When you're out looking for a sub, and can't find a local sub or sandwich shop in your area, you've got a few chain choices. There's the company famous for only charging $5, the one that started the whole toasted subs craze, and the lesser known chain that is known for steaming their sub ingredients: Firehouse Subs. This week, I decided to check out the steamed variety of our favorite over sized sandwiches. It only took me a moment of looking at the menu before I found exactly what I wanted: the Club on a Sub.
I order the sub and agree to have it "fully involved" which I later find out means they'll be slapping mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onions on the sub and tucking away a dill spear on the side. I watch the young lady behind the counter place a few pieces turkey, ham, Monterrey Jack cheese, and bacon between some wax paper and place it all into a large metal box. She pushes a lever and steam pours out from the sides for a few seconds before she opens the lid and takes out the wax paper.
Rather than creepily watch her make the rest of the sandwich, I decide
to start purusing the enormous selection of hot sauces. Ranging from
mild yellow mustard and honey flavored sauces, to habanero sauces with
enormous warnings on the labels, there's something for everyone here. I
pick out a couple of the hotter varieties, hoping these aren't here to
mask the substandard taste of the sub I'm about to take down.
I take the sub back to a table and start to unwrap it. This sub is much
thicker than the other chains, and after I'm finished unwrapping it I
realize it's not just the bread. The meat is layered over an inch thick
and looks amazing. The steaming contraption melted the cheese and all
throughout the three types of meat, and because they were heated
outside of the bread, they aren't stuck to the bread (which is is
thick, soft, chewy, and unremarkable). So the presentation is top
notch, but it'll all mean next to nothing if the taste doesn't stack up.
Biting into the sub is a strange experience. With the bread and
vegetables being cold and the meat being hot, it makes for a strange
sensory experience. The bacon is crispy, the turkey and ham are juicy,
dripping with cheese, and completely delicious. The vegetables, much
like the bread, are unremarkable: shredded lettuce, and thinly sliced
tomatoes and onions are just enough to provide a little flavor and
texture, but the sandwich would have been much better sans the
vegetables. Maybe that's just the carnivore in me coming out. After
ensuring I've give the sub a fair shot, I douse it in hot sauce and
enjoy the sweet-hot burn of honey habanero drowning out all the other
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