Thursday, November 22, 2007

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Restaurant Review: Kosher Subway

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

For Thanksgiving, I figured it would be appropriate to do a kosher restaurant review, so here we go...

For the first time ever, a general US fast food restaurant franchise has started a kosher line. Subway, the renowned US submarine sandwich chain, has created a kosher menu. I went there last evening with my children to try it out (though I told my wife it was to give her a break, hey, it's Kosher Subway, gotta try it!)

The store layout was your basic fast food joint. Indestructible tables, mildly uncomfortable chairs, ignorable decor. Self service drinks including soda fountain was a nice touch though (with free refills, which the children thought was great).

The menu was a very standard Subway restaurant menu, minus the ham, italian pork meats, and diary cheese, plus pastrami, corned beef, shwarma (as a sandwich component), and tofu-bean-cheese (ick). Here's the official kosher menu, though the times open are from the LA store.

Now in general Subway sandwiches are really cool. They bake their own bread (which makes it Pas Yisroel in the kosher restaurant), and offer a wide selection of veggies and condiments to add (such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickle, banana peppers, jalopena peppers, black olives, and mayo, mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, olive oil, thousand island, and more). Have your own sandwich made to order is the deal.

And they deliver all this at the kosher edition as well. Other options include white or wheat bread, instantly toasted sub-roll, or heated meat (appropriate for some offerings).

My children had turkey roll subs, in kid sized 4" and medium sized 6". All around declared filling and tasty, except for one who asked "why did I pick bbq sauce???". An older child and myself had the sweet vadalia chicken teriyaki subs (I admit to taking the foot long [12"] version.) This sandwich was great! A real treat. For my wife I brought home a foot long corned beef, which she declared incredible (and there were no leftovers). The meatball sub looked particularly tempting, but will have to wait for a future visit.

Price wise, they were on par with other kosher fast food restaurants, more expensive than the non-kosher subway but in line with the high price of kosher cold cuts ($5.99 - $6.99 for a 6", add $3 for a foot long).

Kosher wise, they are under a local vaad hakashrus (which is reliable), with several religious employees in sight (unclear if one was a formal mashgiach temidi). Bread products were pas yisroel, with an exception of wraps. Meat products were Rubashkin (O-U & KAJ, with Lubavitch Shechita), with an exception of the steak sandwich and something else (maybe the shwarma?). Ask the Jewish employees, they were happy to provide detail.

In general, we greatly enjoyed our meal. Further, with the fast food format I was less concerned with the children making a little mess, nor did the restaurant personnel feel concerned. Price wise, it was ok for an occasional family treat or a normal workday lunch.

If you're in the area of a kosher Subway, I recommend it.

(The picture above is from the Brooklyn store, which is not the one I personally ate at.)

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