Best part: the smell!
We were under time pressure this week, and also we have been under child pressure for some considerable time to visit this week’s location; the UK’s premier franchised sandwich chain of Subway.
Now unfortunately, given the time restraints already mentioned, I had to miss out on my favourite part of Subway dining; the visit to the store. Firstly your nostrils are tickled by the delightful smell, far superior to the taste of anything inside the shop. So much so, in fact, that it makes one suspicious that they pump it out artificially to lure unwary patrons into their establishment.
Once in you are faced with a wide array of sandwich options. Again this is one of my favourite parts of the Subway ritual, the exhilarating possibilities of ranch dressing and black olives. But I wasn’t there, and Mrs Midweek Lunch unfortunately tends to get overwhelmed with all the options and start to panic. I was slightly wary of what I would end up with when I did arrive, but I found I had a passable pulled pork sub. It was only 6 inches, you would think she would know me better than that by now, but as I was late and had left her with the horror of ordering, I felt it was political to not point this out. The ordering process as well as involving the usual stresses had featured a persistent wasp and a nagging child so now she was sweaty, hungry and cross. Not a good start.
We are all grown ups, apart from those that are children or geese, and we accept that food, especially franchised fast food, is rarely comparable to how it looks in advertising. But this case did seem particularly egregious. I offer the two sandwiches as evidence.
My wife fell into a trap that I have also succumbed to, so I cannot feel to smug about it. Being a vegetarian, and faced with very limited vegetarian options, she ordered the Veggie Delite (sic). This turned out to be everything you would normally get as an extra to your sub, cheese, salad, sauce, and NOTHING ELSE. It is difficult to see what is so delightful, or in fact deliteful, in having a sub with nothing part from the usual extras. A better name would probably be the Veggie Disappoynt. You can have that one for free, shadowing council of Doctors who inexplicably run Subway.
The kids were relatively happy with their meals. They got a strange cardboard box toy with their meal, which they didn’t really care for, and a quite impressive satchel which they did. Eldest complained that his Bear YoYo was to desiccated (not the word he used) and had stuck together, but youngest was very pleased with his crisps.
So we finished our meals not terribly impressed. As I told the office ill-advisably on my return it takes more than 6 inches to satisfy me. One thing it did have going for it was the price, £12 for lunch for 4, such good value that we suspect the till might have had a slight malfunction. Not that I’m complaining, mind. But in a town which such varied and interesting options, Subway does seem like a bit of a waste of stomach space.