By Warren Bobrow
This week I found myself working in a local office. It’s a quiet place– enough time can be set aside to write during the workday. Sometimes I have time to grab a quick sandwich; unfortunately, there are very few places for a sandwich left in this part of Morristown, making for slim pickings at lunch.
Yesterday I had the misfortune to find myself with only about 15 minutes to grab a sandwich and return. I had hoped to eat at Cha Cha Cha. The idea of a Cuban Sandwich– stuffed full of pickles, roast pork and then pressed– was exactly my desire. Unfortunately it was closed on Monday. What was I going to do? Was I going to have to go to Subway?
The commercials on television make Subway look like a healthy alternative to fast food. I don’t eat fast food. Oh sure, I’ll grab some chicken from George’s, or maybe some Vietnamese at my favorite place in Florham Park, Viet Ai. But this day I had no time for either.
Subway is a poor example of flavorful eating. The bread is a classic example of a product reading better than it tastes. The mere thought that freshly baked makes something better is a crude joke. The bread is best left off the sandwich.
I ordered a tuna sub. It is available as either a six-inch or a 12- inch sub. As I said the bread is neither stylish, nor does it have any flavor. It comes in several colors. Note: I said color. I don’t think their wheat has any more flavor than cardboard. The white or French bread that they bake at Subway will make any self-respecting baker scream in horror.
They use a pretty decent quality tuna, but it comes soaked in mayonnaise. I like my sub sandwiches with tomato and lettuce, a bit of salt and pepper, plus some olive oil and vinegar. This is a pretty basic sandwich if you ask me. Subway doesn’t fail, but their bread just kills this combination. I think it just needs work.
Ninety-nine percent of all the people who try one of Subway’s subs will love them. I felt a bit less than enthusiastic. The French bread is a light colored, airy, tasteless baked concoction that is best left on a tray in the warming oven. It does no service to my sandwich. Next time I’ll just get the filling, without the bread.
As far as a healthy alternative, there are some healthy choices on the menu. Just leave the bread off your sandwich.
Warren Bobrow was born and raised on a farm in Morristown. He is a classically trained saucier/chef and a food/spirits journalist with more than 300 published articles internationally. A rum judge for both the Ministry of Rum and the Barbados Rum Festival, he is a good person to have a cocktail with. Warren writes about biodynamic wine for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Edition 2.