By Mike Thayer
Are there that many people out there eating sub sandwiches but not really caring or understanding that they're possibly not eating at the best establishment? That maybe, just maybe, they're eating only, sadly, at a place they're merely accustomed to, what they've settled to be comfortable with?
It would seem so, otherwise we wouldn't be so inundated with so darn many sub shops around..... Subway, Jimmy John's, Firehouse Subs, Quizno's, Planet Sub, Schlotzsky's, Jason's Deli, McAlister's Deli and others.....
So in the name of 'Food Science' (cough), I will be undertaking the next Bachelor on the Cheap Challenge: Who makes the best subs? I'll be going through the restaurant list, one meal at a time, sampling sub sandwiches from the all national chains..... What? Eat nothing but sub sandwiches for lunch AND dinner? Like I said, done in the name of 'food science'......
Here is "The List" of sub shops/deli joints I'll be trying out during the course of this challenge:
- Subway - Day 1, Lunch
- Jimmy John's
- Planet Sub
- Firehouse Subs
- Jason's Deli
- McAlister's Deli
- Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs
Who has the best sub sandwich? The worst?
For my second sub sandwich of the challenge, I headed to Firehouse Subs. This sub shop puts a unique twist on sub sandwich prep, they steam their meats and cheeses. Not finding a 'Cold Cut' sandwich on their menu - there's no bologna on the Firehouse menu - I ordered a Firehouse Hero on wheat. The Hero is described as: USDA Choice roast beef, smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted provolone, served Fully Involved. Fully Involved® – Loaded complete with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a kosher dill pickle on the side.
So how was my Firehouse Hero?
Delicious. It was a really good sandwich and the joint isn't kidding when they say the steaming process provides another level of flavor. They put a very generous amount of meat on their sandwiches, you can really taste that choice roast beef, savor the smoked turkey breast and enjoy the slightly sweet kick of the honey ham. I also have to say the Firehouse bread is better than Subway's. The sandwich was nicely balanced, the bread, the meat, cheese and veggies. It was put together well and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The key question then, "Is it a repeat buy?" Yes and no. Firehouse subs are a bit pricey. I paid $10.28 for a medium sub, chips and a drink. True, there was no bologna on my sandwich and it was all genuine meats, not faux turkey based mockery (Subway). You pay for quality at Firehouse, but $10.28 for a sub? That's not exactly Bachelor on the Cheap friendly.
And while the service was friendly enough, it was ssssssllllllloooooooowwwwwwww..... I ordered my sandwich at 2:08pm according to the receipt, but I didn't get out of the only moderately busy restaurant with my carry-out order until 2:20pm. With only 30 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes travel time round trip, that left me just 8 minutes to enjoy - key word, 'enjoy' - my sandwich! That's enough time to enjoy a couple bites is all!
The Firehouse delivers big on flavor but the slow service and price take a bite (get it, 'bite'?) out of the overall experience. Firehouse Subs gets 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.