Review: Carved Turkey & Bacon from Subway
As I was standing in line at my local Subway, staring at the menu board and preparing to order the new thick-cut Carved Turkey and Bacon sandwich, a strange sense of irony set in. A decade ago the chain’s entire marketing campaign revolved around a catchy jingle and a $5 footlong price-point; five years before that, on lower-calorie subs. And to think the premier sub that Subway is now offering is an $8.75, 570 calorie sandwich!Not that a higher price and higher calorie count are bad things to have going in the sub market; my favorite chain, Firehouse Subs, charges just a buck or two less for their signature subs, which certainly wouldn’t be mistaken for lighter fare. But let’s be real: Subway ain’t Firehouse, or at least the chain isn’t there yet. By the description of the newest premium sub, though, it certainly sounds like Subway wants to be.
It’s tender. It’s juicy. It’s our NEW premium, thick-cut Carved Turkey served on freshly baked bread. Featuring all white meat, no artificial preservatives, and classic oven roasted flavor. Try it with melted cheese, crisp veggies, and topped with Applewood smoked bacon.
As is usually my experience at Subway, the sandwich artist making my sub seemed unwilling to make the sub in any way outside of my specific instructions, even when I pointed to the picture and told him to just make it “like it comes.” All in all, the way the Carved Turkey and Bacon sandwich comes into existence highlights an awkward construction. The limp bacon needs to be toasted with the turkey and cheese, and then an assembly line sauce (in this case mayo) is squirted on at the end for no particular rhyme or reason. Most of the components were fine; the spinach was fresh, the tomatoes bright, the American cheese ooey and gooey. And the turkey looked promising. With the kind of blistered skin you’d expect from turkey caramelized in a Thanksgiving oven, it definitely was a meatier portion than the normal deli stuff. But the taste—somewhat bland, even if moderately juicy—left a lot to be desired. Like your classic Thanksgiving turkey, it just tasted lean and boring, and was screaming for another sort of condiment like gravy or cranberry sauce. Heck, it’s not even that salty.The mayo, bacon, and American cheese just don’t do the job in perking up the flavor. For starters, none offer anything new. The bacon was a major disappointment. It’s not particularly meaty, smokey, or even super crispy. It adds some salty crunch, but not much else. And I just don’t get the combination of mayo and American cheese. On a burger? Sure. But on a turkey sub, each element is just there, especially with how they’re arranged in the middle of the sandwich.Once again, Subway has managed to create an expensive sub that doesn’t taste as good as its price tag warrants. While the ingredients might be better and fresher (in the case of the turkey) the familiar flaws of the streamlined assembly process can’t help but cropping up, while the lack of a signature, binding flavor hurt the sub’s chances of being something worth seeking out. If the chain was still singing about $5 footlongs, then I could see myself getting this sub again. As it stands, the $8.75 I paid for a footlong just seems like a few dollars too much.
Pros: Thicker, meatier turkey breast compared to the shaved deli style. Melted American cheese. Fresh veggies.
Cons: Bland turkey lacks smoke taste or salty deli meat appeal. Bacon still lags behind the thick-cut bacon many fast food chains and other subs shops have moved to. Mayo is just sort of there and thrown on at the end. Stale bread by dinnertime.
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $5.25 for 6-inch, $8.75 for Footlong
Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10
More Info: subway.com
6-inch sub on white or wheat with American cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise:
570 calories, 26 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 46 grams of carbs, 1600 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fiber, 33 grams of protein, 40% calcium.