Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Subway 2011–


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:41 PM

I'm ambivalent about Subway. In many ways I dislike the place. Most notably the sandwich fillings are just bad. Yet, in desperate situations, Subway is my family's go-to place, because of the vegetables. And also because of the price.

At Subway, for $5, you get a foot-long sandwich on acceptable, squishy, finish-baked bread topped with a significant quantity of fresh vegetables of your choice. You can also skip the sandwich altogether and have them make you a salad. In the past week on the road we've utilized Subway three times for a vegetable fix.

If only they used decent-quality fillings for the sandwiches. Their meats and cheeses need a lot of improvement.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#2 Holly Moore

Holly Moore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,573 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:44 PM

It is discouraging that Subway seems to do so well in the land of the hoagie.
Holly Moore
"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com
Twitter

#3 heidih

heidih
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 10,826 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 24 February 2011 - 05:58 PM

If I had to pick a quick breakfast when the only options were fast food/take-out chain food - it would be Subway - toasted English muffin, egg white "omlette", thin slice of ham and cheese, toss on some spinach and melt. Add a drop of Tabasco to every bite and I am ready to face the day. (Tabasco in my purse)

#4 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:19 PM

I'm not a fan if there are other options around, but a Subway vegetarian sub with lots of pickles and hot peppers is a life-saver on interstate road trips. (Props to my wife for revealing this.)
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#5 NancyH

NancyH
  • participating member
  • 890 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Ohio

Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:13 PM

There is a funky smell in most Subway's that I just can't get past. Any idea what it is?
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#6 LPShanet

LPShanet
  • participating member
  • 717 posts

Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:41 PM

I'm ambivalent about Subway. In many ways I dislike the place. Most notably the sandwich fillings are just bad. Yet, in desperate situations, Subway is my family's go-to place, because of the vegetables. And also because of the price.

At Subway, for $5, you get a foot-long sandwich on acceptable, squishy, finish-baked bread topped with a significant quantity of fresh vegetables of your choice. You can also skip the sandwich altogether and have them make you a salad. In the past week on the road we've utilized Subway three times for a vegetable fix.

If only they used decent-quality fillings for the sandwiches. Their meats and cheeses need a lot of improvement.


As a fellow New Yorker, I have had a real problem with Subways here in NYC. For some reason, most fast food chains aren't as good in Manhattan as they are almost anywhere else in the U.S. in my observation. That presumes, of course, that you like the place in question in the first place. And Subway is one of the absolute worst, at least in my neighborhood (downtown). In most other cities I've lived in or visited, Subway is a passable option when you want something quickly, just as you mention. However, for some inexplicable reason, the Subways I've tried in the City have had bins full of decaying vegetables, and other slimy ingredients that have clearly been around past their expiration dates. They are so bad as to be repulsive. One sandwich I got near my house a few years ago was so disgusting in this regard that I had to throw it out after one bite. The same drop in quality seems to apply to Wendy's, KFC, Taco Bell and any other chain. I have no idea why this is, but my observation has been echoed by numerous friends and acquaintances. Fortunately, there are usually so many better and more interesting options here in the city that I'd choose those over even the best chain stuff anyway. But it is a conundrum.

For what it's worth, Subway in Australia is surprisingly good. Everything is fresh and well made, the bread is far better, and even the meats and cheeses are notably elevated compared to the U.S. Can't explain this either, unless Subway just assumes that Americans have terrible taste and judgment.

#7 Pierogi

Pierogi
  • participating member
  • 1,476 posts
  • Location:Long Beach, CA

Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:48 PM

....
For what it's worth, Subway in Australia is surprisingly good. Everything is fresh and well made, the bread is far better, and even the meats and cheeses are notably elevated compared to the U.S. Can't explain this either, unless Subway just assumes that Americans have terrible taste and judgment.

They keep sellin' 'em don't they? *SOMEONE'S* eating them. In droves, or there wouldn't be a Subway on every corner.

ETA---and BTW, every time I pass one, no matter what time of day, they're packed. Absolutely packed. I don't get it, but someone must.

Edited by Pierogi, 24 February 2011 - 10:51 PM.

--Roberta--
"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley
Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

#8 Blether

Blether
  • participating member
  • 1,728 posts
  • Location:Tokyo

Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:39 PM

I've watched Subway get its periodical slagging off here on eG and sat here bemused. In Japan it's better than most fast food, IMO, and I'm a long-term supporter, if for no other reason than their always having been set up around a menu that offers a balanced diet. Unlike McDonald's which took fifty years to discover salad. Others in this thread have acknowledged the veggie offering.

Yes, the meat 6 cheese can be criticised for not being deli standard, but it seems to me it's like pointing out how crappy the fast-food burger patties are.

