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!Subway Hand Carved Turkey 3Not 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.” Subway Hand Carved Turkey 6All 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.Subway Hand Carved Turkey 4The 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.Subway Turkey BaconOnce 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.

Taste: 5.75/10
Value: 3.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.50/10
Price: $5.25 for 6-inch, $8.75 for Footlong

Overall GrubGrade: 4.75/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
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.

29 comments on “Review: Carved Turkey & Bacon from Subway

  1. Josh Tucker says:

    Thank you for the review. Thanks for saving me time and money in getting this. I only had SUBWAY once since Jared was arrested. I’d rather go to WAWA’S for a better sandwich, if I can’t find a Jersey Mike’s, Jimmy John’s or Firehouse Subs. I wish Subway would go out of business and close out many stores like Quizno’s did. I never hated Quizno’s but they were expensive. The only sandwich I would get from Subway is their Spicy Italian, if there was no other store. Heck I would eat an old hot dog from 7-Eleven before going to Subway.

    • JJJ says:

      Subway’s five dollar footlongs and toasting their subs pretty much did Quizno’s in (although they did it to themselves a bit too). Now that they have less competition, they are raising their prices. It’s a pretty common strategy.

  2. Dingo Dave the chocolate slave says:

    Well I can avoid grabbing that now. Thought it would be something to have me return to Subway but nope!

  3. My guess is the turkey would have been a bit more flavorful if they used some dark meat in addition to the all-white. I never understood why all-white meat is such a huge selling point and always mentioned in marketing. It tends to lead to a bland taste. Now I am craving one of those damn Subway subs. It’s a shame it doesn’t come with cranberry.

    • Karl says:

      White chicken/turkey is more expensive and more premium than dark meat. It has the illusion of being more “pure” than dark meat. Dark meat could be just anything (organ meat, random trimmings) in many people’s minds.

  4. ninjadude says:

    “carved” five days ago by a machine in a factory in Iowa. yuck.

  5. Andre says:

    How does Subway get away with using such little meat? One thin layer of turkey, albeit thicker than their usual turkey, even with the addition of bacon does not equal a filling sandwich. Where’s the meat? Go to a real deli and the meat is stacked – as in layer upon juicy layer. People get full on protein. Subway sucks because corporate expects people to fill up on vegetables and bread. It’s a lousy value proposition in my opinion. You can always get extra meat, but then you’re spending more than you would at another sub place that is easily higher quality. Subway is a successful company by skimping on the essentials.

    • JJJ says:

      Subways vary quite a bit. Usually the busier locations, you get a better sandwich. At slower locations, to save food costs, the owners sometimes start rationing ingredients (like you’ll ask for olives and they will put 8 olive slices on a six inch because that’s what they’ve been told to do). Sometimes, you’re better off driving further (there’s one every 3 miles anyway).

      • rodney says:

        The Subway sandwich manual actually specifies that they’re supposed to put on only two olive slices on a six inch, and 4 on a footlong. I know this because there’s one Subway in my city that religiously follows this rule, they actually pulled out the manual to prove it to me. They said more than 4 would be an upcharge. I was on my lunch hour, so I didn’t have to time to go anywhere else, but I vowed never to return, no other Subway I’ve been to enforces that goofy rule. There was one I went to where they cut the tomato slices in half, but they would give you whole slices if you complained.

        • Bubbsy says:

          No the Subway “manual” does not say to put 2 olive slices on a sandwich.

          • rodney says:

            This was back in the early 2000’s, so could have changed since then, like I said, it was the only Subway I ever went to that enforced it. Although, I told the manager about it at my normal Subway, and he said he was aware it was in the manual, but chose to ignore it.

        • JJJ says:

          Like I said, it varies a lot by location. If the local Subway is skimping, try a different one.

  6. Blousey says:

    Couple things about the sandwich preparation in your review – you mentioned that the clerk insisted on making it to your direction and you lamented he wouldn’t just “make it how it comes”…. but these clerks can’t be expected to memorize some sort of standard suggested toppings for all their subs. You know how Subway works, stop being a nuisance.
    Also you criticized how your sandwich came with american cheese and mayo, saying you don’t understand the combination, after criticizing the clerk for insisting on asking what you want on your sandwich? So you ordered the sandwich exactly as you wanted it (against your will), then complain that it’s such an unlikeable combination? Strange review.

  7. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Just had it and unlike the rotisserie chicken it was not impressive, big thick pieces of turkey but still bland. Subway owners seem to have figured out how to rob people though so be careful when you order this if you are using the promo coupon. They sent me a coupon for a $6 footlong and because they are huge banners advertising the turkey and BACON, you assume they mean this sub, but no, apparently there is just a turkey one which is the one they mean. Before I made my order I stated I had the $6 coupon, ordered the turkey and bacon and nothing was said until of course the checkout where the owner informed me I ordered the turkey and bacon one and that was $1.50 more. Earlier this year at another store in town with the double meat promotion I was somehow charged double the price of the double meat promo which makes me wonder if this is deliberate, corporate taught business practices.

    If this is how Subway is going to do business, I will just go back to not eating there, there are lots of good and better options out there, especially at this price point they are trying to play in.

  8. T.J. says:

    I go into eating turkey breast fully expecting it to be somewhat bland, so I can’t really say I was let down. With turkey it’s all about the dressing. I opted for sweet onion sauce with mozzarella cheese. It all seemed to go together nicely with my veggie choices (just cucumbers and green peppers.) Also of note, I ordered and enjoyed the sub un-toasted and cold.

  9. Tony says:

    At this price point, they should brine the turkey with hand picked rosemary and and smashed garlic, then smoke it for 72 hours. I am disappointed to hear the bacon isn’t good. Try harder Subway!

  10. Jay Dee says:

    I have tried the new Subway Carved Turkey and Bacon and it was fantastic. My Subway (like all of them) made my sandwich EXACTLY as I asked for it, it’s made right in front of you and they ask you “how’s that?”. I ordered one with toppings and one with just the meat and cheese, I had the plain one the next day and it was just as great.

  11. Kathy S says:

    I tried it. The turkey had a strong taste, not a fresh taste. Like Thanksgiving leftovers the third day. I did not like it and won’t order it again. A waste of money, but the dog said it was good.

  12. Erika T. says:

    Just bought it, before I read this review of course and you are right, its very bland, bacon is not crispy and it really doesn’t even taste like bacon to be honest. Wasted $7 and some change I took two bites and was done so unsatisfying.

  13. Karen says:

    I don’t get these comments. It’s a fast food sub shop, of course it’s not going to be as good as your dell’s or other smaller chains like Penn Station, jersey Mike’s, etc… I also know where I live to get a footloong of a similar sub is actually over $12 at these other places so you are intact paying more or actually is even based on the extra toppings and quality. To do a comparison is like comparing McDonald’s or Burger King to Five Guy’s, Flipside, Smash burger, etc… Just not very realistic IMO to compare.

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