Sunday, May 18, 2008

Subway, No Way

I subjected myself to my first Subway "sandwich" this evening. I was playing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the place where we were playing didn't have food.. "but there is a Subway just opposite..."

It turned out that Subway doesn't have food either.

There was one disconsolate family sitting in the corner munching doggedly, illuminated by harsh fluorescent light, as I went in. I told the obsequious Subway-sandwich-maker that this was my first time in Subway which was probably a mistake as he immediately became even more slimily obsequious and his transparent plastic gloves seemed to ripple with anticipation..

How can I help... oh, your first time ? ... what would you prefer ? ... a half or a full ? ... oh, a good choice... and what kind of bread ? ... excellent ... would you like it toasted ? ... and now - the salad... a little of everything ? ... oh, and now the dressing ? ... and is it to eat here ? ...

Oh, just give me a F******* SANDWICH pal!

I watched him slowly jam all kinds of chicken and salad and vegetables into this poor overloaded soggy roll and then wrap it up tightly in all sorts of paper... it reminded me of how you used to sit on your suitcase before your hols trying to get it to close on the vastly overestimated amount of clothes you had packed.

Wrapped in paper, then wrapped again in a sort of plasticky paper wrapping and then popped into a plastic bag along with two serviettes.

I wandered out and looked for somewhere to sit and eat it - a bench by a busstop. I unwrapped it and this sandwich thing expanded like a rubber dinghy. You just cannot get these "sandwiches" into your mouth. They are far too wide and as you try the whole thing sort of falls apart and you end up with all kinds of sticky goo on your face, your hands, your clothes...

It took so much concentration to eat the bloody thing that I was still hungry at the end because my brain had been too busy to register eating anything.

I was reminded of when I worked in advertising in London and would slip out up Avery Row to one of the many little sandwich shops for lunch. It was an experience in itself to watch the blokes make two tuna and egg with salad on brown and cheese and pickle with tomato and anchovy on white with a flash of olive-skinned hands and then to go and sit in Grosvenor Square to eat the manageable, mouth-sized delicacies.

Way to go, Subway.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

When in Rome do as the Romans do. Why do you want to eat American in Germisch. I lived there for a while. Try one of the German places. Much better food. I also don't understand why so many Americans want to stay at the R&R places. Stay home if you want to do that.

Anji said...

We have a subway here too - somewhere. The pictures look okay. In town there is a (French) sandwich place where they tie the sanwiches up so you can eat them elegantly (all you have to do is find somewhere sheltered from the wind).

I remember the dear old ladies at a shop in Evesham in the early 70's who used to make up sandwiches for us, the place always had a long queue. Then they started to make them in advance (progress), it was never the same again.

Jay said...

I've eaten in Subway. It makes me nervous. I have multiple allergies and I never trust them with all those open topped tubs not having a spoon/fork each. .. but they haven't managed to send me to hospital yet, and even though they aren't great, they're a step up from McDonalds.

I hear you on the 'where can I eat, RIGHT NOW!' thing. If you're looking late at night or at odd hours, you take what you can get. I once ate soggy pizza on Paddington Station at about 1am. I usually avoid pizza, but with nothing else open and having not eaten since lunchtime, that pizza tasted pretty good!

Neutron said...

Hi Anonymous (that's not your real name, is it?), I was, in fact, bending one of my own rules in visiting this establishment - normally I avoid them like the plague - but in this case I needed something quickly from somewhere that was open! Sad to say, though, I was only doing what the "Romans" do who flock in great numbers to the McDonalds, Pizza Huts and, of all places, Starbucks.

Neutron said...

Hi Anji, had to laugh about the French sandwich bar. If it had been windy last Saturday most of my "sandwich" would have ended up on some Alpine slope!

Neutron said...

Hi Jay, yep, this was very much a last resort. It made me pine for Greece (as do many things) where we would often get incredibly good late night nosh...

Jenny said...

ACK! I have a fervent distaste for Subway and won't go near one. Mediocre! Soggy! Totally overrated! When we're on a trip or something and it's chow time and TG suggests Subway (not as discriminating as moi, he likes their substandard -- no pun intended --fare), I simply smirk. I'd rather eat stale peanut butter crackers and leathery beef jerky from a C-store, washed down with acid-rain fountain cola.