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about subway

  • m

their sandwiches always look real tasty in their ads/commercials. i have never had one that even remotely lived up to the advertising

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  1. I agree 100%. I have have better sandwiches at a highway oasis in the middle of the night than I have ever had from a Subway. It is only for those for whom the lowest common denominator is good enough.

    25 Replies
    1. re: Fydeaux

      "It is only for those for whom the lowest common denominator is good enough."

      That's a bit of a blanket statement at which I take offense. I happen to like Subway. I don't love it and I don't go out of my way to eat there, but when I do have a sandwich from Subway I enjoy it. I've never had lofty expectations from a place like Subway so I am never disappointed. And just for the record...I know what really good quality food is. I just happen to like a Subway sandwich now and then. :)

        1. re: ttoommyy

          What do you eat there and what do you like about it?

          1. re: Chinon00

            "What do you eat there and what do you like about it?"

            I usually get a turkey and cheese with assorted vegetables on it: pickles, black olives, hot peppers, lettuce and tomato. Also oil and vinegar, salt pepper and oregano. Tastes fine. Not the best sandwich by far, but for a quick and relatively inexpensive (for NYC at least) lunch, it's just fine. It's not like I eat this every week; maybe 6-8 times a year is about average for me. I really do not understand the hatred for something that is really not offensive. It's just a sandwich. :)

            1. re: ttoommyy

              I don't think that you answered my question in regard to "what do you like about it" when you responded "[t]astes fine" and "it's just fine". Is there anything that you can describe or tell us that you like about the food?

              1. re: Chinon00

                "Is there anything that you can describe or tell us that you like about the food?"

                Sorry about that.

                Like I said earlier, it's "quick and relatively inexpensive." As to the actual taste of the food, I'd have to say that the combination of vegetables is what I like the most. I can't go on and on about the taste because that's not the main reason why I go there. I go mostly for convenience and price point. I could travel out of my way and get a much better sandwich but it will take up more of my lunch hour and be twice the price. I hope that's a bit more clear.

              2. re: ttoommyy

                My major issue with Subway is that I do not believe they should be allowed to call their representations of meats by the same name that the real meat is called. I have had turkey breast before. Subway most definitely does not use sliced turkey breast on their turkey breast sandwiches. Same with roast beef. I'd eat at Subway several times a week if they offered turkey or roast beef. I'm not a huge fan of their bread, but I love the veggie options. I'd be happy to pay a premium price for real meat, but as it stands, I just can't do jello loaf sandwiches. And their tuna salad is like eating a tuna milkshake. How much sugar can cooked tuna be slathered in? I just don't get Subway. I would love to be able to eat there often, but fake out food is a dealbreaker. I whole heartedly believe that if Subway offered a limited amount of real meat, and charge a premium for it, they would gain marketshare.

                1. re: gordeaux

                  "Gain marketshare"? They're going through a phase of explosive growth. The "$5 Footlong" is the draw. Going to an $8 Footlong would alienate their core clients. The area I live in has a Kosher Subway (why that has any appeal is beyond me) and the sandwiches have "real" meat but can go into double-digits pricewise. A Kosher customer will pay the premium (no idea why, in the end it's still a Subway), but someone in search of a cheap meal will balk.

                  1. re: ferret

                    Offered alongside as a premium. Not replaced.

            2. re: ttoommyy

              I am sorry that you have taken offense, and I have no doubt that your knowledge of quality food is at least equal to my own.

              But Subway really is the hands-down worst food I've ever had to pay for, and a lot that I didnt (i.e. summer camp food, my grandmother's Thanksgiving turkey). Would I rather starve that eat a sandwich from Subway? No, of course not. But I'd rather go hungry.

              If Subway floats your boat, that's OK with me. But there two chains, a couple of 2-3 shop outfits, and a bunch of single sub shops in my city that prove that the food from Subway is fuel only.

