This week, I reached out for a new Steak Club sandwich, jewel of the Club Collection, at the world's No. 1 fast food chain, with 33,000 restaurants linking 93 countries. Subway has a loose definition of "club sandwich" here. Subway's clubs are made with hoagie-style rolls, not white or wheat toast, there's no middle slice of bread, and nary a frilly toothpick to be found.
But are we here to argue sandwich semantics ... or to eat?
Besides, remember what comedian Mitch Hedberg said about club sandwiches: "I order a club sandwich all the time, and I'm not even a member. I don't know how I get away with it." So we'll allow Subway to get away calling its new sandwich a Steak Club.
Here's the Steak Club sandwich breakdown: shaved steak, turkey, applewood-smoked bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on Italian bread.
Total calories: 490 (for a six-incher). Fat grams: 26. Sodium: 1,290 mg. Carbs: 40 g. Dietary fiber: 6 g. Protein: 21 g. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $5.99. The footlong is $8.99. How about you and I split a footlong, and you pay for the $5.99 half?
Sometimes it seems like Subway forgets what brought it to the dance: decent cheap sandwiches. This Steak Club is no bargain, approaching rival Jersey Mike's price point, but keeping safe distance from Jersey Mike's quality, quantity, and freshness.
For example, Subway says its Steak Club contains "shaved" steak. Gillette, in its wildest dreams, has never produced a close, smooth shave like this. This isn't what I call steak, and forget about medium rare. Subway's steak arrives pre-cooked and pre-shaved at each restaurant. There's nobody in the back grilling ribeyes or New York strips.
The rest of the Steak Club is standard Subway fare. The sliced white meat turkey is fine, the bacon is decent and the American cheese is ... American cheese. The sandwich is toasted so the first few bites are best, before the dust settles and you're left holding an ordinary Subway sub like you've done a million times before.
If you want to save unnecessary calories and fat, tell your friendly sandwich artist to "hold the mayo." You can make the Steak Club more substantial by piling on more veggies, as many as you wish. Like comic Sebastian Maniscalco says, "run it through garden." You know I'm not impressed by a sandwich when I dig through a joke book for commentary. The new Steak Club is an ordinary sandwich at an extraordinary price.
The other new addition to the Subway's Club Collection is the Southwest Chipoltle Chicken Club, with grilled chicken strips, applewood-smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, Chipoltle Southwest sauce, and guac on debuting Jalapeno Cheddar bread.
The club sandwiches go bye-bye on June 26, but since everything in the blueprint is standard Subway issue, you can create them bit-by-bit after the deadline.
Ken Hoffman reviews a new fast food restaurant item every Wednesday. Have a suggestion or a drive-thru favorite? Let Ken know on Twitter.