Here in Japan, Subway is clean, well kept, fastidious and friendly. I was only a bit less disappointed when the most convenient branch closed down, than I was when Wendy's quit the country altogether. And I liked Wendy's.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.


#9 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 3,839 posts

Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:01 AM

It is discouraging that Subway seems to do so well in the land of the hoagie.


I've thought a lot about this. Why would anyone in Philly buy subway dreck, when even Wawa makes a better product???

You can ask the same question about Domino's pizza or Papa John's. OK for the midwest perhaps; but in NY or Philly????

I think its because Subway has great locations that are convenient; and for many convenience trumps quality.

It's also about advertising dollars, which sway the uncritical.

Its also about the glop they put on their inferior meat and cheese. It hides a lot under spice and grease. Boar's Head has ads that address this trick.

#10 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 25 February 2011 - 06:54 AM

Anyone interested in fast food production line quality and consistency should just stand and watch the Subway workers build sandwiches for an hour or so, then go to Burger King, McDonalds, or anywhere else and ask for something made "your way." The differences are pretty striking, and, I think, key to Subway's genius: everything is made "your way."
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#11 llc45

llc45
  • participating member
  • 335 posts

Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:51 AM

I'm not a fan if there are other options around, but a Subway vegetarian sub with lots of pickles and hot peppers is a life-saver on interstate road trips. (Props to my wife for revealing this.)


We discovered this on our Pacific Northwest trip this summer. Near many of the parks, it was either pay $20 for a really bad meal or get another veggie burger at Subway. I remember the last day of Redwood National Park we ate subway both for lunch and dinner. After spending a lot of money for really bad food the prior two days in that park, we said - what the heck, let's try Subway veggie burger. Well, I can't tell you how many more we had over the next two weeks when civilization wasn't nearby. That said, I agree with the others about the meats and cheeses. We tried that once or twice out there and that was enough for us.

#12 HungryC

HungryC
  • participating member
  • 1,503 posts
  • Location:greater New Orleans

Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:57 AM

But the sugary, overyeasted bread mush is downright gross! If I want a shovelful of sugar, I'll take a fountain drink. If forced by circumstances beyond my control to eat at a chain sandwich shop, I'll pick Quiznos by a mile. Here in the land of the poboy, it's damn sad that Subway has so many customers. I think they survive (around here) on coupon-clipping customers and those who don't plan ahead & find themselves in a bind at lunch.

#13 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,854 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 25 February 2011 - 10:08 AM

Anyone interested in fast food production line quality and consistency should just stand and watch the Subway workers build sandwiches for an hour or so, then go to Burger King, McDonalds, or anywhere else and ask for something made "your way." The differences are pretty striking, and, I think, key to Subway's genius: everything is made "your way."

Until I read this comment, Chris, I didn't realize Harvey's was a Canadian chain!
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#14 Badiane

Badiane
  • participating member
  • 661 posts
  • Location:Chilliwack, BC

Posted 25 February 2011 - 11:57 AM

My office is over a Subway. The smell that comes through the floor vents is disgusting. We have collectively decided that the funk is a combination of the chemicals in the bread, cookies and pastries, the chemicals on the lettuce and the stench of rotting lunchmeat and vegetables.

I don't eat there often - there are lots of inexpensive asian noodle options in the area - but once in a while I brave it and get a tuna sandwich. Far too much tuna, IMHO, but a reasonable value for the money. Breakfast for those of us who don't like eggs is kind of a rip-off, especially when down the street I can get a bun with 6 strips of bacon, cheese and hashbrowns piled on it for 3 bucks.
Don't try to win over the haters. You're not the jackass whisperer."

Scott Stratten

#15 chileheadmike

chileheadmike
  • participating member
  • 334 posts
  • Location:Kansas City

Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:19 PM

There is a funky smell in most Subway's that I just can't get past. Any idea what it is?


I thought it was just me who smelled that. My wife thinks I'm crazy for not wanting to eat Subway becuase of the smell of their stores. I will eat a Mr Goodcent's veggie sub on Friday's during Lent, there isn't much cheese though, but the veggies seem fresh and there's no smell in the store.


I tried Quizno's once. I ordered somekind of Italian sub. They put the meat and cheese on the break and then hit each side with the triple nozzled goop squirter. Lots of goop on both sides, really sweet goop. I didn't care for it and have not gone back.
That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

#16 LPShanet

LPShanet
  • participating member
  • 717 posts

Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:34 PM


It is discouraging that Subway seems to do so well in the land of the hoagie.


I've thought a lot about this. Why would anyone in Philly buy subway dreck, when even Wawa makes a better product???

You can ask the same question about Domino's pizza or Papa John's. OK for the midwest perhaps; but in NY or Philly????

I think its because Subway has great locations that are convenient; and for many convenience trumps quality.

It's also about advertising dollars, which sway the uncritical.

