By Mike Thayer
OK, I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of the never-ending Subway TV commercials and their "Eat Fresh Refresh" new menu campaign. Featuring sports stars, the commercials were mildly entertaining at first, but it's now overkill. Watch a football game and you'll get pummeled with the same Subway commercial over and over again and you're able to recite the lines by half time.
Subway is one of my least favorite sandwich shops, their quality has gone downhill in recent years and in fact they finished second to last in my "Who has the best Sub Sandwich" challenge a few years back and to be honest, I don't think I've eaten there since. You can read that review here. Their TV commercials didn't entice me at first - the "Eat Fresh Refresh" campaign was unveiled last fall - but tired of hearing Charles Barkley boast up Subway's Baja Steak & Cheese sandwich, well I finally decided to give Subway another try.
Here's the description from the Subway website: Spicy, cheesy, smoky — this one’s got it all. NEW Steak meets NEW Pepper Jack Cheese, with green peppers, red onions, and NEW Baja Chipotle Sauce on Artisan Italian Bread. Try not to fall head over heels.
I ordered a 6 inch sandwich on white, toasted. I didn't get anything extra on the sandwich either, I just wanted to check out the base flavors for this review. If it's got a good foundation, it would be worth ordering again and perhaps then, build on good base flavors.
In taking that first bite, I was pleasantly surprised. This is the best sandwich I've had from Subway in a very long time and I walked into the shop with low expectations considering they were the 8th best sandwich out of 9 sub shops reviewed in my neck of the woods a few years back. So faced with some lost market share in the sub market - growth of competitors like Jersey Mike's and Firehouse Subs - Subway seems to have upped their game.
My sandwich had a nice portion of steak, it was tender, juicy and seasoned well. Combined with a generous amount of green pepper, red onion and topped with that pepper jack cheese made for a very nice bite. But what kicks this sandwich up a notch is that Baja Chipolte Sauce, a nice balance of creamy, smoky spice and the maker of my sandwich didn't hold anything back in applying it.
Costing me $10.73 for the sandwich, chip and drink combo, I'm giving the Subway Baja Steak & Jack 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. They've improved their menu but also raised their prices, but that's OK because I'm willing to pay a little extra for a better sandwich. I didn't go back to Subway for such a long time because their cold cut sandwich was sub-par (pun intended) and although a wallet friendly eat, the cold cuts weren't the real deal, with the ham, salami and bologna all turkey based, as in, lacking real and authentic flavor. But I'll make a return visit now, the Baja Steak & Jack is quite tasty with quality ingredients and is worthy of a repeat buy. And hmmm... That Subway marketing pummel eventually worked.. Charles Barkley finally wore me down... The Baja was worth it.