Which sub restaurant has the better vegan-version sub, Subway or Jersey Mike’s? Since I’ve never been to a Subway that had an actual vegan sub on the menu (and I’ve even been to the Subway in Wailea!), I’m just comparing the Subways that have a Veggie Delite® sub with the Jersey Mike’s that have a “Veggie” sub.
Sometimes you can win Subway gift cards (I won all mine on the radio except one in a sweepstakes.) The only purportedly vegan bread I knew of to choose was Italian (white), but Subway’s “US Product Ingredients” (April 2016) document suggests that a few others are also free of dairy and/or honey (none have egg, but “Wrap” has glycerides, which may or may not be vegan.) Here are some ingredient listings:
ITALIAN (WHITE) BREAD Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, sugar, contains 2% or less of: soybean oil, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, salt, sunflower lecithin, ascorbic acid, yeast extract, Vitamin D2, enzymes. Contains wheat.
HEARTY ITALIAN BREAD Subway® Italian bread and yellow cornmeal. Contains wheat.
SOURDOUGH Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, wheat gluten, sugar, contains 2% or less of: fermented wheat flour, salt, soybean oil, dextrose, fumaric acid, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, enzymes, ascorbic acid. Contains wheat.
You can order the Veggie Delite®, reject the cheese, and choose what veggies and vegan condiments you want. Once an air-headed employee presumed that the only reason I would reject cheese was because I thought it cost extra. (How can someone work in the food business and have no idea why someone would avoid dairy products?) Once I asked for mustard (meaning yellow mustard) and the employee squirted honey mustard on the sub without even asking. So I said start over. (According to Subway’s “U.S. Allergy and Sensitivity Information” (Revised April 2016), the “Honey Mustard Sauce” also has egg in it, which goes to show how really ignorant that employee was.)
But if you want avocado then that will be a major surcharge, unless you have a coupon for a dollar off, then you’ll pay about 50 cents extra (or should I say, get out your next $5 Subway gift card.) If avocado is “nature’s butter” and cheese is a dairy product that “doesn’t cost extra,” then why should avocado “cost extra”? Makes me think that the bovine raping industry is subsidized by the government, but avocado farming totally isn’t. Is that logical? The government would confer a benefit on a cruel industry over a yummy one? Makes no sense. Violates public policy for damn sure. “Work hard and sweetly pay your taxes never asking ‘what for?’” – Moz. (Ironically, I recently did some research for a client whose client worked overtime at Subway, but didn’t receive overtime pay.) (And I can’t believe that Subway would hire someone like Jared Fogle!)
The first time I received a coupon for a free sub from Jersey Mike’s I didn’t even use it because the description for their “Veggie” sub was so bad sounding. Two kinds of cheese (cheese aint a veggie) and green bell peppers (one of the worst veggies out there.) But then I won gift certificates, so I went in and checked it out. I noticed that, oddly enough, the employees at the counter are fit looking. Like, if they weren’t slicing logs of dead animals, you might think they could be vegan. Compare to the Subway workers and you’ll realize it can’t be a coincidence and there must be some different hiring standards at Jersey Mike’s.
Subs. The good news is, you can reject everything that goes with their “Veggie” sub and request avocado and they won’t add a surcharge. (Although, one employee once said that the avocado really “costs extra,” but they were giving it to me as a courtesy since I rejected the cheese and green bell pepper.) You can also ask them to grill the onions. Ironically, “Mike’s Way” is actually vegan: onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spices, and “The Juice” (red wine vinegar and olive oil blend.) But if you already had them grill your onions, they’ll get confused as to whether or not you want more onions if you say to “make it ‘Mike’s Way’.”
The Jersey Mike’s web page now has “Ingredients” (Last Updated: 3/26/2016), but originally I had to go by their “Nutritional Information” pamphlet, which listed all the breads as having 0 mg. of cholesterol, so I hoped that meant they were all vegan. But actually “Wheat Submarine Roll” (which was referred to as wheat bread, not roll, in the pamphlet) has honey. Here’s the ingredients for white, make of it what you will:
White Submarine Roll *
enriched flour (wheat flour, unbleached, unbromated, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, Contains 2% or less of: salt, soybean/canola oil, cane sugar, DATEM, calcium sulfate, monoglycerides, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), enzymes, wheat gluten.
*sprinkled with cornmeal prior to baking.
Contains Wheat and Soy
Believe it or not, once a woman in line behind me was so impressed with my sub that she vowed to get the same thing next time. I encouraged her to really do so and I hope she did!
So, which one wins? On the one hand, Jersey Mike’s lets you get avocado without an extra charge and their workers are a bit better than Subway’s. But Subway may be adding actual vegan subs to their menus. They both are in dire need of improvement. I’ll wait for future developments before declaring a winner.