Review: Prime Rib Melt from Subway
In the next episode of The Nosh Show, you’re going to hear me talk a little bit about why I haven’t been to Subway in years. A big factor in that decision is that I’ve got better sub sandwich options within a short distance and the prices aren’t too much different than Subway. I understand that not everyone can have the fast casual luxury of Firehouse Subs, Jersey Mike’s, and Jimmy John’s in their hometown, but if you did, why would you ever choose Subway? The latest “new” sub from Subway is a limited release regional offering and it intrigued me enough to end my hiatus. Here’s my review of the Prime Rib Melt from Subway.Subway has offered a variety of Melts in the past, but the Prime Rib Melt is the first to grab my attention. The name Prime Rib Melt just sounds way too premium for a place like Subway to be able to pull off successfully. With that said, not for one second did I expect Subway to impress me with this sandwich and I wasn’t wrong with that line of thinking.Like the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt, Subway is going with the strategy of new specialty subs made available regionally and not on a national level. This is a test market approach that is sure to hit a wider audience if they become big sellers. Now I’m not sure how far the Prime Rib Melt reaches outside of the DC Metro area (I’m in Maryland), but the fact that the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt has been found in the north west and south east portions of the country makes me believe there’s a chance some other random spot on the map might have it. Since Subway prides itself on customization, your Prime Rib Melt might be vastly different from mine. Since I’m attempting to be as neutral as I can (big stretch), I studied the promo picture of the Prime Rib Melt and tried to just order it just the way it appeared to me. So let’s take a look:Yeah that promo pic looked pretty tasty and that’s the whole point right? Rarely do we ever get a fast food menu item that looks as good as the advertisement. In case of the Prime Rib Melt promo versus what I got, wow, but you already thought about that after your first glance of my actual sandwich photo I’m sure. “Tendy & Juicy with Melty Provolone” sounds like a winner to me. From what I could tell from the promo pic, there is lettuce and tomato to go along with the prime rib pieces and Provolone cheese, so that’s all I requested. I asked my “Sandwich Artist” what kind of bread is in that picture, they said Italian (white)… “Just make it exactly like what I see in that picture please”… easy enough.I think I’d rather not watch my sub sandwich being assembled at Subway. A part of the original allure of Subway was, “Hey! They make it right in front of you!”. Some things are better left a mystery… like the paper tray of meat pieces in some brown gravy dumped into my 6-inch (or is it 5.5-inch?) white Italian sub roll.. Appearance-wise, the meat was very reminiscent of wet dog food. This is just a guess, but the prime rib pieces didn’t taste like wet dog food and thankfully didn’t smell like wet dog food. The taste of the meat reminded me a little bit of pot roast and that wasn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. So the flavor of the prime rib cubes wasn’t too bad, but nothing beyond mediocre really. Unfortunately, even after toasting, the meat was a bit lukewarm. The provolone melted into the bread and seemed to disappear. Provolone is one of my favorite cheeses for a sandwich and yet it was entirely forgettable in the Prime Rib Melt. As you can probably tell from the pictures, this almost looks like a Veggie Delight. The three tomato slices were decently fresh and a healthy size, but at the same time they took over the sandwich and didn’t seem like a good fit since they dwarf everything else. The lettuce was… you know I start to get depressed when I attempt to describe chopped iceberg lettuce so I’ll stop right there.You know even though the Crunchy Chicken Enchilada Melt isn’t available in my area and I’d likely find it repulsive, it’s really a more inventive product. The Prime Rib Melt leans on the plain side in order to let the meat remain the highlighted ingredient and not take a back seat to a sea of sauces and Fritos. In the end, this is Subway and feel free to customize to your hearts content, but the Prime Rib Melt was a mediocre sandwich for me. There was mediocrity on most all levels, but the focus is on the prime rib pieces here and besides the redeeming quality of not tasting like wet dog food, there wasn’t too much to be excited about. It was priced at $4.75 for the 6-inch and $7.50 for the Footlong. Now with prices like that, what exactly is going to draw me back to Subway? The prices at Subway are right around on par with higher quality fast casual sub sandwich places now and my options are too strong to waste a meal on the one at the bottom.
Pros: I finished the sandwich and didn't hate the flavor of the prime rib pieces... reminded me more of pot roast though.
Cons: $4.75. Paper tray of lukewarm meat cubes in brown gravy. I forgot there was cheese in it and this is a Melt. Regional availability.
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.50/10
Price: $4.75 for the 6-inch and $7.50 for the Footlong
Overall GrubGrade: 5.25/10
More Info: http://www.subway.com