This Review article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Whether I'm covering massive grilled cheese festivals, ranking America's favorite chicken sandwiches, or interviewing artists who specialize in hyper-realistic oil paintings of PB&Js, my time spent on food journalism has earned me the title of a self-proclaimed "sandwich reporter."
On the first hand, Publix is a popular grocery store chain with a full bakery and deli. Their sandwiches have been affectionately named the "Pub sub."
On the second hand, Subway, is a massive sandwich shop franchise, known for its convenient meal deals and abundance of storefronts.
Both establishments have locations peppered all across the United States and have accumulated loyal followings, which flock to the counter when lunch break rolls around.
This is why I've decided to place two popular chains head-to-head and declare an ultimate winner in a carb-loaded face-off.
The ordering experience
I opted to utilize online ordering via the chains' mobile apps.
The process was equally straightforward for both meals, and both sandwiches were ready by the time I arrived to pick them up after twenty minutes.
To ensure a fair fight, I built the six-inch subs the same exact way: Oven roasted turkey and pepper Jack cheese on multi-grain bread, with lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, black olives, cucumbers, pickles, mayonnaise and mustard.
A sandwich from Subway.
My first impression of the Subway sandwich was that it felt limp, like the bread could not withstand its fillings.
My initial bite confirmed this theory. It was overwhelmingly soggy.
While the vegetables provided texture, the mustard ratio overpowered any other flavor. Besides, the scant portion of turkey was excessively salty.
The cheese was an afterthought and I had to poke around to make sure it hadn't been left off accidentally.
The bread was chewy, slightly sweet, but mostly bland. The way that the bread was cut left most of the filling to spill out one side, so the individual bites weren't balanced. I didn't feel particularly inclined to finish it after my first couple of bites.
A sub sandwich from Publix.
Publix's deli was much more generous with their portion sizes. It felt studier and more substantial. And while they didn't hold back with the filling, the bread was up for the challenge of holding it all together.
Texturally, the seeds on top of their Italian five-grain bread are pleasant, and contrast the fluffy-fresh baked inner portion. The vegetables were equally as fresh, and better contained.
They went lighter on the sauce, making it easier to taste the individual components of the sub. They also loaded the sandwich with a larger serving of turkey, which was more savory than salty.
The overall winner
Not only was the Publix sandwich easier to eat, it tasted better. The flavors and textures were harmonious and even though it was the more substantial of the two, it cost a few cents less, resulting in an overall better value.
Subway was lacking. Each bite was inconsistent and the flavors were easily lost.
It's obvious to me that the clear winner of this taste test is America's iconic "Pub sub."