Just as owning a BMW might diminish your appreciation of any other car you’ll ever have (unless it’s another BMW), eating sub sandwiches in New England will devalue your estimation of any sub sandwich you’ll ever have anywhere else. From Maine to Delaware, sub sandwiches in all their sobriquets (grinders, torpedoes, heroes, etc.) are so far superior to sandwiches served anywhere else in the country that you’ll invariably find yourself making unfair comparisons. Nothing else quite fills the bill.
After moving to Denver, New York native James Lambatos wanted Mile High City residents to experience an Italian sub similar to what he experienced growing up in the Big Apple. He founded Quizno’s in 1981 as an upscale version of Subway but with the intention of duplicating the New York sub sandwich experience.
At its worse, Quizno’s does provide a better product than the ubiquitous industry leader, but it still pales in comparison to the sandwiches you’ll find throughout the East Coast. Quizno’s motto is “Deliziosa e rinfrescante–delicious and refreshingly good! Quizno’s oven toasted sandwiches do taste better–a fact that wasn’t lost on franchise leader Subway who in 2005 began its own toasted sub campaign.
A burgeoning franchise, Quizno’s appeared poised to make a run at the big boys as evidenced by its marketing campaign which kicked off during 2002 Superbowl. I don’t know if they made many inroads into an already glutted sandwich market, but their commercials were certainly clever and its product definitely upscale compared to Subway.
Unlike assembly line sandwich competitors, each Quizno’s sub is made to order and each is toasted. Size doesn’t necessarily matter if the product is big on taste. Quizno’s makes big sandwiches in which the ingredients are not pre-packaged and scrimped on, but they aren’t particularly memorable, albeit better than Subway.
My early favorite is the Angus, a well seasoned roast beef sandwich with a tangy sauce. Quizno’s toasted tuna sandwich is also pretty good unless you make the mistake of taking it home and “nuking” it. Another nice sandwich, the chicken carbonara sandwich didn’t do well enough during its short run to stick to the daily menu, but there are enough good alternatives to make this one of my sub choices in the Duke City. That last statement in itself decries the woeful state of sub sandwich restaurants in the Duke City.
6421 Montgomery, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 31 May 2005
# OF VISITS: 4
BEST BET: Angus Roast Beef Sandwich; Tuna Sandwich