A great way to ease the hungries!

One of the newer franchises in Thailand is Subway, with five stores as you read this. By the time you have finished reading the article, it probably will be six, being one of the fastest growing franchise opportunities in the world!

To see just what was the reason was for this store’s popularity for ourselves, the Dining Out Team visited the new Subway outlet in the recently opened Carrefour shopping center.

This Subway has some well known neighbours, with KFC on one side and Black Canyon on the other (enter Carrefour from Pattaya Klang and the outlets are readily visible directly opposite the entrance). There is a sit-down section in front of the store - and they do have a high chair - a boon for hungry Mums in the shopping center.

Normally you expect the kitchen/preparation areas in food outlets to be large. This is not the case with this Subway, as they get their new supplies daily, rather than stockpile. This is part of the rationale behind the Subway branding, to maintain freshness of ingredients, and the Pattaya Subway has to pass regular reviews by the ‘head office’ standards inspector. Even the suppliers themselves have to gain status as ‘Subway approved’ before they can deliver to the stores.

Like all sandwiches (or ‘subs’) the basic building block is the bread, and I did not realize there was so much in it, till I was taken through the steps by Andy Fricker, one of the owners. There is over 10 hours of preparation of the dough before it goes to the final oven. The dough takes some making, before it makes you any dough, I presume.

The “assembly” station where the young ladies actually “build” your sandwich to your order is also refrigerated to maintain the freshness in the salads in particular and the hygienic purity of the meats. The Subway store even has a thermocouple probe to ensure that minimum temperatures are not exceeded. So much for safety, purity and hygiene. I was impressed. Now let’s get down to the serious business of getting a sandwich.

The ‘menu’ is on the signboard on the wall, or you can read one of the flyers before walking up to place your order. There are choices in the type of bread and the size of your submarine sandwich (6 inches or 12 inches - the “Footlong”). Then you choose the category you want the ingredients to come from - put in two groups - Classics or Basics. Classics include steak and cheese, Subway melt (chicken), tuna, chicken teriyaki and others, while the Basics includes chicken breast, ham, roast beef and even a ‘Veggie Delite’. You now add in the cheese and vegetables you would like, select the sauce to be added and it is yours. The cost of most of these ranges between B. 89, through to B. 129, for the six inch selections, through to B. 149-199 for the ‘Footlongs’.

We chose a BMT and a Subway Melt, thinking we would share, but Andy returned after a couple of minutes with two 12 inch long monsters! These were well filled, the vegetables crisp and the bread roll was very, very soft and tasty. We were both delighted.

To be perfectly honest, I went to the Subway in Carrefour, prepared to write it off as just another sandwich store, but came back to the office totally impressed. Owner Andy Fricker said that his product would stand or fall on “freshness and taste”. Let me assure you (and him) that our food was indeed tasty and the ingredients were also fresh. I can also assure you that unless you have a big appetite, stick with the six inch version. The ‘Foot long’ is huge. Madame (of the large appetite) did manage to get through the whole twelve inches, but Miss Terry ground to a halt after nine!

Subway, Carrefour shopping center, 333 M9, Pattaya Klang, Central Pattaya, telephone and fax 038 360 083. Secure parking under the Carrefour building. Open 10 a.m. till 11 p.m. every day. Delivery in the Pattaya-Jomtien areas is B. 30 with a minimum order of B. 200 (orders over B. 400 get free delivery).