Review No. 106: Quiznos

2850 Prince St., Ste. 9

(501) 329-7827

52.9 percent finished reviewing Conway restaurants

The Situation

He Said: Quiznos was founded in Denver in 1981, so it’s been around for quite some time. I had never heard of them, however, until their2004 advertising campaign that featured the very strange rodent-like cartoon creatures (called Songmonkeys) who sang in high, gravelly voices that “they got a pepper bar.” I don’t remember any other Quiznos ads before or since, but that one really stuck in my mind, and actually made me try them as an alternative to Subway. Quiznos is the second largest sandwich chain in the world. At its high point (around 2007), Quiznos owned some 5,000 franchises, but troubled finances bankrupted the company in 2014. They now have fewer than 1,000 franchises in the United States. Two of them are in Conway—one on Prince and one on the UCA campus. We ate at the Prince Street restaurant this week, because it was next on our master list kept in a secret locked vault by She Said. We discovered one thing: They still got a pepper bar.

She Said: One thing I’ve learned about sub shops is they almost always have good salad options for those not partaking of the sandwich genre. It can be difficult to dine out, especially at chains, and avoid excess carbs (Jack Sprat shall eat no Fat / his wife shall eat no carbs…) and still feel satisfied. I was on the hunt for salad action, so off we went.

Ambience

He Said: It’s definitely a fast food-type of place, with a pretty generic kind of fast-foody atmosphere. But it was bright and clean and not uninviting if you want to eat there instead of take out.

She Said: I liked the dark, vivid colors on the walls that made a nice place to sit with all the natural light of the windows wall that looks out on Prince Street. It was very convivial all around, and felt like a cheerful place to duck in for lunch, supper or a snack or treat.

Drinks

He Said: You can have a fountain drink, or you can grab a bottled Pepsi product. I prefer bottles over fountain drinks when I have the choice since a) I don’t like to water down the taste with a bunch of ice, and b) I don’t like the fact that sometimes fountain machines get the mix wrong and the soda tastes off. Mountain Dew was my bottle of choice, which is always a pleasure for me.

She Said: I went with my usual, unsweetened iced tea, and it was very nice, strong enough to hold up to the ice, but not bitter.

Food

He Said: I thought I’d try a pretty wide range of food for lunch, since we were reviewing the place, and I’d like to try as many things as I can for your sake, dear readers.Keeping my low-fat diet in mind, I ordered a four-inch chipotle turkey sub on rosemary parmesan bread, thinking that turkey was the lowest-fat meat on the menu. But there is a “Pair Up” option that includes a four-inch sub anda regular bowl of soup. I knew that the broccoli-cheese soup option would have some fat because of the cheese, but since it had no meat (as the chili and chicken noodle options did), I thought that might be a wash. I grabbed a Lay’s baked potato chip bag, which I knew was low fat, and then, because what’s a complete meal without a dessert? I grabbed a large chocolate chunk cookie.

Well, I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised by the sandwich, which was delicious. The bread was very tasty, the turkey was tender and flavorful, complemented well by the tomatoes, onions, and lettuce that livened it up quite a bit. And, of course, the chipotle flavor served to spice it up just right. It was an excellent sandwich. The soup was tangy and cheesy—more cheesy than broccoli flavored, and since I love cheddar, it tasted great to me. Of course, with my low-fat diet, cheddar doesn’t love me so much. The baked potato chips were just what you’d expect—dry and tasting like cardboard, at least by comparison with real potato chips, which I could have had but I was trying to be health conscious where I could. Of course, dessert was not so healthy, but boy was it good. Lots and lots of chocolate in that big chocolate-chip cookie. Even She Said couldn’t resist a bite.

When I got home, I thought to look on Quiznos’ online nutritional charts, and was a bit chagrined that I didn’t look before stopping there to eat. The turkey sub that I ate actually contained 19 grams of fat, 12 of which were from the chipotle dressing—which, I discovered, is a mayonnaise-based dressing. Mayonnaise is incredibly high in fat. The soup contained 14.5 grams of fat, quite a bit more than either the chili or the chicken noodle, nearly all of it coming from the cheese (tragedy of my life, being a Wisconsin-born lad). The potato chips contained only 4 grams of fat (of course—eating cardboard is as healthy as it gets, I suppose). And the cookie, of course, added another 18 grams. In the end, I was eating 55.5 grams of fat for lunch: I’m supposed to keep it under 60 grams for the day. So, it’s a salad with fat-free dressing for me tonight for dinner.

I could, of course, have had a much lower-fat lunch if I had skipped the cookie, ordered the chicken noodle soup instead of the cheddar-broccoli, and asked for a low-fat dressing on the turkey sandwich instead of the chipotle mayonnaise. I could have cut the fat intake by half. That is probably what I’ll do next time I’m here.

She Said: Ironically, I don’t care as much about fat intake, and yet my meal had only 9 grams plus a few more from the dressing. I ordered the lobster and seafood salad because when I walked in, there was a huge standing banner ad for this new offering, and it sounded so good, I needed look no further. I love seafood, and the seafood and crab salad on a round roll was my go-to Subway order for at least half my life. I went big and got the whole portion instead of the half, and let He Said order all the extras (ALL the extras, apparently. Sheesh, Ruud!).

The salad comprises the lobster and seafood salad, with ranch dressing on the side, mixed greens and lot of tomatoes. I didn’t tell them to hold these because I didn’t know what I’d sub them with, but in the future, I’ll ask for cucumbers instead. It was still a good salad. The textures and tastes went well together, and I only drizzled a bit of the ranch on the dish because the seafood mixture itself is dressed. I will order this again.

Service

He Said: I’d give this Quiznos a big plus for service. The guy at the front of the assembly line was extremely friendly—I think if I’d been having a bad day his greeting probably would have cheered me up. In addition, he ran my soup out to our table after I had forgotten to pick it up at the counter. So, better service than you have any right to expect at an establishment like this.

She Said: Yes, the friendliness of this man in particular contributed a great deal to the overall vibe of this restaurant, and everyone was friendly and helpful. It’s as neighborhoody of a fast-food place as I’ve ever experienced.

What We Got and What We Paid: One lobster salad, one “pair up” sub and soup (4-inch chipotle turkey sub plus regular size broccoli and cheese soup), one fountain drink, one 20-ounce bottle drink, one regular bag of chips and one large cookie, all for $22.98.

Elapsed Time from Our Arrival to Food Arrival: Five minutes.

Rating

He Said: I really had a pretty good sandwich, and the soup is tasty too. But if you’re watching your diet, take a look at the nutrition guide ahead of your visit.

She Said: The seafood salad is tasty, filling and healthy, so put this on your roster of go-to fast-food spots when you want being good to taste good.

So… He Said and She Said: Go here for friendly service and lots of options from fatty to lean, all tasty.