              1. re: Fydeaux

                It is without a doubt "lowest-common-denominator food." It's food as a focus group. Bland, textureless bread, bland proteins and shredded lettuce by the handful. It will neither get you sick nor make you crave seconds. It's cheap fuel.

                And I speak from experience because whenever I'm working late it's the only thing near my office that's open after 9PM. I eat it because I need something, but it's not a first (or second, or third or fourth...) choice.

              2. re: ttoommyy

                I enjoy their italian combo w/ peppers. etc. less so the mystery meat types (chicken,etc.

              3. re: Fydeaux

                How many subways have you eaten at?

                1. re: junescook

                  Three, in Des Moines, Milwaukee, and somewhere along the highway in Kentucky. Same results each time. You arent going to try to convince me that I havent given them a fair chance, are you?

                  1. re: Fydeaux

                    Assuming that "rogue" Subway owners are out there, they are by far the exception. More often than not, in the Subways I've visited (far more frequently than I care to think) the owners treat every item as if there's a worldwide shortage. The only thing worse than getting a sandwich at Subway is having to plead with a sandwich-maker to put more than 5 slices of black olive on your sandwich.

                    1. re: Fydeaux

                      Well, if Subway is 'hands down the worst food you ever had to pay for', then you have had a very good life.

                      1. re: Cathy


                        Subway's food may be bland, but it is far from vile. There are many fast-food chains that have served me what I would consider vile food.

                        1. re: Bob W

                          Names please. What's the top three most vile chain meals you've had?

                            1. re: junescook

                              I sure do agree about Domino's.

                              Cathy, I would have to agree.

                              The arguments made in favor of Subway, especially that of proximity, hold no sway with me. Subway happens to be the closest shop of any kind to my house. about 3 blocks. I can go about 4 blocks further and find a Cousin's Sub shop, still far from my favorite in Milwaukee, but worlds better than Subway. As for their relative reliability, that makes it a fuel stop, a port in a storm, something to settle for. NOT something Chow-worthy.

                              Like I said, I wouldnt rather starve, but I would rather go hungry.

                              1. re: Fydeaux

                                I used to work at Domino's and I agree.

                            2. re: monkeyrotica

                              I would go with KFC, Burger King, and Taco Bell, with the caveat that the Taco Bell food I found vile included chicken, which I simply don't order any more.

                              Burger King used to be good. I don't recall ever finding KFC to be good.

                              As for Domino's, can't say I would call it vile, just really, really, really bad pizza.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                I get fried chicken about once a year. I used to like Lee's Famous Recipe but thoyre not here any more. I like the pressure cooked kind I think, juicier. So what do you suggest?

                                1. re: Bob W

                                  You find KFC fried chicken vile?

                    2. I am completely indifferent to Subway's sandwiches, but I find the nondescript "Subway smell" gag inducing. I am incapable of walking into their stores anymore. I don't have this problem at Quiznos, but I find their sandwiches mouth-shredding. I tried Jimmy Johns and was not impressed. The only chain sandwich shop that I find appetizing is Potbelly. Fortunately, there are enough non-chain sandwich shops around that I don't need to patronize any of them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        I agree about the smell. My kids like Subway on occasion, I've never been much of a fan, but I don't hate their sandwiches, they're not great, but in a pinch, they're not bad...but what on EARTH is the smell in that store? Now that I bake a lot I occasionally get a faintly similar smell from rising white-flour dough, mostly on hot days when the bread rises too fast. I'm thinking the smell might be a result of some sort of over-proofing? That might also explain why their bread is kind of soft/mushy

                        1. re: tonifi

                          The evergreen question of "what the hell is that smell at Subway" has yet to be conclusively answered. The closest approximation seems to be a combination of yeasts, onions, garlic, and b.o.


                      2. It's basically inoffensive food w/ a health twist. I still marvel at the ability to make bread that apparently will not crust even after being toasted. Incredible. But you know some folks like their bread that way; inoffensive.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Chinon00

                          Does anyone like their food offensive?

                          1. re: fullyfunctional

                            What I mean is that it won't offend ANYONE'S tastes due to it's overall blandness.

