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Now You HAVE TO Tessellate My Cheese
July 1, 2010 8:39 AM   Subscribe

For years, uneven cheese distribution has plagued Subway customers, but that will soon change. Today Subway sandwich shops will begin tessellating cheese slices on their sandwiches.

Tessellation is the tiling of geometric figures in a plane so that there are no gaps or overlaps.
posted by robstercraw (158 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Altair design cheese!
posted by jessamyn at 8:41 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this a real thing? Can anyone even taste that horrible off-white plastic gunk?

Bleh.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


So will they fill in the holes in the swiss chesse?
posted by etc. at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok. One down. Now, onto world peace.
posted by crunchland at 8:42 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


No; not even one down, yet. Bring Back the Classic Cut, then we can move on from Subway.
posted by yhbc at 8:44 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. My Subway has been doing this for the entirety of the four months I've been going to it.

2. Really, people?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2010


Huh. I used to make sandwiches for a cafe I worked at, and I just tesselated the cheese by default (without knowing the word). How strange that they would do it any other way.

Ok. One down. Now, onto world peace.

Not so fast! We still need to create a lawn mower that starts with one pull.
posted by brundlefly at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The battle has been won, but our fight for perfect dairy coverage is far from over. Look at the gaping voids still remaining on the left-hand side. We will only truly be saved once Subway's cheese is distributed in exact oval baguette-shaped slices.
posted by eykal at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe instead they could just make a sandwich that didn't suck.
posted by bondcliff at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


I did that anyway when I worked at Subway in college.
posted by ghharr at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010


Not so fast! We still need to create a lawn mower that starts with one pull.

It's called pulling out an electrical cord, buddy.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


that's kind of overthinking a slice of cheese, don't you think?
posted by msconduct at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010


Clearly the ultimate solution would be one solid flap of cheese. It could come in a giant tape dispenser.
posted by brundlefly at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [48 favorites]


Most Subways I've been to already do this.
posted by Malor at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2010


I don't see why uniformity of taste is a good thing. Don't you want each bite to be a little different?
posted by smackfu at 8:48 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Clearly the ultimate solution would be one solid flap of cheese. It could come in a giant tape dispenser.

Behold, the cheese of kings.
posted by crunchland at 8:50 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, Internet, is there nothing you can't tell me?
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:50 AM on July 1, 2010


I can't believe they haven't figured out how to dispense it on a roll, like toilet paper. Oh, that's right. Because it's gross.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:51 AM on July 1, 2010


E-Z CHEEZ can suspended from ceiling. Squirt it on like a shot of grease on a Hyundai assembly line.
posted by applemeat at 8:52 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's called pulling out an electrical cord, buddy.

What? Are you using a vacuum cleaner to cut your grass?
posted by nola at 9:00 AM on July 1, 2010


I don't see why uniformity of taste is a good thing. Don't you want each bite to be a little different?

ahem ... if you had read the link, you would realize that this a surefire way to produce a feeling of soul-crushing disappointment in the customer
posted by mannequito at 9:01 AM on July 1, 2010


I don't see why uniformity of taste is a good thing. Don't you want each bite to be a little different?

Yes, definitely. Not only does non-tessellated cheese look better, but it tastes better because it's the opposite of how food made by robots would taste.

The whole hubbub about unequal cheese distribution reminds me of that dude from Microserfs who will only eat Kraft singles and other square, flat foods.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:01 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


(I have read the link. I have just always disagreed with the sentiment.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:02 AM on July 1, 2010


I'm sorry, but I will not rest until they listen to me and start Penrose Tiling it. I've got an Internet petition . . .
posted by The Bellman at 9:02 AM on July 1, 2010


I know what Subway is.
posted by mullacc at 9:03 AM on July 1, 2010


I worked at a subway, we weren't allowed to do this, and would be verbally reprimanded by my boss for doing so.

See, our subway was strictly by-the-book. Our manager had a wall full of awards from Subway that she collected each year for being up to subway's strict policies, among them putting exactly three olives per six inch section of sandwich, and yes, not tessellating the cheese.

We also had no control over the radio, which was hidden in the ceiling and set to the local top 40 country radio station. There were nights when I would come home and hear Kenny Chesney ringing in my ears.

