By Mike Thayer
In the battle of brisket sandwiches, it's Subway vs. Hog Wild Pit BBQ
I'm not a fan of either one of these places, each can be dubbed as the "McDonald's" of their niche offerings. Subway is the "McDonald's" of sub sandwiches, very convenient and available, but most everything on the menu is "eh".... it's average food at best. Hog Wild Pit BBQ - a regional chain - is the "McDonald's" of BBQ, they have a lot of locations in my neck of the woods, they are convenient for when you're in the mood for BBQ, but it's very average BBQ at best.
I was motivated to write this particular article because:
- I'm a foodie
- I'm a fan of BBQ and out of sheer curiosity I just had to try Subway's version of a brisket sandwich. C'mon, a sub shop that supposedly pit-smokes brisket for 13 hours?
- After sampling Subway's sandwich, I concluded that while there was nothing "Wow!" about the sandwich, it was still better than the brisket sandwich made by Hog Wild Pit BBQ!
For a limited time - through November 7th - Subway has finally jumped on the brisket train of popularity by offering what they call a Pit-Smoked Brisket Sandwich. My review of the sandwich can be read here. To sum, the brisket was under seasoned and didn't give you the smoke flavor you're looking for in something supposedly smoked for 13 hours. And while it wasn't a great sandwich, it wasn't bad either and it dawned on me while eating it and pondering the review write-up, that it was better than what Hog Wild offers!
So in the name of "Food Science" I went across the street from my neighborhood Subway and purchased a brisket sandwich combo from Hog Wild (sandwich, side, drink). I got a side of mac & cheese and a lemonade. As previously stated, I'm not a fan of Hog Wild, previous reviews can be read here and here. And it was confirmed: What I was thinking in eating the Subway brisket sandwich was true, Hog Wild's brisket sandwich is inferior - and they're a bbq joint!
The Subway brisket sandwich cost $6.99 for a 6 inch sandwich. That's just for the sandwich, I didn't get chips or a drink. That's a higher price than Hog Wild, but you do get your choice of bread and how you can doctor up your sandwich with a variety of toppings which in my case was smoked cheddar, red onions, pickles and some mustard to accompany the bbq sauce. In the price comparison, the Hog Wild brisket sandwich as a value meal cost $6.49. It's not something you can really doctor up though, pretty much served as is, coming with a standard bun, brisket, some sauce, no frills. I did go to the drink/condiment service area and picked up some pickles for the sandwich. The only plus for Hog Wild, the meal does come with that choice of side and a drink. Their mac & cheese isn't bad.
But here's what makes the Subway Sandwich better than Hog Wild (and that's not saying much).... Not only is the Subway sandwich a much larger sandwich, despite the brisket being under seasoned, it was tender meat and how you can doctor up the sandwich makes up for the lack of some smoky flavor. Subway also slices their brisket, a HUGE plus over what Hog Wild does, which is to pull/shred the brisket. In my book, that's a BBQ crime. Modern brisket sandwich making is SLICED. And you have to wonder if you're getting 100% brisket in that shred, considering what they try to pass off as burnt ends aren't really burnt ends. The sauces used on the sandwiches were both Kansas City style sauces, on the sweet side, neither sauce being particularly better than the other. Subway also gets the nod with better bread.
In the battle of brisket sandwiches, Subway vs. Hog Wild: Subway wins. Sliced brisket, Italian bread, smoked cheddar, large variety in choice of toppings takes Subway to victory.
If these two restaurants are your only choices for a brisket sandwich, go with Subway.
But don't take that to mean either of these sandwiches are a repeat buy, neither are. I just thought that it's a sad statement.... that a sub shop can make a better brisket sandwich than a BBQ joint.
This was a fun challenge, but not the tastiest of challenges.
$pend Wisely My Friends.....