As the nearest competitor in terms of sheer national presence, this week’s Sub’r Bowl visit to Quiznos was anticipated to be a head to head comparison to the super-chain Subway in the National Chain Over 1000 Locations Division. To my surprise, even though I think I would prefer a Quiznos sub to that of Subway, the scoring came out remarkably similar.
This week it was just Greg and I, the only two of our original group of four to have visited each competitor so far. Whatever the reason for that might be, I fortunately had recently gotten a BOGO coupon in the mail for any sub from Quiznos, which made this trip the cheapest one yet: $11 for the both of us. The question is, can such a low price get you a good sandwich? The answer is: yes, for certain values of good.
There are Quiznos just about everywhere around here, so we just picked the closest one to work. It happened to be in a strip mall, and therefore one of the smaller ones I’ve been to. It wasn’t busy by the time we got there, though there were a couple of people ahead of us ordering. Not wanting to have to think about it, we both decided to go for the Classic Italian on white bread with everything on it. The staff was friendly and efficient, and most of the time waiting for the sandwiches was as they rolled through the oven on the conveyor belt. After we got the sandwiches, I added banana peppers to mine from the garnish stand.
Let’s get the other stuff out of the way first. Quiznos offers soups, salads and chips to go with your sandwich. It was decent to have the option of a soup or a salad I guess, but the main combo meal was the same as usual: sandwich, Lay’s snack size chips and a drink. They have a special Choose 2 deal where you can get any 2 of: one of their smaller, limited sandwich offerings, a soup or a salad. It’s nice to have choices, but Lay’s chips and Pepsi fountain drinks are nothing to write home about, except possibly to bemoan. Fortunately they had some kind of pink lemonade, but it was really sugary and only a slightly better option than Pepsi. No chips for us.
We ended up with large subs, primarily because the regular was too small. It was possibly too large for lunch, but I ate it all anyway. The white bread roll was nothing special, and we both agreed that it would be rather tasteless if it wasn’t toasted. The toasted bun turned out to be a bit of a problem for me, though, because it scraped up the top of my mouth pretty good, leaving me a little tender and sore even as I write this review. Toasting a roll with an already hard crust just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, but Greg didn’t seem to have a problem.
The insides were pretty good. There was plenty of meat, and just enough vegetables to be tasted without interfering with the meatiness of the sandwich. The cuts were slightly above average, but the pepperoni overpowered the sandwich a bit for me. To my surprise there was no mayonnaise on the sandwich, which neatly sidestepped the too-much-mayo problem I often experience, but had the negative effect of allowing the dressing to soak through the bread, making it somewhat a soggy mess toward the last few bites.
I rated the following categories:
- Bread: 3
- Sandwich Stuff: 3
- Price/Value: 7
- Non-sandwich Stuff: 3
- Bonus points: 0
- Total: 16 points
Although you can’t really customize your sandwich the way you can at Subway, I nonetheless was more pleased with Quiznos’ version of the classic Italian sub than Subway’s. Unfortunately the coarseness of our rating system doesn’t really allow me to reflect that in my ratings, but with Jimmy John’s blowing away the competition, I’m not worried about the final standings. All I know is that if I’m given the contrived choice between having to eat either at Subway or Quiznos, I’m going to pick Quiznos.