Subway Ride

Chewing on the drive-by low-cal no-taste sandwich

click to enlarge SUB-STANDARD: Chipotle cheese steak with chips and a drink. - Laura Fries
Laura Fries
SUB-STANDARD: Chipotle cheese steak with chips and a drink.

All across the nation, there is the smell of Subway.

You could take me anywhere, blindfold me so I wouldn't see those yellow wallsTM, and I'd be able to recognize that smell. I think it's the bread: the fresh-baked Subway bread, which really smells like vinegar and chemicals, not the yeasty, beery goodness of real bread.

Here at Subway, America comes to eat healthy. There are options, you see, "Toasted" subs, wraps and salads. Here, the office workers of America unite in their quest to lose those secretary thighs without using the stairs: ordering carefully from the 6 grams of fat or under menu, and dutifully chugging the Diet Coke with the Baked Lays. It's the "healthy alternative" along the highways of our nation; a refuge from fries and burgers. Sorority-girls-turned-vegetarians-in-order-to-lose-weight come to order their veggie subs, content with iceberg lettuce, American cheese, tomatoes and ranch dressing. Oh, ain't it safe, America? And aren't you making the "right" choice?

But it just ain't food! Admittedly, Subway has made strides along the way; adding different "varieties" of bread, adding a better selection of vegetables, and more chips. But here I sit, masticating a "chipotle steak cheese steak" on "cheese bread" with, thankfully, spinach, onion, cucumber and green peppers - and I honestly can't taste a thing. Except onion.

"Laura, get over yourself," you're thinking. "It's Subway. No one expects Subway to be good. They just eat there." And I guess - in a roundabout way - that's my point. Do you guys have any idea how big the company is? It's so damn large that when one franchisee suggested creating a roasted red pepper sandwich they had to delay the launch of the sandwich for several years - because there weren't enough red peppers in the entire world to serve that sandwich in every Subway shop. So now, as Nation's Restaurant News reported, red pepper producers - and I don't have to tell you that those folks are megacorporations - are busy trying to grow enough peppers to pack a peck of Subway shops. Sooner or later, the sandwich will emerge, and you'll see a commercial for it on TV, eat one on a lunch break or a road trip, think to yourself, "Well, that wasn't very good," and go about your day, wishing you'd just ordered your usual tuna. Meanwhile, the world's supply of red bell peppers will have been hijacked; grown to the specifications of the 22,970 Subway shops: perfectly shaped, bland, and hell, pre-sliced if they could figure out a way to swing it.

I'd be lying if I told you that Subway was the only corporation in the world hijacking the production of fruits and vegetables: McDonald's Apple Dippers, por exemplo, are rapidly changing the apple industry in America.

But there is just something about Subway's ridiculous, healthier-than-thou attitude, and the overall disappointing quality of the food, that makes me want to throw my pager out the window. (Serious, that was an ol' skool Destiny's Child reference. Don't tell me you didn't feel it.)

Really. Let's just break this down. What the hell is a Seafood Sensation? I mean, can it truly be a sensation? Isn't it just a thick paste of seafood-like sludge? And when it's being served at some Subway in the middle of Bullshit, New Mexico, where is this "seafood" coming from? And for that matter, where do the tomatoes, pastel pink and full of chemical goodness, actually come from? You know the Subway I'm talking about - in the middle of nowhere, attached to a gas station/slot machine aisle/curio shop? How can you "eat fresh" there?

The whole "fresh" thing is such a ridiculous concept. I mean: they took my "chipotle steak" from some undisclosed place and nuked it before slapping it on a bun. How is that fresh? And by the way, how is that chipotle? Trust me, kiddies, I know my peppers, and that just doesn't qualify.

And don't even get me started on that Jared bitch.

Here I am, sitting in the back of a Subway, seriously still really hungry, and contemplating ordering another 6-incher just to get a little bit full. And all the folks around me are happily chowing down on their processed, packaged fare, content to destroy the creations of the giant-plastic-gloved Sandwich Artists with large, chomping bites. Can they even taste what they're eating?

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