Subway has been running a scheme this month.  They’ve introduced their “Italian Collection,” a line of subs featuring combinations of pepperoni and marinara sauce.  These subs are a bit more expensive, running in the $6-7 range for a footlong. To make them seem a bit more like a bargain, Subway has decided to nuke their footlong of the month deal by offering the truly inexplicable Jalapeno Tuna Salad sub, which I will not be trying.  Well played, Subway, well played.

Pretty sure jalapenos and tuna salad is that thing that Meat Loaf wouldn't do for love.

The Chicken Pizziola includes chopped chicken breast, pepperoni, marinara sauce, and cheese.  Mozzarella would’ve been great, but since my Subway doesn’t offer it I went with American.  I also added banana peppers, which as I may have mentioned before can turn a good sub into a great one.  Here, they just helped the sub go from mediocre to decent.  I wanted this sandwich to be good.  I love chicken, and I love pepperoni. But they didn’t come together in a way that tasted real at all.  The sub was a little dry, which may have been my fault for not asking they include more marinara.  I think this sub in theory could work well, but it’d require more of a vision behind the counter than Subway can provide (maybe Quiznos?).

The Chicken Pizziola runs for around $7.  It’s not terrible, and if you really like chicken and pepperoni on a sub you could check it out, but the $5 meatball sub is a much better use of the marinara sauce.  I can’t speak for the rest of the Collection, but it seems to me like a great Italian sub was there on the menu all along.

One of my most viewed posts on Sandwichtalk is my review of the Subway Seafood Sensation.  This is due in no small part to the back and forth in the comments on whether or not their seafood salad contains real crab.  (Pro Tip: if you have a shellfish allergy, you probably should check with the staff of the restaurant before trying anything which could potentially contain shellfish.)  So when I heard that competitor (and better, in my opinion) Quiznos was offering a seafood salad, I had to give it a try.  And make no mistake: this blend most certainly contains lobster.

"Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away. "

The Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub is pretty simple.  As a default, it comes with the seafood blend and lettuce.  The presence of lobster in the salad does give it a nice authenticity and texture, but the finer shredding of the meat means you get a little bit less for your money than at Subway.  The sub seemed to be missing something, so halfway through I added Quiznos’ horseradish sauce.  It was exactly what the sub needed, I’d highly recommend you do the same.

The regular Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub retails for a bit more than $5, so it’s a little hard to justify over Subway.  However, if you’re in the mood for genuine lobster salad and don’t mind paying for it, this is the sub for you.

Looking back at some of my previous Quiznos reviews, I discovered something odd.  While I’d often extolled the virtues of Quiznos’ various options for sandwiches under $5, I had mainly focused on reviewing the limited time special sandwiches, which generally are more expensive.  In an effort to correct this, I recently had two bullets, the $3 price-point sandwiches (larger torpedoes come in at $4, while small flatbread “sammies” are only $2).  Here’s my thoughts!

Rather violent, for a sandwich shop...

Both the Turkey Pesto (which I’d had before) and the Beef, Bacon & Cheddar were quite good.  The Pesto Turkey was topped with mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and the titular pesto spread.  It had a vaguely Italian flavor without being spicy, which was nice.  I sometimes think about going back and retrying particularly good or bad sandwiches, let me know if you guys would be interested in reading that.  The Beef, Bacon & Cheddar was more plain in comparison, since I only added tomatoes to the named ingredients.  However, when you’re combining bacon and cheddar cheese, it’s hard to go wrong.

Both sandwiches were very tasty, but even together they weren’t quite filling.  The bullets definitely work better as snacks than as a meal, since the two of them together cost $6 and were less filling than a Subway footlong.  However, I still maintain that Quiznos subs are much better in terms of vision of how their sandwiches should taste compared to Subway, and these cheap sandwiches are a great opportunity to see that firsthand.

Sandwich juggernaut Quiznos recently introduced an interesting new concept sandwich, the Chicken Bacon Dipper.  The general thrust of it is that you get a rather ordinary chicken sub with a side of cheese dipping sauce to dip it in.  Does it forever change the world of franchise sandwiches?  Let’s find out!!

SPOILER ALERT: It really doesn't.

The sub itself is fine, if unremarkable.  It’s got chicken, bacon, tomatoes, and according to the website can be made with some kind of Chitpotle Jack bread.  My local Quiznos didn’t have it, so I went with Italian instead.  It’s good, but it’s not a limited time offer hook without the dipping sauce. 

The sauce, incidentally, was my biggest disappointment with the sandwich.  The consistency of it was all wrong, it was really much more of a spread than a sauce.  Throwing it in a microwave or something might have helped it melt a little bit, but that’s not my responsibility.  The “sauce” was cheesy and a little too spicy, and was kind of hard to dip into.  It would’ve worked much better if it’d been more like the nacho cheese or salsa con queso you can buy at a grocery store.  All in all, it’s a decent experiment, but the execution left a lot to be desired.

I’m not opposed to the idea of a dipping sandwich.  The precedent is there (see French Dip sandwich for more details), and a simple sandwich you could dip in a cheese or BBQ or ranch sauce could be great.  Quiznos just isn’t quite there yet.  That said, they do have a coupon on their website for the sub, so it’s a pretty good deal.  And who knows, maybe the poor dip consistency is a localized problem (although looking at pictures online, I kind of doubt it).

