Carving the Roast Beast! (an experiment)

First off, no labia jokes. : P

So, if you have not already heard about yesterday’s culinary exploits, the Great Blevin and I decided to hit up a few sandwich chains and do a qualitative taste test to determine which place had the best sandwiches.

This all began as a conversation last week where Blevin proclaimed “Jimmy John’s is the sub of the gods. Subway is Jimmy John’s little bitch,” along with “Quiznos is okay… but I think it’s overrated by people who shun ‘mainstream’ Subway to try to be cool.”

When I mentioned how much I liked Quizno’s “awesome and spicy” smell, he agreed that Quizno’s was better than Subway, but that Jimmy John’s was “far superior to both.”

Instead of arguing it out, we agreed to go around to all of these places, order, and taste test the same kind of sandwich: roast beef on white, with provolone, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise. Simple, right?

All three chains had a store located downtown, so the Great Blevin and I met up at Subway at 7PM. The first sandwich went off without a hitch, except that Blevin ordered American cheese instead of provolone while I was staring off into space. Sandwich shop cheeses don’t really do anything to taste but add some salt, so it probably didn’t matter.

The Quizno’s was closed for renovations, so we went to JJ’s. Service there was incredibly fast; we spent no more than five minutes inside the shop. With two out of three sandwiches in tow, we drove down East Broadway to a complex housing another Quizno’s. I was griping about how it would also be closed when we got there—surprise, surprise. Closed for renovation.

But nearby, there was a Roly Poly, which did carry roast beef. I’d never had Roly Poly before, so we got one from them too. Only right before it was done, did I realize that ‘rolled sandwiches’ means ‘wraps.’ Fuck wraps.

We got back in the car and drove all the way back up Broadway to a third Quizno’s (open!) then back down to Lakota Coffee. There was a really cute girl at the counter! : )

We found a table and unwrapped them all:

RES01888from left to right: Roly Poly, Subway, Jimmy John’s, Quizno’s

Yeah… while we weren’t paying attention, Quizno’s toasted the sub. Was that unfair? We’ll see.

I’m not going to factor in the cost—we spent about the same amount (5-7) at each place, so it’s not too important.

Touch/Sight Test:

Roly Poly – Again, it turned out to be a wrap, not a sandwich. Cold flour tortilla wrapped around two skimpy slices of roast beef. We looked at it rather disdainfully. Its only selling point was the lovely, deep green color of the lettuce.

Subway – This was the first one we ordered, plus there was probably too much mayo. As a result, the ends of the bread were getting a little soggy. Decent amount of beef though.

Jimmy John’s – Bread was very smooth-looking, but kind of hard. I tapped it with a fingernail and it sounded quite solid. Too much lettuce, in comparison to meat.

Quizno’s – Again, it had been toasted without permission. It looked pretty normal, except for the roast beef, which had specks of herbs on it.

Smell Test:

Roly Poly smelled awful, the reason why I refused to ever eat flour tortillas as a kid. Subway and Jimmy John’s smelled the same/normal, and Quizno’s had a really nice spicy smell.

Listening Test:


ROT02898Note-taking skills. Pen borrowed from cute barista.

First Bite Taste Test:

Roly Poly – “Uck, tortilla.” Bland, not very good, since there was barely any filling.

Subway – Bread is soft, otherwise not much to say. Average.

Jimmy John’s – Biting into it was a battle. Bread was a little too chewy. Roast beef was good, but covered up by too much lettuce and mayo.

Quizno’s – Roast beef was slightly peppery. Bread has sesame seeds.


Next Five Bites Taste Test:

Roly Poly – Would actually be a really good sandwich if there was bread involved.

Subway – Still average.

Jimmy John’s – Eating it is pretty interesting. My jaw is getting a little workout.

Quizno’s – Kicking ass.


“I don’t get it,” Blevin says, squinting into one of the sandwiches. “Jimmy John’s is letting me down today.”

“Could just be the roast beef sandwich,” I suggest.

“Could be.”

“So I win this round?”


Final Standing:

1. Quizno’s

2. Subway

3. Jimmy John’s

4. Roly Poly

I took the leftovers with me for the next day’s lunch. “Maybe we’ll do non-chain shops around town. Or just a different type of sandwich.”

“Yeah, maybe turkey or something,” said the Great Blevin.

As we parted ways, the moon hung up in the sky like a dollop of forgotten mayonnaise.


~ by O'Brien on August 15, 2009.

2 Responses to “Carving the Roast Beast! (an experiment)”

  1. did the cute barista happen to be blond?
    because it was probably sarah

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