Sometimes when my boss wasn't there, I would indulge customer requests for a reasonable amount of olives, or putting the cheese on resonance. I'd feel satisfaction that I actually helped the customer out. Or the small victory of when the radio went out and was replaced with a boom-box, which was clandestinely changed to a decent rock station when the boss was away. Sure, it would mean hearing Sweet Child O' Mine five times a night, but it was better than the alternative.

I stopped eating there after leaving, i didn't until recently, as there are no fast-food options that have at least the illusion of health that Subway has that are within driving distance of where I work. The smell brings back terrible memories.
posted by hellojed at 9:04 AM on July 1, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ok. One down. Now, onto world peaceeducating people about the difference between "onto" and "on to".

FTFY
posted by DU at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The battle has been won, but our fight for perfect dairy coverage is far from over. Look at the gaping voids still remaining on the left-hand side. We will only truly be saved once Subway's cheese is distributed in exact oval baguette-shaped slices.

Actually, the more I look at the image, the more my trypophobia flares up.

*shudders*
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2010


Next, Subway introduces the Escher Sandwich, which has chicken on one side that gradually tessellates into fish on the other side.
posted by oulipian at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2010 [15 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to leave my house to understand?
posted by ob at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2010


Not so fast! We still need to create a lawn mower that starts with one pull.

These already exist. What you may need is an arm capable of utilizing the feature.
posted by DU at 9:06 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


How about instead of tessellated cheese, they rotate the non-tessellated cheese by 90 degrees, so it looks like arrows that are all pointing in the same direction, then you eat the sub such that the cheese points into your mouth?

Nah, forget it, that's a dumb idea...
posted by jefbla at 9:08 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


They should also work on what constitutes a "handful" of lettuce.
posted by dzaz at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2010


Apparently only valid in Australia and New Zealand.

Subways in the United States will continue to frustrate obsessive-compulsives demanding homogenized chewing experiences.
posted by ardgedee at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2010


I believe that's a duck, oulipian.
A delicious, tender duck.
posted by yhbc at 9:09 AM on July 1, 2010


FINALLY!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 AM on July 1, 2010


As the talented Larry Cedar once said, "Who's got time for good vibrations? You got to use your our imaginations. Ooh bop bop ooh. Tessellations."

We're talking about tessellations.
posted by inturnaround at 9:10 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Subways in the United States will continue to frustrate obsessive-compulsives demanding homogenized chewing experiences.

I have a friend, a bodybuilder actually, who only really eats out (on the rare occasion he eats something other than stuff he makes) at Subway cause he knows what everything is going to taste like and exactly how much everything costs and it will never ever change so he doesn't get surprised or have to waste time deciding on something.


I think this may kill him.
posted by The Whelk at 9:12 AM on July 1, 2010


Oh, DU. You lovable, pedantic rascal, you.
posted by crunchland at 9:15 AM on July 1, 2010


Oh, dear. I wonder if The Whelk and I have the same friend. (Except he also ate burritos on occasion.) Unfortunately, we only used to meet up on vacation and I ended up ditching him at mealtimes so I could eat real food.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:16 AM on July 1, 2010


Nigel will surely be heartened by this.
posted by Crane Shot at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2010


If your life is so empty that you're actively spending time concerned over whether the tasteless and nutritionally void industrial cheese on your tasteless and nutritionally void Subway sandwich overlaps, you should just kill yourself.
posted by mkultra at 9:21 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Subway? Subway? Fuck that shit! Togo's!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:22 AM on July 1, 2010


Christ, Abramoff is out marketing pizza bullshit and suddendly tesselation is what makes some foods newsworthy ? Still more money into makebelieve than in scientific research, I guess.
posted by elpapacito at 9:23 AM on July 1, 2010


"Clearly the ultimate solution would be one solid flap of cheese. It could come in a giant tape dispenser."

Not a tape dispenser but commercial sliced cheese is available in a big block about a foot long that allows the kitchen to select from several different sizes merely by cutting it differently. It would be possible to not cut it at all and have complete coverage of a sub.
posted by Mitheral at 9:23 AM on July 1, 2010


In other news:

After focusing on the organisation of four pieces of plastic crap bearing only marginal similarity to cheese within two slices of plastic crap masquerading as pieces of bread, Subway will now redistribute uniformly a hill of beans in an attempt do something meaningful.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:28 AM on July 1, 2010


My expectations of a Subway sandwich are pretty low to start with. On top of the cheese issue, when you get oil and vinegar, they drizzle it on the ingredients in the center, not on the bread, making the Jersey girl in me weep.
posted by Miko at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


