Review: Falafel Sandwich from Subway

The Falafel Sandwich from Subway first came to my attention a couple years ago and I thought, “the vegetarians will be pleased”.  The lack of sandwich choices for those going meatless is a market in need of some attention. Consumer demand for a better alternative to salad stuffed in between bread brings us to a major quick-serve chain finally tapping into falafel.

Falafel SubwayWhile the Falafel Sandwich from Subway still hasn’t reached nationwide availability, it’s now available in around 30 locations in the DC Metro area.  Subway is all about customization, but for the purposes of this review, I ordered my Falafel Sandwich exactly like the promo picture. 

Subway FalafelMy Falafel Sandwich was priced at $4.75 for the 6″ flatbread size and I added lettuce, tomato, cucumber and zesty cucumber sauce.  The toppings application… two slices of tomato, two slices of cucumber, a smattering of iceberg lettuce and a heaping helping of cucumber sauce.  As for the falafel, the 6″ size will get you three slightly smaller than golfball sized nuggets of the stuff. Falafel Subway ReviewSo the “stuff”… the falafel.  I’m no falafel purist and surely I wasn’t expecting Subway to really amaze me, but even with tempered expectations, the falafel was pretty weak.  The chickpeas need some help and there was no flavor punch of necessary seasonings like garlic/parsley/lemon other than a little salt. The falafel had a grassy, chalky aftertaste that instantly glues itself to the tongue.  The exterior had no crisp crunch and was more like a dry loaf of pressed veggie meatballs.  So very dry.FalafelThe zesty cucumber sauce lacked any elements of “zesty” and it was a little on the watery side.  The incredibly dry falafel needed a lot of moisture to give the sandwich some balance, but even with the good amount of cucumber sauce applied, it didn’t help out too much.  The Subway flatbread was actually quite good.  The flatbread held the contents of the sandwich together well and was really the one standout ingredient that saved the Falafel Sandwich from complete failure.  Soft, yet hearty enough to  house a sandwich, the flatbread combined with the sliced crisp cucumbers made the experience a whole lot better.  Every bite of falafel had me quickly looking for a bigger bite of something other than falafel to help it go down.Falafel at SubwayAt $4.75, a lot of sandwiches are a hard-sell in the world of fast food.  The 6″ Falafel Sandwich was big enough to hold its own as filling, but that’s if you can manage to finish it without choking on the incredibly dry falafel balls.  I applaude the attempt Subway is making to increase the variety for vegetarians, but there’s just got to be a falafel concoction better than this.

Pros: I liked the flatbread and cucumbers. It looked like the promo picture... almost.

Cons: Very dry and underseasoned falafel. Cucumber sauce was a little on the runny side.

Taste: 2.75/10
Value: 5.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.75/10
Price: $4.75

Overall GrubGrade: 3.25/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Not available

13 comments on “Review: Falafel Sandwich from Subway

  1. Mike N. says:

    I just can’t understand why Subway can’t invest in a deep fryer and a griddle/grill. If they actually cooked their hot food rather then just reheating it it would probably be a lot better.

    • Rika says:

      A deep fryer would go against their healthy image they’ve been marketin. Even though some of their foods pack quite the calorie/sodium count, haha.

    • Mark says:

      Subway’s current model allows for franchises to open with minimal overhead cost, the cost of adding a deep fryer/grill is much higher than the increased sales having a deep-fryer would bring in. By keeping their overhead costs low, Subway is able to open more stores in more areas. This is part of the reason why there are more Subways in the world than any other restaurant chain.

  2. BigBelly says:

    dry balls… sounds like a falafail

    I still think they would be better off with a hummus spread offering, it’s a huge market right now, and would fit in with their healthy goal

    thanks for the review on the flat bread by itself, I’ve always thought they looked good, how do you think it would pair with a BLT?
    and, was yours toasted?

  3. Scrape says:

    I’m suprised it took this long for them to introduce a sangwich like this since so many franchisees are Indian or middle eastern. The only thing they could eat at their own restaurants was just the veggies.

    Why am I not surprised it isn’t very good, though?

  4. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Disgusts me when a company charges as much or more for a vegetarian product as opposed to a meat one. Meat is a major cost in food products and there is a significant savings when it is not used. I am not a vegetarian, but it says a lot about your company when you rip them off.

    • Rondoman says:

      Except when you buy mass amounts of “semi real meat” in bulk it probably ends up being cheaper than fresh vegetables.

      • ahecht says:

        I remember someone posting here before that one of the most expensive (pound for pound) things at Subway is their spinach.

  5. TehBuLL says:

    Good falafel can only be obtained if it is very fresh…Subway I assume has frozen stuff that they thaw out in the morning and keep out under the table hood most of the day they don’t stand a chance. Falafel isn’t something you can just “have”. The lack of ingredients in it means that it must be made specifically and immediately to get the full flavor profile of those few ingredients.

  6. Dan says:

    Just saying, this is all I order, I prefer it over the meat options and I’m not even a vegetarian. The reviewer didn’t really seem to know what a packaged falafel tastes like (garlic? Lemon??), nor did they add any sauce that actually makes it taste good, like the sri racha or chipolte. For a footlong at $5.25, which totally satisfies this 6 foot 2 inch dude, man, my money can’t do better.

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