Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Year of Eating Differently (49): Subway, Dean Street

Long before this project started, I had the misfortune to go to the (now-defunct) Subway in the corner of Soho Square, where I had a sandwich so bland as to be offensive; I retaliatated by going to Make Mine for a few more monotonous months of filthy oil, and lo and behold the franchisee shut down. Sorry about that, but a cheese sub with nothing in it but cheese is something you should have refused to serve me, rather than pollute your brand values. Sometimes the customer is not right, and should be told.
So it was with some trepidation that I stepped out today and realised that Subway was on the menu. First I had to post something to Sweden, which necessitated hanging about in the post office for half my lunch hour, and then I had the whole Post Office depot between me and the Subway just north of Soho Square, so I ended up in the more fashionable environs on Dean Street. Slightly confused that the decor of all Subway has to include bare brick walls, slightly more confused that one of the guys behind the counter had a t-shirt designed to look like he was wearing a Hawaiian lei, and too frightened/cautious/reticent/introverted to ask to take proof.
That got out the way, was swiftly upsold from a 6 inch to a foot long sub, with a vegetable patty and cheese in it. The salad garnish is uninspired (sliced lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, sweetcorn, onions) yet utilitarian, so I paid (half the price of yesterday's meal) and made it back to the office.

Where I took this photo, which suggests to me that either I'm exploiting perspective for my own personal gains, orI have respectably LARGE HANDS, or that a foot isn't what it used to be.
And so to the sandwich. It stinks. This is a good thing, because it pollutes the office and annoys the drones around me who don't have their own eating-lots-of-different-things blog. And also it stinks in a good way, redolent of going to Pizza Hut at the age of 12 and then annoying your parents by (in full snotty-nosed child mode) refusing to eat "anything with tomato on it". Must be that mixture of oregano and every other herb they've flung on the bread that's provoking this Proustian type memory. Now where did I leave that madeleine?
The vegetable patty (what does that really mean? Anyone?) has the consistency of a fish finger that has been squashed flat between two volumes of an encyclopeadia (of the sort the father of my friend Barry Sheen used to hawk around post-war Germany, before selling hip replacements, but that really is another story) but has satisfying mouth feel. The salad I referred to just now is mostly extraneous, being swamped by both the texture and the flavour of the bread and the patty, and altogether it's a good, warming meal. Subway, I think you have redeemed yourself. Chapeau!
The astute amongst you may have noticed the worrying preponderance of Gallic references in today's post. (If anyone is actually reading this, that is.) This is mainly due to my brainwave today of having 'Ceci n'est pas une projet d'optimisation search-engine' as the title of the blog, and then realising that would be a mindbogglingly dense and probably quite unoriginal thing to do, as well as possibly self-effacing (see earlier)


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