I received a flyer in the mail for the “Firehouse Subs” and thought I’d take Monica out with me and try it. I was not sure where it was, but guessed that it must be at the Food Court in the Vons Shopping Lot.
(I was wrong – but Wow! What in the world happened to the Food Court? Why did all those restaurants close down? More on that at the end …)
However, when we got there we realized our error – it is actually next to the veterinarian office, on the corner, across from Kinko’s in the Vons shopping center.) And you know what else? It has been there since December! I used to pride myself in my observation powers, but holy cow! I shop at Pet People; I shop at Kinko’s; I shop at the resale Cancer shop next door, etc. and I did not know it was there!
The two coupons that we decided to use was a $2 off any Sub Combo – advertised as a sub, chips, and drink, and a Free Medium Sub with the purchase of chips and a medium drink. How could we go wrong?
Let me tell you.
First, a little background of the restaurant, one of over 600 in the US. Two fireman, entrepreneurs in their own right, tried opening a variety of stores. They always loved the camaraderie at the fire station and in 1994, in Jacksonville, Florida opened their first “Firehouse Subs.”
Their literature, among other tings, says:
“ . . . they take great pride in giving back to the communities we serve through the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. Fueled by your donations, the Foundation provides emergency service personnel with life-saving equipment; fire safety prevention education to the public; disaster preparedness and relief; and financial resources to individuals pursuing a career in the public safety sector.”
The menu is extensive , offering salad and chili, hot specialty subs, regular hot subs, cold subs, sides, sub platters, dessert platters, salad platters, box lunches and beverages. They have a catering delivery and on-site set up as well.
I asked the store owner, Trevor Perry, what he recommended and he said the “Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket”. It is listed on the menu as “USDA Choice beef brisket” smoked for 10+ hours, with melted cheddar and special sauces. The Combo was $8.68 and the sub only was $6.29. It came with a pickle spear and chips. (Except something happened to my order and the chips were not part of the bag. Funny thing, because Monica’s order did not include the chips either.) I used the coupon for the free Medium sub if I bought a drink and chips, and the total was only $2.59. Good price – would have been better if the chips were given to me.
Monica ordered the Italian sub, replete with Genoa salami, pepperoni, ham, melted Swiss – she had her choice of cheese – Italian dressing and seasonings. The combo was $8.28, and the coupon was for $2 off the price so the total was $6.79. Without the chips.
The beverages came from one of the new fan-dangled machines that offered a variety of drinks by pushing a button and they were huge.
Our order taker – Martin – was very helpful. He told us what went into each sandwich; offered us a variety of selections, and we chose those items we wanted on our subs. Unlike “Subway”, we did not see the items offered; the counter that they work behind was quite high, and I am not sure what they were working with.
The sub that I had was fair – I elected not to have the mayo on it, but it came with BBQ sauce. It needed a little bit more, for around the edges the crust and meat was dry. The bread was ok – nothing to rave about, and we only had our choice of wheat or white.
Monica’s sub was not dry; quite the opposite, and I found that my half of her sandwich was running down my arms, onto my shirt. The bread – she ordered the white, whereas I ordered the wheat – was quite soggy on the bottom half. Although tasty, it was very messy.
My drink of cherry/limeade was very sweet – almost too much so – but the plain coke that Monica had was ok. The menu boasts of 120+ brands of drink.
Martin and Trevor were very nice and very helpful; I felt sorry for them for we were the only ones in there on Tuesday night at 6:45 pm. Trevor told me that they are usually busy, and doing fair for a new business.
( It is interesting to note that only one restaurant remains at the Food Court and that is the Classic Hamburger shop. In the next few weeks he will be moving into the other building, and the food court will be torn down to make room for a “Buffalo Wild Wings” restaurant. There were 4 filled booths in this restaurant and one person eating outside.)
Would we go back? I don’t think so. Their prices are higher than “Subway”; the bread not as good and without the variety of “Subway.” The fact that neither of us received our chips is bothersome. I will say that I called as soon as I realized the error, and fully expected Trevor to call me back and apologize. As I am almost finished with this review and have not heard from him, I do not think that he will call and that is just poor business. (I left my card with him so he had access to my number.) I don’t know – it is a cute restaurant, but something is lacking.