I grew up in NJ. There are many things people that grew up in NJ take way too seriously (Camaros, cologne, and matching gold jewelry to patterned sweaters for example), however one of the things Jersey just gets right is the submarine sandwich.
A real sub (hoagie, grinder, torpedo, hero) is made either at a deli or a pizza shop. The meats and cheeses for a real sub are sliced when you order it. A real sub has more meat then bread and, even though the roll is of respectable size, it is offered in ½ or whole, not inches. The roll for a real sub is made locally at a small Italian bread shop, and is delivered by truck every morning. Into these otherwise inconsequential loaves of bread are stuffed cold cuts. Sub shops have at least 10 versions of an Italian sub, usually identified by number. My favorite Italian at my favorite shop is the #33: capicola, salami, and provolone. I like mine with lettuce, tomato, onions, oregano, oil, and extra vinegar. If you say "everything" you get all that with mayo. Mustard and hot peppers, although part of "everything," are usually a separate request.
Why am I on about subs? Well another unfathomable event has taken place here on the island I believe holds people who take food too seriously to support the banal, destructive, food of chain restaurants. Directly across the street from my office a Subway brand sandwich shop has opened up. Much as with the Domino's that opened three doors from Otto, and the Olive Garden that opened two avenues from Beppe, the fact that I have ever seen anyone inside completely baffles me.
The argument I hear is that it is familiar and is different than other sandwich shops. Now I will grant that NY delis are not as committed to sub excellence as their brethren across the Hudson, but this Subway sits between two delis, both of which make a far better sub then Subway. The other argument is cost, which just shows too little self-respect to discuss now.
Subway makes horrible subs. The frozen, half-cooked bread they reheat to doneness on-site is terrible, and they cut it open the wrong way. The ratio of bread to meat is absurdly disproportionate. I promise that their cold cuts which have been pre-cut and portioned at a factory somewhere are not as good as brands like Boar's head, not to mention the ones available at places that roast their own beef and turkey. The tomatoes Subway uses here in NY, in August, are crunchy and pink. It is a detestable thing.
Simply put, Subway does not make subs, Domino's does not make pizza, and most of all Olive Garden does not make Italian food. Giving them your money takes away from local people working to make an authentic product. I promise it will lead to heartbreak; independent, authentic sub shops don't have the backing of huge conglomerates and the drop-off in revenue that can occur from people grabbing a Subway "every now and then" can crush them. You will lament the absence of the real sub shops when Subway is all that is left. Just drive an interstate and you will get a taste of the devastating sameness in store. It is bad enough that we can't find decent coffee any more thanks to Charbucks. Keep your money in your community, supporting the local ventures that make it unique and keep it a place to have pride in. But, most importantly, skip Subway because it sucks.