Sunday, February 08, 2009

Power Rankings!: Subway Five Dollar Footlongs

I'm sure all you regulars have already noticed that the blogs haven't been flowing as freely as they once were (which isn't to say that the blogs were all that freely flowing to begin with). It's been less than a month since school started up again and, alas, the daily nuisances of classes and summer job mining have really gotten in the way. Besides, overall, nothing really interesting goes on in January anyway. The year is still new and still struggling to establish its identity.

One thing about going back to school in the boondocks of Jamaica, Queens is that I once again resume my regular schedule of eating Subway footlongs. One part of my reason for kicking it Jared style is preference. If you broke down what my favorite food was, it would be basically any piece of meat between two pieces of bread. Also from a cost/fullness ratio, the five dollar footlong is pretty much the best option out there. In addition, it's marginally healthier than all the other fast food options available. That sort of goes to my other reason for Subway, and that is that there's NO OTHER FUCKING PLACE AROUND CAMPUS. Seriously, you'd think a rather large and diverse university would draw healty variety of food options surrounding the campus. Maybe there's some obscure town ordinance that prevents new restaurants from opening up in the area, but it is as if the college just fell out of the sky and right in the middle of a quiet suburb with no other major businesses in sight. Without actually driving out onto the highway to other places; between the Subway, a pizza place or two, and generic campus dinning your options are pretty slim. I should just quit school now and open up a Jamba Juice or something. It'd be a license to print money.

Regardless of the sad state of affairs around the school, I still enjoy the wide varieties of Subway five dollar footlongs. So since the grand purpose of all Internet blogs are to assign subjective personal rankings of things, I've decided to provide my overall power ranking of the eight five dollar footlongs on Subway's everyday value menu. You can keep your fancy regular menu items like Roast Beef and Chicken Teriyaki, it's time for a value priced five dollar throw down!:

8. Veggie Delight
I don't even consider this pretender to even be a sandwich at all. Masquerading itself as the "vegetarian alternative" sandwich, it's just a standard sub without the meat. So they take out one of the essential elements that make a sandwich a sandwich and charge you the same as an actual sandwich. I'd be like a bar offering light beer by giving you only half a glass of regular beer. I'm actually all for options for vegetarians, but this is obviously a scam. Couldn't they have put in some tofu meat alternative or chickpeas or something?

Add Image7. Tuna
I am actually a big tuna fan myself, but Subway's attempts at the classic tuna salad sandwich is a bit lacking. I don't know if it is all that possible to make a distinctively sub par tuna salad sandwich, but Subway manages to bring out the boring tuna. On top of it being sort of bland, it's actually the second worst thing you can order, calorie wise, on the menu; so it even loses the potential "healthy" appeal.

6. Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
Oven roasted is a bit of a misnomer. I guess those chicken breast slabs were cooked in an oven at some point in their lifetimes; how else can you explain the suspicious grill marks? As for the in store cooking, the whole "freshness" appeal is lost when you see them being thrown in and out of commercial microwaves before being put on your sandwich. The chicken pieces themselves may look like unappetizing rubber chicken parts, but overall the taste is alright, although I find them a bit dry.

5. Meatball Marinara
The meatball marinara is defiantly the most interesting of the sandwich choices. A true iconoclast: it cares not for caloric restraint, is incompatible with nearly all fixings and condiments, only comes in hot, and is terribly messy and inconvenient to eat. You have to really be in a specific meatball marinara mood to get this option. If you come in considering any other sandwich, it's quite unlikely you'll make a radical switch to the marinara as your second option. I for one have found myself in many a situtaitons where I found myself with a specific hankering for the big M.

4. Cold Cut Combo
This sandwich is best remembered for its featured role as Happy Gilmore's preferred choice of footlong. It's essentially a poorman's Subway Club with the higher end ham, roast beef, and turkey being replaced by the cheaper turkey bologna, turkey ham, and turkey salami. For these lean economic times, it's a solid, frugal substitute to the relatively extravagant Subway Club. I think the whole thing might actually qualify as a Giffen good.

3. Ham
Sometime you've got to eschew all those fancy gimmicks and meat combinations and just go back to basics; and it just doesn't get any more basic than a ham sandwich. From the Earl of Sandwich to Mamma Cass, who doesn't appreciate a nice ham sandwich? While I'm more of a beef man, when it comes to sandwiches, ham is definitely the go to meat.

2. Spicy Italian
Pound for pound, the spicy Italian is most likely the best deal among the five dollar footlongs. Unlike the cold cut combo which cold cuts its corners to provide its multiple meats, the spicy Italian gives you two quality cuts (Genoa salami and pepperoni) for the value price. The spicy Italian's condescending bigger brother is the Italian BMT which throws in an extra addition of ham to up the ante. I sometimes find that extra ham to be a touch too decadent though.

1. Turkey Breast and Ham
If you've been paying close attention you've probably noticed that this particular sandwich is not included in the official website's everyday value menu. Through some distinctive franchise quirk, my local Subway has this sub instead of the standard BLT on its everyday value menu. It's no doubt a conservative choice, but I've always been adamant that the best sandwich combination is turkey breast and ham. Sure there are more adventurous and interesting sandwiches out there and I appreciate them all; however when it comes down to a sandwich that never disappoints you've got to go with this classic duo.


  1. given the lack of other food options "around campus", you sound like your trapped in some horrible, variety-lacking universe in the twilight zone. I sympathize. Additionally, you should open a cheap empanada place, not a jamba juice.

    also, have you seen this? HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?!?!?!

  2. p.s. forgive the grammar mistake. I didn't proofread.

  3. I sure could go for a cheap empanada.

    Although the goal for every lawyer is to provide "zealous advocacy", I'm pretty sure that commercial violates a bunch of ethics rules.

  4. My favorite $5 footlongs are the oven roasted chicken breast and the meatball marinara. Right now all footlongs are $5, so I've been eating the sweet onion chicken teriyaki on italian herbs and cheese bread. Yummy!