UPDATE: It has come to my attention that the kosher Subway reviewed in this post is no longer. Read on for what was and could be, but making a special trip would be unwarranted.
Those of you up on the latest in Kosher food scene probably heard about the new kosher Subway in the financial district on 28 Water Street. While this is not the first kosher Subway – there are locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Livingston NJ – this one just happens to be conviniently across the street from my office. Like many Jews in the area, I thought I’d give it a shot on its first day as part of the tribe.
Perhaps the greatest endorsement I can give this Subway is that it is unlike most other Kosher fast food establishments. The physical location is much cleaner, though I should mention this branch is primarily take-out with only two tables for sitting. I should also mention that unlike other kosher fast food places, this particular Subway branch has impressive health inspection report.
Service is prompt and quick. It’s actually “fast food” such that you ought to know what you want when you stand in line, you get served promptly, and you move along. (Think Soup Nazi with less attitude and better bread). This isn’t necessarily a small order.1 You have several options of breads, meats, cheeses (paarve), and salads and there is no time for dawdling in line. I barely glanced at the menu before I blurted out my order. I give the staff credit for being patient with its new unaccustomed clientele.
I ordered the steak sub on toasted whole wheat with lettuce, peppers, and onions. I have to say this was by far the tastiest steak sandwich I’ve had, in no small part to the steak not having that rubberized texture of other places. But aside from the meat, what was impressive was how all the ingredients of the sub actually worked together to produce optimal flavor.2 I’ll try experimenting in the future with other combinations, possibly even trying out the paarve cheeses.
Of course there’s one area in which the kosher Subway is like all other kosher restaurants: the price. Although it seems that for Subways nationally the prices are variable (PDF), it does seem that this one is high compared to the other Subways in a two-three block radius. If I’m not keeping kosher, there’s no reason for me to spend the premium on over-salted meat. In order for this Subway to keep up, either Jews need to give them enough business or prices will need to come down a bit.
Here’s the menu with prices as of 03/05/2008. (Click for larger view)
Note that this was printed on paper, so it’s possible (if not likely) that the prices will adjust in the future.
One final point I’d like to make is that there is no distinctive wrapping for individual sandwiches such that it looks like it came from any other Subway:
I’m assuming for larger orders and deliveries there is some kosher tape, but in case people start looking at you funny or you’re worried about marit ayin you might have some explaining to do.
Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 for quality and price.
1. No pun intended. I mean it this time.
2. There’s another joke to be made here about it being unusual for a kosher place, but I’ll let it go.