Food Review: Subway #20 Elite Chicken Bacon Ranch Footlong hold the Sidekick
New job opportunities with Sedgwick County, 02/18/2024

Fast Food vs. Grocery Shopping, a spin on Subway's #20 - The Elite Chicken and Bacon Ranch Sub

Ingredients for a spin on a Subway sandwich
Ingredients to make a sub, aided by items I already have in my pantry and fridge.

It's another Fast Food vs. Grocery Shopping Challenge!

The typical Friday means eating out for a lot of folks, it's time to unwind after a long work week, and unwinding includes spending a few bucks on some take-out, or the drive-thru.

It's all too easy to fall into such a routine, but those takeout and drive-thru costs every week can start to add up.

This week's Fast Food vs. Grocery Shopping Challenge features a spin on Subway's #20, Elite Chicken and Bacon Ranch Sub.

toasted bread
toasty bread, melty cheese

I'm not sure what makes it "Elite", it's a good sandwich, but I wouldn't call it "Elite."  I picked one up the other day motivated by a desire to sample the new pretzel sidekick, but the participating restaurant I got my sub at, was "Out of Stock."   I'll have to do a pretzel sidekick review another day.

Subway's #20 features rotisserie-style chicken, melted Monterey cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and Peppercorn Ranch dressing.  It's a nice combination of flavors and the footlong price using the Subway app is $11.34.  So how much can you buy at the grocery store for about that kind of money?  Shopping at Aldi, I focused on purchasing the ingredients I needed to make a spinoff version of the "Elite" Chicken and Bacon Ranch sub, selecting items I didn't already have in my pantry and fridge.

Building the sandwich
Building the sandwich, adding veggies

Spending $11.52 in the grocery shop, I bought a French Baguette, boneless/skinless chicken thighs, a couple of Roma tomatoes, and a bag of Garden Salad.  For the cheese, Aldi didn't have any Monterey Cheddar, so I picked up a package of deli-sliced Colby Jack Cheddar cheese, along with a package of Pepper Jack cheese as an alternative to Peppercorn Ranch dressing.  I had regular Ranch dressing in my fridge along with everything else I needed to create the sub.  Putting my spin on a popular sub sandwich was fun, but the true beauty of the grocery shop is having all the extra eats beyond the sandwich.

Cost Comparison

  • Subway #20 - Elite Chicken Bacon Ranch Sub, Footlong - $11.34, two servings
  • Grocery Shopping at Aldi - $11.52, can make two 10" sub sandwiches, plus create sides for other meals, snacks
Adding the meat
Thanks to the grocery shop, the portions can be HUGE!

For just $0.18 more with the grocery shop, I've got so much more food!  My sandwich by the way, IS Elite.  I was able to customize my sandwich based on what I already had on hand, such as using low-sodium bacon and spicing up the chicken the way I preferred it, using my signature rub.  In addition to the bagged lettuce, I also chopped up some parsley, crushed up some garlic in a garlic press, and zested a lemon to create a quick gremolata for another punch of flavor.  Before toasting the baguette, I brushed it with a clove of garlic and dressed it with some of the bacon fat.  Just before the toast on the bread was complete, I added the cheese for a nice melt, then assembled the sandwich to include topping it with black pepper, Red Wine Vinegar, and Ranch Dressing.  The sandwich was "Another Dose of YUM!"

Chicken Bacon Ranch Sub
Now THAT is an ELITE sub!

From the shop, I've got plenty of ingredients to make another sandwich.  I've got bagged lettuce and tomato to make a couple of salads, and cheese slices to include in a charcuterie board or simply to snack on.  The best leftover from the shop, is chicken to create an entirely different meal with.  

I was able to prepare this sandwich in about the same time that it will take you to order online, go pick up your sandwich, and then return home.

Build a better sandwich
It's Another Dose of YUM!

So, does the comparison of fast food vs. grocery shopping have you rethinking the drive-thru, pickup, or delivery?  Why spend $11.34 on a not truly Elite sandwich from Subway or any other sub shop for that matter, when you can create not just one, but TWO truly Elite sandwiches for about the same money plus have leftover ingredients to make snacks and another meal to boot?

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Food Review: Subway #20 Elite Chicken Bacon Ranch Footlong hold the Sidekick

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