Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life Has (Many) Choices

Life always has choices. But has anyone noticed lately the choices you get when you go out for a quick sandwich? Ordering at our local Subway restaurant gets more complicated each time we go there.

Wendy and I visited a local Subways this past week. First time in a while. The young lady behind the counter asked me if I wanted a combo meal. No. Six inch or footlong sandwich? Footlong. (Those were easy questions). I wanted a "subway melt."

Double stacked?

I'm not sure what that means exactly but it sounds rather suggestive in any context. No, thanks. But now it gets tricky. What kind of bread did I want? If you check the Subway menu on-line, you'll not see "white" listed under bread types. Guess that would make it too easy for guys who like it simple, like me.

You WILL see listed among the breads "honey oat" and "Italian herbs and cheese." Honey oat? Maybe if I were a cross between a bear and a horse. Sounds more like cereal to me. And Italian herbs just sounds too mysterious. Who wants a sandwich on mystery bread? I took wheat.

Did I want it toasted? Well, yeah, I guess. It's a melt, right? So she took out a small stack of meats and stuck it with the bread together on a grill to toast.

I'll admit to being a little distracted at the time. I'm more easily distracted every year older I get. This lady ahead of me was ordering her sandwich toppings. "I want lots of vegetables," she said. The man behind the counter obliged, putting handfuls of lettuce, green peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, etc. on her sandwich. He added more when she said it wasn't enough. This wasn't a sandwich. It was salad on a bun!

So my own sandwich was now screwed up. Why? There was no cheese on it. I had assumed that a "Subway melt" by definition included cheese. So why no cheese?

"You didn't ask for cheese," the counter lady said.

Gee, I thought she was asking ME the questions. So now what. If they put cheese on my already toasted bun with meat, it wouldn't be a true melt in my mind. Yet I didn't want it all toasted again as my bun would be too dark. My wife rescued me, suggesting they microwave it all, with my cheese.

So now what vegetable toppings went with this? *sigh* I don't like too many choices with my meal. I believe I inherited some of my father's genes in that regard. I remember going out to restaurants with him and when the waitress asked how he liked his eggs cooked or what kind of salad dressing he wanted, he would get this look as if he'd never been asked that before. Sometimes my mother would have to help him out. "He hates making decisions," she'd say.

So for my melt I picked out pickles and lettuce. Then some lite mayonnaise. You have to be careful here too with condiments. My son Scott asked us to pick up a sub for him and was very specific about what he wanted on it, even had it written down I think. But he asked for honey mustard as his condiment and the preparer drowned the sub with honey mustard. He essentially got a honey mustard sandwich. Wendy saw this and asked for just one pass with the lite mayo. Smart thinking. That lady with the salad sandwich asked for her condiments on the side. Also smart.

For all this, I wish I could say I enjoyed heartily my Subway Melt. But it wasn't that good. That's what I get for not ordering my usual cold cut combo. Now see that tomato at the bottom here? I took a picture of one of the tomatoes from our "garden." Here's what I'd do with it. Slice it up, put it on toast with a little mayonnaise, and that's it. I don't need any more choices than that.


OpenID caroldee said...

OH DAVE you are so right!! Disgusting I would have said to her what constitutes a "MELT" and why didn't YOU KNOW to put CHEESE ON IT? UGH I sure hate to pay for something that Is not what I really wanted! GEEEEEZ what a gorgeous tomatoe I am greeeeeeen with envy.. LUCKY LUCKY YOU. I am still struggling with the darn cherry tomatoes I had to plant in the ground late and now they are just beginning to bloom. I hope I get something at all before the FROST hits! Take care.. : )

8:53 PM  
OpenID caroldee said...

P.S. I love that type of tomato sandwich too but it has to be miracle whip no mayo for me .. uh uh.. hehe : )

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your tomatoes are beautiful. Our Subway does the same thing, but I'm one of those who has a "salad on a bun--I opt for the Veggie Lover's sandwich.


5:47 AM  
Blogger Matty said...

You're absolutely right...I'm half deaf so its a real issue when I go to Subway...having to repeat myself over and over.
I'll be going home next week and the first thing I'm having is a tomato from my garden...real toast and real Mayo! I haven't had real toast in over 4 months. What ever happened to plain and simple? Why does everything have to be so complex?

6:15 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

love the look of your tomatoes Dave, have to have them in a sandwich and salad.
As for Subway, it has become way to much for not only those of us who just want a tasty sandwich, but I think it's all a bit to much for the counter help as well!
they have to remember to ask all those questions. I'm all for choices, but goodness, I'm also for simplicity!

8:29 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CAROLDEE--I really meant to say Miracle Whip, I guess, since that's what I eat as well. I always forget that mayonnaise is a different animal.

DEB--I should add that the lady who ordered the "salad on the bun" had a model's figure too. So there are advantages.

MATTY--I'm a simple man myself. IN fact, the older I get, the simpler I like it.

CARINE--That's just one tomato there, but it looks like more. Isn't she a beaut?

6:13 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I'm with you on the choices thing. I like Subway's food, but I can only go there when there is not a crowd. I hate, hate, hate standing in the line, trying to make the decisions with hungry people sighing and clearing their throats behind me! I don't do well under pressure!