Its also about the glop they put on their inferior meat and cheese. It hides a lot under spice and grease. Boar's Head has ads that address this trick.


In New York, most of the fast food places, Subway included, are frequented by out of towners and those who recently moved here. That's how the dreadful pizza chains have finally gotten hold in a town where a reasonable pizza is available right next door. Newly transplanted folks are sometimes relieved to find the stuff they ate through college, especially when they don't know better.

#17 JAZ

JAZ
  • manager
  • 4,902 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:48 PM

Three thoughts about Subway:

First, I think of all the fast food chains I've tried, they're the least consistent, especially in terms of freshness of ingredients and cleanliness of the store. In my limited experience, some of them do smell funny -- in some cases it's just the bread, which to me smells like sweet muffins with an undertone of rosemary. But in other cases, I think it's the vegetables starting to go bad.

Second, it's nice that they have all the vegetable options, but (see above) they need to be more scrupulous about making sure those ingredients are fresh.

Third, it's curious to me how they persuade so many people that their sandwiches are "healthy." Ever since the advent of the Jared commercials they've been touting their healthful status, but how truthful is that, really? Their sandwiches are undoubtedly lower in fat than burgers, especially since they always give their nutritional information for sandwiches without cheese or mayonnaise, but they're often higher in sodium and much higher in carbohydrates. So who decides what "healthy" is?

#18 Tim Dolan

Tim Dolan
  • participating member
  • 507 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:28 PM

To me, Subway is awful. I agree with the other Philly posters, I have no idea how they stay in business with all of the better available options. It's funny that McDonald's consistently gets labeled as everything that is wrong with the world, but Subway pushes itself as healthy when I'd be willing to bet that given the choice, anyone in their right mind would rather eat at the former.
I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...
Homer Simpson

#19 Blether

Blether
  • participating member
  • 1,728 posts
  • Location:Tokyo

Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:35 PM

I'll certainly contest your definition of sanity, Tim Dolan.

JAZ, to me, not being a king who dies on the throne (copyright, EP, Memphis) has a lot to do with what "healthy" is.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.


#20 Big Joe the Pro

Big Joe the Pro
  • participating member
  • 103 posts
  • Location:Beijing, China

Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:08 PM

We discovered this on our Pacific Northwest trip this summer. Near many of the parks, it was either pay $20 for a really bad meal or get another veggie burger at Subway. I remember the last day of Redwood National Park we ate subway both for lunch and dinner. After spending a lot of money for really bad food the prior two days in that park, we said - what the heck, let's try Subway veggie burger. Well, I can't tell you how many more we had over the next two weeks when civilization wasn't nearby. That said, I agree with the others about the meats and cheeses. We tried that once or twice out there and that was enough for us.


Sorry but I'm a bit aghast at the thought of going to National Parks and eating at restaurants. No room in the car for a cooler, a little Coleman burner and a picnic blanket? If not (and/or if there are open flame restrictions) I'd think a big bag of apples, some sardines and crackers and a jar of pickles would be preferable to those restaurants and fast food joints. Maybe I've been out of the States too long but those are the first things I throw in the car when going on the road. It's nice to stop in a rest area and cook some jazzed up instant noodles for lunch if nothing else.
Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

#21 ellevan

ellevan
  • participating member
  • 39 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, MO.

Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:16 PM

I think this may be the smell of their "fresh baked bread"? I am not sure though I have often wondered this myself....

#22 ellevan

ellevan
  • participating member
  • 39 posts
  • Location:Kansas City, MO.

Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:21 PM


There is a funky smell in most Subway's that I just can't get past. Any idea what it is?


I thought it was just me who smelled that. My wife thinks I'm crazy for not wanting to eat Subway becuase of the smell of their stores. I will eat a Mr Goodcent's veggie sub on Friday's during Lent, there isn't much cheese though, but the veggies seem fresh and there's no smell in the store.


I tried Quizno's once. I ordered somekind of Italian sub. They put the meat and cheese on the break and then hit each side with the triple nozzled goop squirter. Lots of goop on both sides, really sweet goop. I didn't care for it and have not gone back.

The smell gets to me as well. I normally go with Jimmy Johns instead, much better quality and better bang for the buck.

#23 Susie Q

Susie Q
  • participating member
  • 216 posts
  • Location:So. California.

Posted 26 February 2011 - 08:56 AM

I hate that sour deli smell. You can even smell it as you walk past. It ranks right down there with the funky over ripe fruit and vegi smell that some small markets have.

I'm not a fan of subway and haven't eaten from there since the early 90's. I didn't care for their food and the sour smell that every shop had just bowled me over and always made me nauseous.

