I didn't even know we had a Firehouse Subs restaurant down here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast until a girl at work gave me some gift certificates to the place. It is located in a Wal-Mart shopping center in what used to be a Subway a few years ago, so I can imagine the owners had a pretty easy time of setting up the store since it was already laid out for another sandwich shop. I do find it interesting that somebody would put one sub place in the same store where another more well-known and popular one had failed.
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The inside of Firehouse Subs is decorated to look like a fire station. Lots of murals and artwork line the walls depicting fire trucks and firemen. In the front corner of the building hangs a couple of coats and helmets from a local fire station. This all makes the inside of the store mostly bright red and yellow.
Firehouse Subs is another submarine sandwich shop just like Subway and Quizno's. What makes them different is that they use smaller bread and toast the bread before putting the toppings on it. First they lather on a ton of mayo and then run it through a small conveyor belt toaster, then they add the meats and veggies. If you order a hot sub, they have some liquid filled cookers that warm up the pre-cooked chicken or turkey or beef for your sandwich. When you finally get your sub, the whole thing is very warm, which is more than I can say for Subway or even Quizno's most of the time.
The Firehouse menu consists of hot and cold subs using a variety of meats ranging from chicken to beef, tuna and chicken salad, and the less healthy greasy meats like pastrami. Come on people, in the end it is just a sandwich and these places are all basically the same. The only difference is the type of bread and the other side items. At Firehouse, the medium size sub, which is about nine inches long, runs an average of $4.69 and the double sized ones are $6.19. For a guy like me, who normally orders the footlong at Subway, the nine incher there is too short and the full size one is too big. I could probably eat the full size one, but I'd regret it later.
The only side item I tried at Firehouse was the new potato salad and I didn't like it very much. First, they put it in these tiny little cups. If you were to put all the potato pieces back together, you'd only end up with about 2 golf ball sized new potatoes. It is seasoned with this bland mayo looking stuff and really needs some salt and pepper. For 99 cents, it isn't worth it.
They do have a variety of side items ranging from salads to chili and the counter is covered in literally dozens of hot sauces and other condiments for you to spice up your sub. They also have some cookies to choose from at the front desk, but they are shrink-wrapped and don't look like they were cooked there at the store.
On the subs themselves, I thought they tasted pretty good but were lacking. They put more mayo on them than anything else, and the veggies are quite thin. I've tried two there so far and neither one of them had enough lettuce on it to make a crunch. They do put a bunch of onions on there, which does add to the flavor but also tears up your breath. If you like a lot of fixings on your subs, go to Subway or Quizno's.
I really did not like how Firehouse takes their orders. Unless there are only a couple of customers in there, you will have to wait for your sandwich. What they do is take your order first, then they print a ticket and give it to the people on the assembly line. I think Subway and Quizno's have a much more efficient system where they start building your sandwich first and then you pay at the end. That way, you can personally watch your sandwich being made. At Firehouse, the counter was so high you cant even see what the assembler is doing back there, so when you get the final product it is kind of like pot luck.
To be honest, I did like the subs that I've tried at Firehouse, but for the price and options versus food quantity and quality, I'd just as soon go to Subway or Quiznos instead.
For the full Firehouse Subs menu, check out their website at http://www.FirehouseSubs.com
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