It would be nice if they would greet you with a sheet that lists your options, then when you've checked off what you want, you could just step into line. Now isn't that a good solution?!

Hold the horses! Miracle Whip, not mayo? Whatssamatta you?

7:47 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Wowzie! What a termater!!! I'm with you Dave: Tomato sandwich will be plenty.

I guess you got real good greenie thumb!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Wow Dave, now that is some good looking tomatoes! I don't like tomatoes on bread with mayo. I like my tomatoes all by themselves with a little salt and maybe some wine vinegar and some olive oil....yummmmm.

Subway: I like a Subway Club with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives on wheat with a little mustard and mayo, vinegar and oil...How's that for a sandwich?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ I agree about Subway with all the darn decisions to make. No white bread rolls - they just lost me. Love the tomatoes you grew and
your toasted sandwich would be great.
Thank you for your comments.
So Wendy is a leftie? One of my
daughters is too. She has five children and none took after her
that way. It is good to be able to use both hands for some things.
My son in law lost his arm in a hay baler accident, and had to learn to write with his left hand - not easy
Take care , Regards, Merle.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

You know, I had just figured out a couple weeks ago that the reason Chipotle is so successful is because they've kept it simple- maddeningly simple. They don't do deserts, combos, shakes, smoothies or coffee of any sort. They're Mexican, and they don't even do nachos!!!! The only sides they offer are tortilla chips, salsa and guacomole. Period.

The only problem with my theory is that Subway too is successful. But here's the thing- it's only recently that Subway has offered such an overwhelming array of choices. Maybe this will be their denoument!


10:44 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I'm with ya Dave, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is a great motto.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I'd kill for tomatoes like that. Try cutting them up with a little vinegar and oil. Salt and pepper too if you want.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--I know what you mean about pressure. Thankfully, there was nobody standing behind me in my line.

HOSS--No green thumb. Our radishes were a bust, as were our zuchini, red peppers, green peppers . . .

LUCY--A Subway club is what I should have ordered. I'll try your combination of toppings sometime.

MERLE--I'm wondering if the Italian bread is their "white bread."

Sorry to hear about your son-in-law. I broke my right hand once and was in a cast for a few weeks. And I was a reporter who had to take notes quickly. A lot of people were misquoted during my convalescence.

BETTY--I think maybe Subway has gotten about as big as it's going to get. Like Starbucks, it's all downhill now.

PETER--Sounds like a political adage. Wait, that one was, "It's the economy, stupid."

NANKIN--My 90-something grandmother loves her garden tomatoes pretty much like you've just described.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I don't know, I suppose it depends on the Subway. The ones we visited while in the U.S. during July asked us all the details, which, can be somewhat annoying - Just give me the freakin sandwich!

1:36 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

My son went to Puerto Rico for some band you know what he said to me when we got home..."Oh mom, I made a really great discovery in PR" -Im thinking he wants to live there, learn Spanish - nope. "I've discovered a new found love for -yup, you guessed it - SUBWAY.
He eats it plain just the bread and the meat - thats all - no spread =- no salad - nothing.
BTW - your tomatoes look amazing.

6:46 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~ Mrs. LZ just loves Subways Subs... but as for me... I'd just as soon have a Whopper at the place across the street! ~ jb///

7:17 AM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

You say to-ma-to; I say to-mah-to.
Let's call the whole thing off!

I know you will understand my meltdown, after ordering 3 Subway sandwiches, which had to be split in half for the 7 traveling in our car (budget, budget, budget), including one vegetarian, from servers who appeared to be going through their first day of training, in George, Washington (photo op for our son, George) on the last leg of our car trip to and from Glacier Nat'l Park, when somebody complained that they didn't get exactly what they wanted. My naughty children and teasing husband will not let me forget my threatening, non-yogic words: "Oh, good. There's a bus stop. It's been fun. Goodbye, ingrates!"

We were all happier with Famous Dave's BBQ in Missoula, Montana, though I had to overlook the fact that our feast was served on a garbage can lid?!

Mayo is high in omega 3 fatty acids, by the way. Your tomato and mayo on toast has my mouth watering. We don't have enough sunlight to grow them in our yard.

I love the glorious GREEN against the red in your photo. Nice work, Dave.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

And I'll bet your tomato sandwich was even better. I like a little very thin sliced red onion on mine.

the tomatoes are delicious looking.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

TIM--I hear ya. Afterwards, I thought I should have sung, "I'll have it your way, I'll have it your way." They have highly paid corporate chefs who know what's delicious.

SIMPLY ME--Just bread and meat? Well, I guess I had a lot of sandwiches like that when I was young and livin' by myself.

LZ--Make it a double whopper and I'm there.

BONNIE--Liked my picture, eh. As an art lover you'll love the picture I'm putting in my next blog. It's my own creation and I must say it's marvelous--the colors, lines, textures, patterns, etc.

CASSIE--Oooooh, onion and tomato sandwich? That's a new one on me.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, I'm still chuckling after reading one of your entries. This was priceless! You captured the dilemmas of eating out perfectly. It used to be SO simple and you effectively proved that it isn't. Great piece!
Love your tomatoes! Hey...We'll be calling you Mr. Greenjeans pretty soon.

7:15 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home