The best part about Subway used to be the bread. They made great bread.

Then two things happened: first, they decided to do a side-cut for loading subs (link unavailable, holy cow, was it really 2001?), and then second, Quizno's convinced everyone that a sandwich wasn't a sandwich if it wasn't toasted.

While Quizno's makes a fine toasted sandwich, the problem of "making a fine toasted sandwich" is different from "making a fine sandwich". The key is bread.

Originally, the Subway bread was beautiful. The guys in the back would have to seriously screw up for me to not get excellent, excellent bread; and such screw-ups were very rare. I have no idea how they continued to make such good bread, but they did.

Then along comes Quizno's. The Quizno's sandwich is optimized for toasting -- it is a different kind of bread, one which takes the toasting very well. Now as a side-effect, I really really hate the Quizno's bread once it has cooled off, but when it is warm, it is excellent.

Subway looked at this and decided that the 'hook' was the 'toasting'. So now all the Subways have got these quick-toaster ovens where they can quickly toast the sandwich prior to final assembly. It is part of the process which is bolted on to their formula, and it shows: it doesn't flow the way the old process did.

Subway bread doesn't toast well. Well, it toasts OK, but at a cost of driving out anything that is good in the bread. Instead of moist, soft bread that makes you think "fresh out of the oven", you get dry, toasted bread that makes me think "fresh out of the four-day-old cupboard".

So I never get my sandwiches toasted at Subway.

...wow, that went on a lot longer than I thought it would.