                        2. While it doesn't, every so often I get a craving for it. When I was sick a few weeks ago, all I craved was Subway (I didn't seem to be able to eat anything else)

                          I was lucky one afternoon, I bought a footlong veggie and the guy only charge me for a 6". My son and I ate for $4.

                          1. There is often talk of that horrible smell at Subway, apparently coming from the baking bread.
                            Funny thing, at Subway in Japan they also bake bread and I have never noticed any bad smell at all. The bread is actually quite good, come to think of it. I wonder what the difference is.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Tripeler

                              In the previous Subway smell thread, a former manager said the bread dough arrived frozen and was reproofed inhouse. Perhaps the technique in Japan is different/less stanky.

                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                Lots of small bakery chains in Japan use frozen bread dough, and the technology for that is quite good here. Perhaps Subway is using that, I am not sure. But I do know that the Subways in Japan do not smell awful, and the resulting bread is quite good. Plus, it's one of the few fast food places where you can get something with a fair amount of vegetables for about five dollars US.

                            2. have you ever seen a chain burger that looked like the ad photos? I like subway every once in a while....meaning I may get a sammich from them 3 or 4 times a year. When on the road and not near any of my favorite independent places, I like to think subway is a healthier alternative to most fast foods. That smell? Isn't it a combination of bleach, and yeasty/floury proofing? There is a definite smell

                              1. since when has ANY food u get from ANYwhere look like the advertisement...?????

                                a CCC with L,T and AM cheese and some mayo
                                or a meatball with P cheese and some sweet onion sauce is usually all i get...

                                but i dont go in with the expectation that its going to look perfect...

                                1. I am not a fan of any of their cold cuts (ham, turkey, roast beef). Close your eyes and they all taste the same. The roast beef doesn't even taste like anything. I too like all of the veggies and the meatball sandwich is a hefty meal for $5. The tuna has too much mayo for my taste but is edible. I will also occasionally order a spicy Italian sandwich which isn't really spicy until I add jalapenos but it has some flavor. The bread is just okay.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: LorenM

                                    There's no mayo in that tuna. Mayo is not sugary white goo.

                                    1. re: LorenM

                                      "The bread is just ok."

                                      Where is it worse? I'm serious I'd love to know the restaurant that serves sandwiches on bread less ill-suited for the task as well as characterless.

                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                        Better than Jimmy Johns by a landslide. I don't really hate on Subway for their bread since they offer more than just white and wheat. I'll eat there once in a while and am not ashamed as are millions of other people around the world. C'mon, it's $5, are you seriously expecting artisan bakery bread????

                                        1. re: LorenM

                                          I can get a hoagie made with a roll baked that day that has a firm crust and that layered stratified texture inside. Salami, capicola, provolone, oregano lettuce tomato with long hots soaked in oil for $6.50.

                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                            Yes, but can you get white chocolate macadamia nut cookies with that? And Hi-C?

                                            *is joke*

                                    2. The thing about Subways is that they're individually owned. We have one in Southbury where the guy puts in double the amount of meat of any other that I'm aware of, and always has lots of fresh ingredients. For the 6" they cut off 3" from the end of the bread and toss it. There's always a line there.

                                      17 Replies
                                      1. re: junescook

                                        You think the line has many foodies in it?

                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                          Here's the last thing I will say on the subject:

                                          If by "foodie" you mean a person who won't eat anything less than artisan breads, the freshest meats and produce picked just that day, no, I don't think there are many "foodies" on that line. I do think there are a lot of people on line who do enjoy dining at fine restaurants, shopping farmers' markets and cooking and entertaining at home. Sometimes they are pressed for time or just want to pay $5 for a decent sandwich, chips and soda. That would be the group you'd find me in. Definitely not the former one. :)

                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                            No I think those of us who frequent this board know what a foodie is. A foodie is one whether it be a taco truck, chain, or haut cuisine restaurant will travel passed three to get to the one he or she considers "the best" to be. The number one reason for you going to Subway appears to be convenience and I totally get that. Given time though I think you are saying you wouldn't end up there. I totally get that too.