The smell brings back terrible memories. Me too. I find it crazy that people who haven't worked at Subway don't notice / mind it. There's a subway in the local Children's Hospital food court and I can smell it just walking past the building.
posted by ghharr at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2010


Yeah, ditto, Miko, but I don't think I've ever found a chain place that puts the oil and vinegar on the bread. I've never understood that--it just all runs right off!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2010


MLB subway. Walking into a subway is one of the rare moments when I get to smell mediocrity at the source.
posted by disclaimer at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2010


Three prawns are hardly a "galaxy."
posted by gompa at 9:34 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


No; not even one down, yet. Bring Back the Classic Cut, then we can move on from Subway.

You sir are a gentleman and scholar.
posted by Taco John at 9:36 AM on July 1, 2010


Coincidentally, I forgot to bring my lunch today, so maybe I'll go to Subway and get a terrible sandwich, and also yell at the poor bastard who makes my sandwich when he doesn't tessellate the cheese. If I even SAY the word tessellate to that surly so-and-so he's going to stab me in the face with one of those little plastic handled knives.

The worst thing about Subway? I mean The Worst? Those stamped-out, ill-fitting, one-size fits-all-on-both-hands plastic gloves. Oof. Those give me the creeps. Watching of those awful things, all bunched up and sticking to the sweaty, podgy thumb meat of the aforementioned drooling, transient, sociopath sandwich artist, as he sharts opalescent lo-cal mayo onto rubbery lumps of pale chicken for the shitheel in line in front of you? Fuck that, man. Fuck that.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:40 AM on July 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Why don't they make lawn mowers that start by turning a key or pushing a button? We don't need to pull a string to start our cars, why do we need to pull one to start our lawn mowers?
posted by JDHarper at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2010


I would think the worst thing about Subway is the whiny schmuck who thinks he's too good to be there sneering at everyone else, oblivious to or unwilling to concede he's just another goober in the queue.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:46 AM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can't stand Subway simply because of that terrible, lingering odor. Just by walking past one of their stores, I get a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The food is mediocre at best, but seriously... why do they have that awful, awful smell? Is it something to do with the bread?
posted by educatedslacker at 9:46 AM on July 1, 2010


Yes. They bake it.
posted by crunchland at 9:48 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't believe they don't have single slices of cheese custom cut to fit the bread. It seems like that would be an easier way to have uniformity at all locations.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:57 AM on July 1, 2010


Metafilter: just another goober in the queue
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:58 AM on July 1, 2010


I just find it fascinating that their corporate parent (Doctor's Associates Inc.) never felt the need to rename themselves.
posted by smackfu at 9:58 AM on July 1, 2010


I have actually seen Subway materials stating that cheese was never to be tessellated, because uneven cheese coverage increases the likelihood that the customer will order extra cheese, making the store a handsome profit.

I miss the classic cut too, but I had no idea it had been gone for almost a decade, and I guess I just don't care that much anymore.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:02 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


And the issue of the smell has already been asked and answered on AskMe.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:03 AM on July 1, 2010


Why would you want every mouthful to taste exactly the same as the one before?

Would you puree all your pizza toppings and smear them across the base?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:04 AM on July 1, 2010


Tessellation -- meh. Meeting minimum standards of food-handling hygiene and cleanliness would be preferable.
posted by blucevalo at 10:07 AM on July 1, 2010


...has chicken on one side that gradually tessellates into fish on the other side.

I believe that's a duck, oulipian.
A delicious, tender duck.


You're both mistaken; those are clearly geese, waiting to be stuffed with corn until their livers become nice and fat.
posted by TedW at 10:08 AM on July 1, 2010


JDHarper: "why do we need to pull one to start our lawn mowers?"

for a push mower, I think the weight you need to push may double with the added weight of the battery.
posted by idiopath at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2010


I guess it's not technically tessellating, because I cut the cheese into custom shapes, but I like to space fill my sandwich surface. Splitting the rectangular cheese slices diagonally and flipping one half over to build a little arch for the rounded top of the bread, using any off cuts to fill in the holes if I'm using a holey cheese.

It's like cheese tetris, and once I fill all the lines I get to make them disappear with my mouth.
posted by lucidium at 10:13 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


And for those of you who want a push-start lawn mower, would a key start do?
posted by TedW at 10:14 AM on July 1, 2010


This thread is 95% Subway and 5% lawnmower. That is pretty strange.

