous chemicals" (i.e. the "baking bread smell").
    #28
    BT
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/18 21:40:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman


    The Subways around here don't have red peppers. They have green bell peppers and banana peppers, only.


    No jalapenos? Every one I've been to in CA and AZ has jalapenos in addition to the two you mentioned--I get 'em all.
    #29
    rmcielwain
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    RE: In Praise of Subway 2006/02/19 10:12:34 (permalink)

    Jalapenos, green & banana peppers here at the Subway I go to which is two
    blocks away from my home here in N. Florida....I used to clean up a lot on
    the "Sub Club" program, but that's history, and it seems like the prices
    have shot up while the sandwiches shrink.

    Of course, it's just about time for another New York Steamer Sub, loaded
    with pastrami & corned beef, from Firehouse, the next time I make the 25
    mile drive down the interstate
    #30
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