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In a word: Train in vain.

The specs: #0614  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at The Culinary Adventures of Jahboh and Tossy, Dudefoods; official web site, Subway on Urbanspoon

Latest Madison-ish Subway news and reviews

Chris L. ate the club and the cheddar broccoli soup.
JM ate the roast beef.
Nichole ate the meatball combo with Cheetos and a soda.
The bill was about $5/person.
We all gave Subway a C (see our grading rubric).

Our Subway stop was perfunctory except that it gave us a chance to meet a fellow traveler of the information superhighway, and a funny one to boot.

Ham and cheeseSubway sandwich

The service at the Library Mall location during a weekday lunch was reasonably quick, the dining room clean and full of students. We'd guess the undercover exec would have been proud. Our sandwiches were fine and made to order. The soup was thin.

SoupWe remembered Subway cutting the top of each loaf of bread out to create a trough, but now, or at least at this location, they sliced the bread lengthwise. JM also recalled seeing Subway napkins back in the 80s that said things like "5000 locations by 1989!" or somesuch. And, lo, it has come to pass.

Meatball sub innards

We chose the Library Mall Subway to comemmorate Catacombs Coffee House. (A collateral benefit is that we didn't have to add a new pin to our map.) Our understanding is that Underground Food Collective's venture closed when Pres House re-visioned their space. Times were (and are) hard but the change enabled Pres House to survive; UFC, too, is doing better than ever these days, with Underground Kitchen capturing Madison's culinary imagination in bigger ways than a campus coffeehouse could.

RevisitPres House

Left, Subway, 2010; right, Catacombs, 2005.


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I have to admit, once or twice a month I get a tuna sub on white and it's pretty good. I'd never under any circumstances eat their deli meat, but canned tuna slopped on some bread or a simple veggy sub can be a useful cheap option on the run.

You're not alone, Timmy. Village Voice included the Subway tuna sub (they called it a "hero"--darling!) in their list of 10 Fast Food Items That Don't Totally Suck:

Aside from being considerably bigger, the Subway tuna isn't all that different from a tuna salad sandwich you might make at home: pleasantly skanky canned tuna flavored with mercury, more mayo than you should probably eat at one sitting, and your choice of accoutrements, which, in our case, includes raw onions, black olives, pickled hot peppers, and lettuce. Semi-Yum!

And for the record, it's been years--2001, actually--since the V-cut was eschewed in favor of the "new" style. I still kind of miss it. And of course, there's a small Facebook group that wants to bring it back.

I miss the v-cut too. We had a Subway move into our small town when I was in middle school and I thought the v-cut was the coolest food innovation ever, and afterwords demanded that all of my sandwiches made at home mimic it.

Hah. That review gets it almost 100%. I'd also argue that the tuna sub's super-soft yet mealy texture is a strange attractor. Baked potato at Wendy's is #1. I have to say I concur. Back in the day they used to put shredded cheese on the spud and then send you to the salad bar to heap on as much cheese sauce as desired.

I'll add myself to the list of those who are weirdly fond of Subway's tuna. I don't normally like canned tuna, but Subway tuna is like the fish version of mashed potatoes. This place is gonna be big someday.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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