Personally, I think they should install a rotary crank in front of the lawnmower so I could feel a cultural connection with the world of Babbitt and The Great Gatsby every so often.

By the way, wouldn't international tessellation work better than the United Nations? Just spitballin' here.
posted by kozad at 10:15 AM on July 1, 2010


I always ask the person at the Subway to cut the cheese into tangrams, then arrange them in the shape of an exotic flower.

They wouldn't call them 'sandwich artists' if they couldn't deliver the goods.
posted by box at 10:24 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think they should install a rotary crank in front of the lawnmower so I could feel a cultural connection with the world of Babbitt and The Great Gatsby every so often.

I just turn the mower on its side, yell "contact!" and spin the blade up with my hands. That's the way Uncle Stumpy taught me to do it.
posted by bondcliff at 10:24 AM on July 1, 2010 [19 favorites]


These are the kinds of links I send to my wife when I want to irritate her. She thinks that the Internet is this vast wasteland of trivia, and I find it hard to argue with her about that.

I think it's great. She doesn't.
posted by Danf at 10:27 AM on July 1, 2010


Well, if you're feeling all brave and stuff you could lift your mower up, grab that evil looking blade and sling it around like Charlie Chaplin starting a Sopwith Camel and bump-start that sucker. You can even yell "Contact!" for double bonus man points. Yanking the cord doesn't sound so bad now, huh? Me personally, I just prime the carb. Fires up first pull, every time and I still have all my fingers.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:29 AM on July 1, 2010


I would think the worst thing about Subway is the whiny schmuck who thinks he's too good to be there sneering at everyone else, oblivious to or unwilling to concede he's just another goober in the queue.

I was unclear. Eating at Subway, which I do more often than I'd prefer, reinforces my feelings of gooberliness. I'm not looking down on anyone (well, that one guy, but he's mean to me) - I am mourning our collective station in life. It's a machine of a restaurant, and when I eat there I am a cog in that machine. This feeling is enhanced by my only ever eating there when on lunch break at work, where I am another cog. Subway dehumanizes us all. And I only know this because I eat there.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:30 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess it's not technically tessellating, because I cut the cheese into custom shapes, but I like to space fill my sandwich surface.

I don't know if I feel better or worse that I am not the only person who does this.
posted by jessamyn at 10:33 AM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


My lawnmower starts with a key. It's a riding mower, so you have to push in the clutch and pull out the choke, tractor-style.

And aside from the starting issue, think of all the time you'd save, mowing your small city/suburban yard with a riding mower! Two passes and you'd be done, I bet!


*glances at thread title* Oh right, Subway. Fuck Subway, I can't handle answering that many questions just to get my damned lunch.

If you're going to make me approve/deny 15 different variables, you're going to have to give me a slip of paper with boxes to tick. Like any reasonable deli.

But noooo, you have to verbally respond to the blurry grunts of an employee who's asked the same questions so many millions of times that the words themselves have been worn down to smooth little nubs, like river stones.

Which is unfortunate, because I do not know what the words are and will have to either ask to have them repeated, or (more likely) resort to just pointing to the ingredients I want. Only to realize at the end that I forgot to ask for oil and vinegar, or omitted some key ingredient, having been distracted by my own frustration at the process.

IT WILL MAKE ME GO SOMEWHERE THAT YOU JUST ASK FOR A THING, AND THEY HAND YOU THAT THING, AND THAT'S THE EXTENT OF YOUR INTERACTION.
posted by ErikaB at 10:33 AM on July 1, 2010 [6 favorites]


Which sandwich?
Double meat?
Extra bacon?
What kind of bread?
What kind of cheese?
Extra cheese?
Toasted or not?
What kind of vegetables?
What kind of dressing?

I feel like I'm forgetting something.
posted by box at 10:37 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is a bit strange that there aren't good alternatives to a pull start. An electric starter adds a lot of weight in both battery and starter motor. But it couldn't be that hard to come up with simple mechanical mechanism that lets you wind a starter spring in an ergonomic way (such as linking it to the wheels, winding it as you push the mower forward a few feet) and releasing it all at once.

Maybe it's just not that big a deal anymore. I remember that I used to be able to start our Honda mower with less than a 1/4 pull.
posted by CaseyB at 10:38 AM on July 1, 2010


Subway dehumanizes us all. And I only know this because I eat there.

