April 23, 2009

Hunger Torpedoed

Stuck at work one evening after a long day that had already exhausted my lunch, I needed a cheap way to satiate my stomach. I also needed to circumvent my sensitive wallet, which only had $6 inside its folds.

Those criteria left me with a few options nearby: My usual standby -- Taco Bell -- an old favorite -- McDonald's McChicken -- or something new. Something that lay submerged beneath the surface of affordable food. Something that was ready to explode onto my food critique.

I speak of Quiznos' Toasty Torpedo, a narrow footlong "subette." It slots in at $4, so it wasn't going to sink my bank account. Additionally, it's slightly more than a foot long, so I anticipated it resulting in my hunger quotient taking a steep dive.

For the most part, I was right. The Toasty Torpedo is pretty filling, and it's a wholly satisfying package. The bread was just wide enough that it was easy to take a full bite off the end without having to nibble on alternating corners, which allowed me to eat the bread evenly. Some of us like to do that, after all.

The torpedo dropped its payload right on my hunger, too. It didn't leave me feeling like I'd overeaten, but I wasn't craving more after finishing it, either. While I could have had four McChickens for the same price, that would have left me feeling greasy and flabby, something Quizno's did not do with its higher-quality ingredients.

And yet I didn't crack a smile after I put my torpedo away. Something was missing. Something, I believe, that was related more to the type of Torpedo I ordered than any design flaw.

Surprisingly, it wasn't a lack of meat. My Toasty Torpedo was a little light on turkey, but I can handle a slightly unbalanced meat/bread ratio for four bucks.

It wasn't even the odd wrapping, which had the Quizno's worker roll the sub in paper and then slip it into a baguette bag that was obviously designed to leave several inches of the sub exposed so that I could eat it. Question: If I'm supposed to eat the sub from the paper bag, why wrap it in paper? Am I supposed to eat the paper too?

No, the problem with my Toasty Torpedo was that it was a Pesto Turkey Torpedo. It may sound like a terrific combination, but the pesto was completely off-base. Cheese and basil flavors were largely absent, replaced by an overpowering saltiness that dominated even the mozzarella slices on the Torpedo.

The flaw wasn't big enough to send the Tasty Torpedo to Davy Jones' Locker. But it did hold the subette to a mediocre 3 out of four sporks. Quizno's needs to scope out some better pesto.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, yes.

    The Torpedo definitely blew my hunger out of the water. The turkey club is the best, but stay away from the Tuna.

    Thanks for posting this, Rick.