#24 llc45

llc45
  • participating member
  • 335 posts

Posted 26 February 2011 - 09:31 AM


We discovered this on our Pacific Northwest trip this summer. Near many of the parks, it was either pay $20 for a really bad meal or get another veggie burger at Subway. I remember the last day of Redwood National Park we ate subway both for lunch and dinner. After spending a lot of money for really bad food the prior two days in that park, we said - what the heck, let's try Subway veggie burger. Well, I can't tell you how many more we had over the next two weeks when civilization wasn't nearby. That said, I agree with the others about the meats and cheeses. We tried that once or twice out there and that was enough for us.


Sorry but I'm a bit aghast at the thought of going to National Parks and eating at restaurants. No room in the car for a cooler, a little Coleman burner and a picnic blanket? If not (and/or if there are open flame restrictions) I'd think a big bag of apples, some sardines and crackers and a jar of pickles would be preferable to those restaurants and fast food joints. Maybe I've been out of the States too long but those are the first things I throw in the car when going on the road. It's nice to stop in a rest area and cook some jazzed up instant noodles for lunch if nothing else.


Well, there were many days we brought food with us too. But we put 2000 miles on our car in 2 weeks, traveled from Redwood National Park to Olympic National Park, and included Portland, Seattle, Oregon Coast, Mt Rainier, and Mt St Helens. So, it really depended on what we could find and how long we were going to be in one place. I was just saying, for someone who never ate in Subway before, it was better that a lot of the alternatives we could find at the last minute in areas with little to choose from.

#25 Toliver

Toliver
  • participating member
  • 4,628 posts
  • Location:Bakersfield, California

Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:57 AM

Third, it's curious to me how they persuade so many people that their sandwiches are "healthy." Ever since the advent of the Jared commercials they've been touting their healthful status, but how truthful is that, really? Their sandwiches are undoubtedly lower in fat than burgers, especially since they always give their nutritional information for sandwiches without cheese or mayonnaise, but they're often higher in sodium and much higher in carbohydrates. So who decides what "healthy" is?

You also have to note that the "healthy" sandwiches are the 6-inch versions, not the footlongs.
Not all of the dressings are salty or high in fat. It is possible to leave the store with a relatively healthy meal. But then these days you can do the same at most fast food restaurants provided you make the right menu choices.

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'
Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”
– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


#26 Foodietopo

Foodietopo
  • participating member
  • 108 posts
  • Location:Japan

Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:56 PM

Subway just arrived in my part of Japan and it's running success. There is always a line in front of the shop, the quality is good but the service is so SLOW! I am sure the poor girls behind the counter will pick up speed. I eat there once in while, the shop is really clean if you compare it to a Canadian shop.


Back when I lived in Canada, my local Subway workers were a bunch of crazy Russians who played Russian pop music all the time. I went there to practice my Russian, pretty much a 2 for 1.

Somebody mentioned Harveys, I really miss Harveys hamburger!
My blog about food in Japan
Foodie Topography
www.foodietopography.com

#27 barbarataylor

barbarataylor
  • participating member
  • 24 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 01:30 AM

Subway... I can't decide which one is worst McDonalds or Subway

#28 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 3,839 posts

Posted 18 March 2011 - 05:45 AM

Don't forget quiznos. They're bad.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

#29 Andrew Fenton

Andrew Fenton
  • participating member
  • 3,352 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:20 PM


It is discouraging that Subway seems to do so well in the land of the hoagie.


I've thought a lot about this. Why would anyone in Philly buy subway dreck, when even Wawa makes a better product???


Two reasons: first, it's cheaper. $5 for a Subway foot-long sandwich is less than you'd pay at "real" hoagie shop- Sarcone's, Primo's or whatever. Wawa's prices are probably comparable to Subway (and I agree, is miles better), but there are a lot more Subways around than there are Wawas.

Second, let's not kid ourselves: while there are a lot of terrific hoagie shops around, it's not like there's one on every corner. There are no really good hoagieries on South Street- you'd have to walk to the Italian Market. So you either go to the South St. Subway, or to one of the manky corner deli/Greek pizza places. And the neighborhoods are worse, more often than not. I might head out of my way to Chickie's... if I'm a foodie. And I don't have hungry kids wanting to be fed. And I have the time and transportation and disposable income. Etc.

Third, I think that the perception that Subways in NYC or Philly are visited mainly by out-of-towners is wishful thinking.

#30 CaliPoutine

CaliPoutine
  • participating member
  • 2,931 posts
  • Location:Santa Clarita, CA

Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:30 PM

I've been back in the States now(back from Canada) for almost 9 months and I'm proud to say I havent eaten at Subway. I ate there a lot in my small town in Ontario because it was either Subway, McDonalds, KFC( no way, no how) or Tim Horton's. Subway seemed the healthiest to me, even if I wasnt fond of their cold cuts. Now that I'm back in Cali, I'f I want a sub, I go to Jersey Mike's. Much, Much better if not slightly more expensive. A 6inch turkey and provolone with a coupon( I always have a coupon) is 6.50.