True, but they have macadamia cookies! Silver lining!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:39 AM on July 1, 2010


MetaFilter: 95% Subway and 5% lawnmower.
posted by NMcCoy at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010


Ya'll just need to go buy yourselves a Toro mower.
posted by bondcliff at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010


I wish all of you had a Potbelly nearby, so you wouldn't have to subject yourselves to Subway.
posted by crunchland at 10:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thread is 95% Subway and 5% lawnmower. That is pretty strange.

Not really. Both topics have their zero-turn advocates.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2010


I prefer to give my sandwich artist a little artistic license.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2010


Hey, some of us eat at Subway because it's so healthy. My favorite is the footlong Big Philly Cheesesteak with extra meat, soaked with oil, chipotle southwest sauce and extra mayo. Hold the lettuce. Mmm dieting!
posted by naju at 10:47 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


For years, uneven cheese distribution has plagued Subway customers

As a New Yorker, I have a different default association to the word "subway" than the OP intended. And yet this still made sense to me.
posted by grumblebee at 10:50 AM on July 1, 2010


. An electric starter adds a lot of weight in both battery and starter motor. But it couldn't be that hard to come up with simple mechanical mechanism that lets you wind a starter spring in an ergonomic way (such as linking it to the wheels, winding it as you push the mower forward a few feet) and releasing it all at once.

My mower has a spring that is wound by the blade when you shut it down.
To start, you pull in the oh-so-annoying safety handle, and pull in the lever, releasing the spring and starting the mower.
It works well, except if you haven't primed enough and it doesn't catch. Winding the spring by hand is...more work than it would be to just pull-start it.

It also comes with many dire warnings about the dangers of the spring when doing maintenance.
posted by madajb at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2010


My goodness do I love Potbelly. It's a shame they don't have them in New York. I could go for an ice cream sandwich made of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies right now.
posted by gwong at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Subway isn't that horrible. It's not good, but it's not horrible. I get a veggie sandwich there if I'm desperate for one reason or another, usually when chain store options are all that's available (i.e. road trip). It's no Taco Bell, but it's also no McDonald's.

The cheese thing seems a bit obsessive-compulsive, meaning people who care about it probably care more about the cheese fitting correctly and neatly on the sandwich more than taste.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:52 AM on July 1, 2010


Subway didn't always suck.
It's only when it became a mega-chain that it devolved into tasteless factory food.

Back when, it used to be a fairly reliable place for dependably eatable, but not spectacular sandwiches.
posted by madajb at 10:53 AM on July 1, 2010


Lots of snowblowers have a 120V AC start option where you plug it into the wall to get power for the electric starter. They should do that for lawn mowers.
posted by rfs at 10:54 AM on July 1, 2010


Lawn mowers used to come with wind-up starters back in the 60s. You would crank it until the spring was wound tight, then move a handle and the spring would spin the engine. If it started right away it was swell, but if it didn't you would have to go through the whole process again, instead of just pulling the cord again. Trust me, it was a pain in the ass.

Before that, we had a mower which only had a little pulley on the crankshaft. You had to wind up a pull rope manually, then give it a pull. If it started you had to loop the rope around the handle or it would get lost. If it didn't start on the first pull (and it never did) you had to wind the rope again. That is if you didn't smack your brother in the eye with the loose rope on the first pull.
posted by leaper at 11:00 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess it's not technically tessellating, because I cut the cheese into custom shapes, but I like to space fill my sandwich surface.
...
I don't know if I feel better or worse that I am not the only person who does this.


I do that too! It's kinda like a wee game of tetris!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:02 AM on July 1, 2010


Quizno's is better, but too expensive. I have acouple really good sub-shops in my neighborhood anyway, so it's not a big deal.
posted by jonmc at 11:03 AM on July 1, 2010


Wait, so the sandwiches move through space and time now?
posted by JoanArkham at 11:04 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


My electric mower just turns on, no pulling required.

And reel mowers are even easier to get started.
posted by nickmark at 11:04 AM on July 1, 2010


This reminds me a bit of Coca-Cola Classic's return to shelves after the New Coke debacle, 25 years ago this month. Oh, how I wish I could take Metafilter back in time to witness and snark about that moment.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:07 AM on July 1, 2010


And reel mowers are even easier to get started.