                                            1. re: Chinon00

                                              OK food snobs. Recently, one of CT's alledgely best grinder shops located in the same town. Having grown up in an extremely Italian neighborhood in New Haven eating meat, cheese, etc on spallettes, we tried the Rated on TV guy where there was nobody at 1 pm. We got an overbreaded chicken cutlet that we could not find after pealed off the gunk. there was noone else there. The guy that runs the Subway is an Italian guy, mayby that's his deal. It's always busy and his stuff always tastes better than regular Subway.

                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                  Sometimes the "best" really isn't, and sometimes what we may not think is worth our actual effort to try is.

                                                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                    The foodie decides for him or herself what "the best" is and not what is purported by the press, TV or his or her friends. That's the joy of it, the journey and the discoveries; not blindly following trends. Those kind of people are called poseurs.

                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                      Precisely. Bot all too often, as we see on these boards, so-called foodies will just ignore and even sneer at a place because it is a chain. Sometimes you don't know until you actually do know.

                                                      I think we actually are on the same page here, though. Subway is convenience, although I liked their chicken offerings, as they use breast meat and not slices from some loaf. When I'm on the road, very hungry and at a place like Pilot for gas, I don't mind choosing Subway over whatever else is offered inside the place.

                                                      1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                        I used to eat at Subway when I was trying to lose weight. I'd order the biggest sandwich I could get by having it packed with all types of veggies. I did it because I wanted to eat a lot and not have all the calories. I never looked forward to how it would taste, just the volume of it. I later tried other hot sandwiches where the filling wasn't bad but the bread would fall apart before I could finish it and added no textural contrast either.
                                                        Another factor I think is where you are from. Philadelphia where I live was recently proclaimed by SAVEUR at best sandwich city in America. I have higher than average standards;]

                                                2. re: junescook

                                                  Are you saying you prefer subway over nardellis?

                                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                    OK BB,

                                                    Given the experience we had in S'bury I have to say yes. We literally could not finish the sandwich we got at Nardelli's because the chicken was so covered with thick, glutenous breading. I had also previously gotten an eggplant sub at one of their Wtby places and found that overly breaded and dry.

                                                    At S'way we usually get roast beef or roast chicken with bacon either toasted with extra tomatoes, etc. Again there in Southbury, the meat is piled on more heavily that you find at other Subway stores.

                                                    But to be fair, and given your recommendation following your visit to their new place, I'll give them another shot and try a traditional cold grinder with provolone , LT and olive oil, and then see if reminds me of the real thing.

                                                    1. re: junescook

                                                      yeah, like an "apples to apples" comparison. Not too far from the sbury subway was a deli...ny something or other deli, breads from arthur ave, fine cheeses, etc...is it still there?

                                                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                        Not sure, though I'm thinking part of the Subway allure may come from years on Weight Watchers and the low points....

                                                3. re: Chinon00

                                                  I would never classify myself as a "foodie." I don't think I am passionate enough about getting the "best" to be called one. I'm on this site because I enjoy food in all its forms, not just the "best."

                                                  1. re: ttoommyy

                                                    Come now you don't have any favorites or preferences in regard to food? There's nothing you personally consider to be the best; regardless of what others have to say?

                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                      "Come now you don't have any favorites or preferences in regard to food? There's nothing you personally consider to be the best; regardless of what others have to say?"

                                                      If this is directed at me...

                                                      Oh sure, I like the "best" when I can get it. But I am not nearly as passionate as a lot of you are about finding it. Plus, I can enjoy a place like Subway, which a lot of "foodies" cannot do. :)

                                                    2. re: ttoommyy

                                                      What's great about CH is that chains like Subway are nicely walled off in their own little ghetto. Those who find Subway's food beneath them can easily avoid discussion of same.

