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Aug 13, 2006 05:29 AM

Patronizing SUBWAY and being a Chowhound should be Taboo

The lower 48 have probably seen a Subway shop somewhere in their state, but here in New York, they're cropping up everywhere. As I was walking along 30th Avenue in Astoria today (Queens, for the rest of you outside NY) I was greeted by this unpleasant, but familiar, odor.
I knew exactly what it was. I was quickly approaching a Subway shop. The odor could be best described as floor cleaner, combined with the smell of old luncheon meats, tuna fish, and ass. Yup, I said it, ass. Are people hard of smelling? The SAME odor permeates every single Subway shop. If you find that sort of nourishment appealing, you should not be allowed to post. Just my honest opinion. I'm trying to figure out which Subway smells worse...the one I ride using my Metrocard, or the one feeding people disgusting food. It's a toss-up right now.

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  1. I hate Subway....everything is HORRIBLE there......yuck. Although I do like Togos...the turkey and roast beef sandwhich (#8).

    1. the bottom line with all these franchised sandwich shops is why would you pay top dollar for the cheapest cold cuts and condiments when you could go to the deli around the block and get a boars head sandwich with hellmans mayo with twice the amoubt of meat and cheese, fresh homemade potato salad etc. for a couple of dollars less? I guess its the power of advertising. i do admit that i get the urge for a blimpies foot long tuna hero with tomatoes and onions once in a blue moon.

      1. Why Subway (or any other fast food chain for that matter) shouldn't be a taboo for a chowhound:

        1. It's affordable and there are some Chowhounds on tight budgets.
        2. If you work in the burbs a Subway sandwich is better than a fast food burger. It is the lesser of many evils should you forget your lunch or unexpectedly have to work late.
        3. Unless the food is contriband or endangered nothing should be taboo for a Chowhound.

        8 Replies
        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

          I've never found Subway that affordable, for what you get. If you live in NYC and need cheap food, go to your local and get a slice of pizza. Much better, cheaper, and generally does not smell of ass.

          1. re: galiana

            And there are quite a few fast food burgers that are much tastier than Subway. Every sandwich tastes exactly the same; there are little if any distinctive flavors. And their "fresh baked" breads STILL taste like Wonder Bread.

            Agreed on the ass crack. What IS that smell?

            1. re: galiana

              I agree about it not being affordable. Subway manages to be more expensive than most of the delis in Midtown...every time I go with coworkers its about 10 bucks for the sandwich chips and soda.

              1. re: SomeRandomIdiot

                Here in LA, it's a toss-up... meaning between a sandwich shop (notice my avoidance of the word "deli", more on this in a minute) and Subway, it's a tossup, and I'll go to the sandwich shop any day... I don't like Subway.

                That smell, by the way, is old yeast.

                Now, here in Smog Angeles, we have these... THINGS... called "delis", which apparently are trying to vie for the name with the Carnegie Deli and Harold's (in Edison, N.J.). These aren't ACTUALLY delis, they're just ridiculously expensive places to get mediocre sandwiches. Each one has one thing they do well. The amount of food is staggering, but a sandwich can run $16 at some of them!

                We don't have nearly as many Subways as other places, because our neighbourhoods tend to be one or another ethnicity, and so you're likely to have ten taquerias, or ten kaboberias, or ten Thai noodle shacks... and one Subway.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Actually I don't know what to call these things we have over here. They serve sandwiches, salads, burgers, pasta, hot food, pizza, burritos and all sorts of random stuff. Just used deli for lack of a better word.

              2. re: galiana

                But, ass scent aside, a piece of pizza will not do for someone like me who likes to watch what she eats. A low-fat sandwich at Subway WILL fit the bill.

                1. re: galiana

                  If you're watching your weight, a greasy slice of reheated pizza isn't an option. Every now and then I'll get a veggie delite (I don't want none of that mystery meat) if it's late at night and I need to eat something before heading to bed.

                2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  Although I agree in principle that the idea behind chowhounding is to ident the best of a particular lot - even chains - unfortunately, Subway is the worst of theirs. The meats and cheeses are invariably the worst of the cheap grocery store off-brands, and that makes it a blessing that they're stingy with them to boot. There are usually other sub shop options within barfing distance of a Subway that are a better choice, especially in the 'burbs. Any grocery deli case is better than Subway, and in the 'burbs many groceries are open at least as late as Subway.

                  Ok. Rant is over, meds are kicking in, I feel much better now.

                3. The original comment has been removed
                  1. I haven't found them to be uniform cross-country, or even within regions; there are, after all, several HUNDRED in Los Angeles County alone. While they're not as good as some local spots, they serve the same function as Dennys'; if you need to eat SOMETHING, you're somewhere unfamiliar, and logistics just prevent any serious 'Hounding, you have some idea what you're getting whatever part of East Armpit you're stuck in.

                    r gould-saltman

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                      I must just not be seeing them, then... I can think of four in the entire East Valley.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        while there are mcd's and starbucks on every corner in Manhattan, we are thankfully blessed with very few subways. ha-ha.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          I got my count from the LA County Health Dept. website, which excludes, IIRC, Pasadena and Long Beach, and shows FOUR HUNDRED++ restaurants named "SUBWAY", almost all, incidentally, with "A" grades...

                          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                            I'll take your word for it, RGS... I must just have Chow-selective vision, where Subway and McDonalds don't appear (I couldn't tell you where there was a McDonalds, to be honest.)

                            Proof positive that an "A" doesn't mean good food, though.