No. No, they're not. No way. Reel mowers were invented by Satan, and his minion like you sing their "ecologically friendly" praises.
posted by crunchland at 11:10 AM on July 1, 2010


XQUZYPHYR wrote: "1. My Subway has been doing this for the entirety of the four months I've been going to it."

Yeah, they have been doing this since at least 1998, at least at the Subways I occasionally eat at. If not, asking for things the way you want them seems to work fine. And you can in fact get some nutritional value from their food, if you get spinach instead of lettuce, for example.

For no nutritional value, the winner there has to be a plain cheese trio from Blimpie. On white bread. Mmm..
posted by wierdo at 11:11 AM on July 1, 2010


This is stupid, and I'll tell you why: The original cheese configuration, that of overlapping cheese triangles, creates the illusion of an excess of cheese, as if the Sandwich Artist™ is being especially generous; the new tessellated cheese leaves big gapingly gappy gaps between the slices, thereby revealing the truth re: the actual lack of cheese, making Subway look stingy. (Though they will indubitably make up for this apparent stinginess by putting way too much mayo on when you specifically asked for "just a little bit.")
posted by Sys Rq at 11:16 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would you puree all your pizza toppings and smear them across the base?

um .... yes ...

No, actually, but I would pile them vertically into neat little stacks.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:29 AM on July 1, 2010


crunchland: I wish all of you had a Potbelly nearby, so you wouldn't have to subject yourselves to Subway.

Damn it, now I want a Potbelly sandwich ... and I'm in SWITZERLAND. Argh!
posted by bettafish at 11:30 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]



I feel like I'm forgetting something.
posted by box at 12:37 PM on July 1 [+] [!]


Would you like chips and a drink with that?
posted by MultiFaceted at 11:33 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck the BP issue. THIS is what a crisis is all about.

Seriously? They paid money to put that on paper?
posted by stormpooper at 11:37 AM on July 1, 2010


this is how i laid out the cheese when i worked there when i was in high school, i think in '92 or '93. as a 16 year old stoner i had decided that this was a superior method to cheese distribution, it's how i wanted it on my sandwich.

my boss teresa disagreed. but holy shit, check it out, i was right all along. teresa, eat shit. you sucked then and i'm sure you still suck now.
posted by rainperimeter at 11:45 AM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fucking finally!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:56 AM on July 1, 2010


box: you forgot mayo and mustard?
salt and pepper?

I am a (sad) cog in the machine. Yet, I'd prefer to watch someone make my sandwich than order fast food and know it's already been made, just sitting under a heat lamp waiting for me.

Now that the smell has been verbalized, and (sort of) identified I don't think I can go back to Subway. I'm kinda grossed out by the whole enterprise.

Tangentially related: I once worked retail at a bath products store that had external vents to get the very distinct and potent smell out on the street. It was located just off Union Square in San Francisco, and people could literally smell us from a block away.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 12:15 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're going to make me approve/deny 15 different variables, you're going to have to give me a slip of paper with boxes to tick. Like any reasonable deli.

IT WILL MAKE ME GO SOMEWHERE THAT YOU JUST ASK FOR A THING, AND THEY HAND YOU THAT THING, AND THAT'S THE EXTENT OF YOUR INTERACTION.

Oh god, is this an Apple vs. Android thread in sub form?
posted by condour75 at 12:23 PM on July 1, 2010


The last time I went to subway I was in strip-mall hell and wanted to eat at a place that wasn't burger-fast-food, but was fast. I ended up at Subway. I walked out and got in the car and realized that the horrible stench had pervaded my clothing. It took a full wash before I finally got it out.

I can't believe that's on purpose.
posted by codacorolla at 12:30 PM on July 1, 2010


Which sandwich?
Double meat?
Extra bacon?
What kind of bread?
What kind of cheese?
Extra cheese?
Toasted or not?
What kind of vegetables?
What kind of dressing?


A couple notes:

You actually have to start with "What kind of bread" - some Subways are pretty rigid about that. They won't even begin to move until you specify the bread. And if you name only the type of bread ("asiago") they will have to ask "six-inch or footlong?".

Even after asking "what kind of vegetables?" there is usually a subquestion about "sweet peppers or hot?"

And finally, you get asked "chips, cookie or drink?" and "here or to go?"

You could actually map it out on a flowchart.