                                            2. I'm totally okay with the Spicy Italian sub at Subway. Genoa salami and pepperoni are processed meats, sure, but they're a hell of a lot more flavorful than the Subway turkey, roast beef, ham, and microwaved chicken and steak bits. If the rolls are relatively fresh and you load it up with lots of tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, deli -- NOT yellow! -- mustard, provolone and parmesan cheeses, and a squirt of their vinaigrette), you've got a cheap, tasty, big sandwich that only sets you back $5.

                                              Orlando isn't exactly chock full of awesome Italian delis or mom and pop sub shops, and the Spicy Italian tastes good and is a better bargain than the other sub chains like Quizno's (which is tasty, but so much more expensive than Subway that you might as well go to a sit-down place to eat).

                                              1. I "confessed" to my husband recently that I loathe Subway. He was shocked, like I hid it from him before our marriage and it was just coming out unexpectedly.

                                                For me it's the bread...gross bread. Why would you boast about that "Freshly Baked" bread...it's full of air and tasteless and dry. YUCK.

                                                1. Subway is OK. I haven't thrown out food from Subway that I bought.

                                                  I have thrown out the following (and never returned):

                                                  A pizza from Dominos after less than 1/2 a slice (3- years ago -- pre changes)
                                                  Greasy KFC (how can fried chicken be this bad?)
                                                  Burger King (worst burgers ever IMO)

                                                  1. Being in the business, I can confirm what you already most likely already have figured out. The vendors that get the meat business at subway are the lowest bidders. The sliced meats are pre-sliced set ups that could have been sliced weeks before they hit your sandwich. The margin on even a $5 sub is very high. All that advertising isn't cheap. The idea is if a customer, "runs it through the garden", they'll never really taste the dried out meat. Even the chicken sits in broth all day long to keep it moist. If I do visit one, which is like once a year, I stay away from the sliced meats and opt for the chicken. It's still better than a burger and fries or fried chicken.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: awm922

                                                      Could you speak to the bread?


                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                        From a business standpoint, flavored breads are the hook. The plain bread is just that, plain. Most of the time there is a lot more bread than meat so it has to be pretty good. The fact that they bake it fresh is also a unique hook over most sub shops. Some people like the smell of baking bread, but the proofing smell is what it too overpowering in the shops. If they just used a thaw and serve product that didn't need proofing, they could remedy that issue.

                                                        From a personal standpoint, I usually end up with a honey whole wheat.

                                                        1. re: awm922

                                                          A buddy of mine worked at a coffee house. He's very passionate about coffee. Anyway a customer asked him about flavored coffees and which he preferred. My friend responded: "I think COFFEE is a good flavor. I feel the same way about bread. There's no "added flavor" that can substitute for what true bread creates.

                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                            That's a bit of a narrow view. There's a long tradition of "added flavor" with bread. To regard true bread as flour and water (with yeast and salt) overlooks that adding grains and olive oil and herbs (sometimes singly or in combination) essentially creates what different cultures regard as traditional breads. Subway's addition of ingredients to their breads is their least offensive practice. What's more offensive is the hot-dog-bun textured roll they start with in the first place. It'll take more than a few herbs to make that palatable.

                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                              I really don't get that either, if I'm understanding you. PPl think that Subway has a "choice" of breads? Isn't it just the same loaf of hot dug bun bread with an oat or two sprinkled on top? Now it's"Whole Grain Oat" bread? They put a shread or two of cheese, and sprinkle some parmesan, and now it's "Asiago Parmesan?" Bread choices? Where?

                                                              1. re: gordeaux

                                                                "Isn't it just the same loaf of hot dug bun bread with an oat or two sprinkled on top?" gordeaux, that's just plain untrue. While all are unmistakably Subway-style rolls, the oat and wheat breads are substantively different than the white, as their names indicate.

                                                              2. re: ferret

                                                                "What's more offensive is the hot-dog-bun textured roll they start with in the first place. It'll take more than a few herbs to make that palatable."

                                                                That's pretty much my point.