As long time readers know, I’m partial to Quiznos in general.  I like the way they manage to offer a larger number of options while still guiding you towards favorable combinations.  Also, we had a coupon, so I decided to review the Prime Rib and Peppercorn sub.

Pay attention to the limited offer, it'll be important later.

The Prime Rib and Peppercorn is one of their signature subs, so it has steak as opposed to cold cuts.  It also included mozzarella, sautéed onions, and a (criminally) Mild Peppercorn sauce.  With a name like that, I don’t expect my mouth seared off, but a peppercorn sauce should add some level of spice.  This was barely noticeable.  I was torn while ordering between this and their Prime Rib Mushroom and Swiss sandwich, until I realized they were pretty similar (prime rib, cheese, something sautéed).  This wasn’t a bad sandwich, but it wasn’t a particularly memorable one either.

The Prime Rib and Peppercorn cost around $6, without any sides or drinks.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I love Quiznos for their numerous, well-defined price points.  If you want a $3 sandwich, you can get one.  If you want a $5 sandwich, you can get one.  The flip side of this, however, is that if you don’t want one of their value menu options (which are a bit more limited and rarely rotated), you can end up paying quite a bit for a sub, a bag of chips and a drink.  New subs are put on sale for a little while, but then the price rockets up to standard menu rates.

Have I lost faith in Quiznos?  Not really.  I’d still recommend it for the value menu, and the occasional sale specials.  But I wouldn’t particularly recommend the Prime Rib and Peppercorn.  You can do better than that for the price elsewhere on the menu, not to mention at other restaurants.

I’ve mentioned my love for Quiznos before, and it continues to grow.  Quiznos has an extremely large menu, to the point that I could review just Quiznos sandwiches from now on and still keep my blog running for several months.  I won’t do that of course, but the point remains: these guys make a ton of sandwiches.

More Meat!!! Double Cheese!!!

This particular sub is the Bourbon Grille Steak.  The sandwich consists of steak, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, mushrooms, sautéed onions, and most appropriately, Honey Bourbon Mustard, as well as Zesty Grille Sauce.  One thing I appreciate about Quiznos is their willingness to combine multiple sauces and spreads for new flavors.  The sauces worked well together, as did the cheeses.  The steak was tasty as well.  However, the veggies* could’ve been prepared a bit better.  I didn’t dissect the sandwich to check, but the onions certainly didn’t taste sautéed, so if they were, they could’ve benefitted from a bit more time in the pan.  Likewise, the mushrooms would’ve been much better sautéed.  A small flaw in an otherwise enjoyable sandwich.

Quiznos is also a bit pricey.  The sandwiches are a little expensive, but the combos are really where they hit you.  I would recommend getting a two for $5 meal; however, that menu is a bit more limited (for example, the Bourbon Grille Steak isn’t available in any of the sizes offered).  Quiznos is still my sandwich shop true love, and the Bourbon Grille Steak was quite delicious, but it may not always be the best choice for the budget-conscious.

*I know that mushrooms are a fungus, not a vegetable, but it would’ve been clunky to reference that up there.

Quiznos is a sub franchise known for their oven-toasted subs.  They are Subway’s major competitor worldwide.  They are also awesome.

Let me explain why I love Quiznos so much.  As I said before, I have issues with Subway’s method of marketing sandwiches.  I feel they lack direction.  Quiznos is the opposite end of the spectrum.  Quiznos sandwiches mix meats and cheeses with interesting sauces, spreads and vegetables.  When eating them, one understands that a chef somewhere created this recipe for others to enjoy, as opposed to leaving ingredients out and making customers fend for themselves.  The other beautiful aspect of Quiznos is the variety of sandwich sizes.  In addition to the standard small/medium/large paradigm, Quiznos features a long, thin Torpedo sandwich, a stouter Bullet sandwich, as well as a wide Flatbread option.  This allows patrons to order exactly how much sandwich they want.  No longer will they have to worry about not finishing the meal or going hungry.

The first sandwich I tried was the Pesto Turkey Torpedo.  The Pesto Turkey consists of turkey, mozzarella cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, as well as a Basil Pesto spread and a Red Wine vinaigrette dressing.  The dressing and spread complemented one another well, and the mozzarella cheese added to the flavor without being overwhelming.  The lettuce could have been a bit fresher, but overall it was delicious.  The combo I ordered also came with a cup of Broccoli Cheese soup.  While soup is generally outside of this blog’s purview, I have a special affinity for Broccoli Cheese, and let me just say that this soup had a refreshingly sour hint to it, and is a great complement to any sandwich.

This is actually a different Quiznos Turkey Sub, but you get the idea.

 The other sub I had was the Turkey Bacon Guacamole.  Being a sucker for both bacon and guacamole on pretty much anything, this sub was right up my alley.  In addition to the aforementioned items, it included mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes (starting to see a pattern here?), red onions, and Ranch dressing.  The Ranch and guacamole were a great combination, another example of Quiznos’ expertise in combining sauces and spreads.  Overall, Quiznos is a top-notch sandwich eatery where all sorts of meals are available for under $10 a pop.