I'm not crazy about Subway, but in my mind it's by far the best fast food option that you can find along the highway when you're travelling. I will always choose a subway over any of the burger or pizza chains, and for that reason I have eaten my fair share of Subways. If there were any WaWa delis in New England, that would be a slightly better alternative. But there aren't, apparently.
posted by Miko at 12:31 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Even if tessellated cheese at Subway is achieved, civilization will still be held back by the 10 hot dogs vs. 8 buns conundrum.
posted by Clamwacker at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Went to Subway today and as my "sandwich artist" applied my cheese there was a pause, as if remembering...and then...TESSELLATION. It was so full of delicious victory.

For nerds.

This does nothing to end the problem of "Subway Smell" on your clothing for the rest of the day after you eat there, though. What is that, steamed pickles? What the hell?
posted by littlerobothead at 12:56 PM on July 1, 2010


They should weaponize that smell; somehow it makes me hungry and nauseated at the same time. I had to go to the UPS place yesterday, and the Subway next door was overpowering. I feel so bad for those poor employees.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:01 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Subway cheese arrangement has never bothered me, because I disassemble the sandwich and eat each ingredient separately.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was going to say that I'd trade you 100 Subway sandwiches for a single Great Western from Safeway, or a Hook & Ladder from Firehouse Subs, but I kept coming up with more and more examples of "better than Subway" and decided to just say "SUBWAY SUX."
posted by bgrebs at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2010


Metafilter: I guess it's not technically tessellating, because I cut the cheese.

I'm sorry! That's where I involuntarily barked laughter, and I had to breathe into a paper sack for a while.
posted by Skot at 1:10 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Weaponized Subway Smell: -20 HP +15 Irresistability
posted by littlerobothead at 1:10 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


brundlefly: "Clearly the ultimate solution would be one solid flap of cheese. It could come in a giant tape dispenser."

You could use a girolle and try to keep the cheese straight and not roll it up into those little fleurettes. I think I'll have to pick up some Tête de Moine for... scientific experimentation purposes. Yeah, that's it.

Of course that means I have to make room in the fridge for the girolle, because the stupid wooden base takes up too much room and removing and re-impaling the cheese is too much work. *sigh* Metafilter makes me fat.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:16 PM on July 1, 2010


They won't even begin to move until you specify the bread.

It's true. I've actually gone into a Subway and said "hey, you're a professional sandwich maker. I trust your judgment. Make me whatever tastes good." They can't do it. They stand there looking confused for a long time before they finally say "on what kind of bread?"
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like I'm forgetting something.
posed by box at 12:37 PM on July 1 [+] [!]


In addition to the items Miko added, I always get asked to choose vegetables in groups of three.

Lettuce, tomato, red onion?
Sweet pepper, dill pickle, tomato?
(... I feel sure there's a third group of three, but not having been to a Subway in years, I can't recall it. Maybe someone can fill in that gap?)

So the list currently stands at:
1. Which sandwich?
2. What kind of bread?
3. Six inch or footlong?
4. Double meat?
5. Extra bacon?
6. What kind of cheese?
7. Extra cheese?
8. Toasted or not?
9. Sweet peppers or hot?
10. VEGETABLE_GROUP_1
11. VEGETABLE_GROUP_2
12. VEGETABLE_GROUP_3
13. Oil or vinegar?
14. Mustard or mayo?
15. Salt or pepper?
16. Chips, cookie or drink?
17. Here or to go?
Just to sum up, that's seventeen motherfucking questions just to get a motherfucking sandwich. And we're not even counting the times I have to ask "Wha?" because I can't understand Mr. Mumbles.
posted by ErikaB at 1:24 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't realize people hated Subway so much. I thought I liked Subway… I think their italian bread with the cheese is pretty tasty in fact… Sorry. What should I do to remedy this?
posted by floam at 1:27 PM on July 1, 2010


I feel sure there's a third group of three

Spinach, hot peppers, black olives
posted by Miko at 1:28 PM on July 1, 2010


I just remembered that cucumbers and sprouts are in there, too.

Dammit now I'm seriously considering getting dressed and driving out to Subway just so I can count all the questions properly. LOOK AT WHAT THE INTERNET HAS DONE TO ME.
posted by ErikaB at 1:32 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


You guys get more questions than I do here. They usually just ask me "veggies?" and then you list them off, followed by "salt pepper, oil and vinegar"?
posted by floam at 1:41 PM on July 1, 2010


I hate to break it to Miko and ErikaB, but the local Subways barely ask any questions, maybe a "Uh. Can I help you?" (to which I always want to answer "I don't know, *can* you?") and then the, er, sandwich artists sort of stare sullenly at you as they slide the sandwich-bearing paper along, until you eventually read what you want off the menu or begin point at vegetables you want from the cold trays. (No, I don't think our local Subways are winning walls of awards from national.)

That said, their vegetables are always surprisingly fresh and more often than not I just get a whole wheat veggie sub with provolone and feel like maybe I actually got a few vitamins in my fast food for a change.
posted by aught at 1:46 PM on July 1, 2010


bgrebs wrote: "I was going to say that I'd trade you 100 Subway sandwiches for a single Great Western from Safeway, or a Hook & Ladder from Firehouse Subs, but I kept coming up with more and more examples of "better than Subway" and decided to just say "SUBWAY SUX.""

Well, I could drive hundreds of miles to the nearest Safeway. Or I could drive nearly 20 miles roundtrip to the nearest Firehouse (which is pretty decent). Or I could walk a couple of blocks to Subway. Needless to say, Subway is more often than not my choice for sandwiches not made at home.

And can someone please answer why it is there isn't a great tesselator in Perl? It shouldn't be so hard to fill an arbitrary polygon with colored triangles.
posted by wierdo at 1:47 PM on July 1, 2010


Back home in Newfoundland the Subway has pineapple as an option. Always a good idea, pineapple.

(although no spinach. That would be awesome).
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:55 PM on July 1, 2010


Geez, I only WISH I could get out of there with only having to answer 4-5 questions. For what it is (cheap fast food), I like the idea of Subway. I just can't handle the ordering process.
posted by ErikaB at 2:08 PM on July 1, 2010


"Why don't they make lawn mowers that start by turning a key or pushing a button?"

As a matter of fact, they do.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:13 PM on July 1, 2010


I really hate when people order the fucking "pizza" at Subway.

You obviously didn't want to come to Subway. Why are you here? Why are you wasting everyone's time?

Who's next?

You want the fucking seafood sub?! Get the fuck out of here!
posted by mullacc at 2:14 PM on July 1, 2010


First Subway was like ▲▲▲▲▲▲
But now Subway is all ▲▼▲▼▲▼

▼ ▼

posted by Nelson at 2:51 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just to sum up, that's seventeen motherfucking questions just to get a motherfucking sandwich.

My place doesn't ask all the topping questions, just "what do you want on it?" Which makes it no big deal: the only questions they ask are things that are relevant. And you can avoid nearly all of them by just asking for the sandwich you want in the first place.

So it's really not very painful at all.
posted by smackfu at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


You guys think the smell is nauseating, try working in one.

I worked at a Subway for a week when I was in high school. I didn't eat sandwiches for like two years after that.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2010


You want the fucking seafood sub?!

Mostly because they're just awful and gross. They're like 12¾ times worse than all of the other sandwiches you can get there, put together.
posted by crunchland at 3:19 PM on July 1, 2010


And you can avoid nearly all of them by just asking for the sandwich you want in the first place.

Only if you want one of their packaged menu selections.
posted by Miko at 3:56 PM on July 1, 2010


Just put the whole damn sandwich in a fucking blender. Voilà, perfect consistency in every bite.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:02 PM on July 1, 2010


I don't usually get asked a lot of questions at Subway, but that's because I understand that the guy behind the counter is probably a delightful combination of stupid, stoned and stressed, and I'd rather just make it easy on him by going in with at least some idea of what I want, and then interrupting his questions by just telling him what I want.
posted by Clamwacker at 6:12 PM on July 1, 2010


I crave the Seafood Sensation on Asiago Cheese & Herbs with provolone, lettuce, a little mayo, salt & pepper. Should I kill myself now, or can I wait until Scrubs is over?
posted by spock at 6:51 PM on July 1, 2010


I worked at a Subway for a number of Summers during college for probably about a years worth total. Some customers would wait for the questions (this was the early 90's, so there were a lot less to ask: only two kinds of bread and no toasting probably being the biggest two differences. Blame Quiznos for that changing.) Some people would answer right as we were about to ask knowing the drill. Some would rattle off the entire order all at once. Some people were regulars and we got started putting it together as soon as we saw them come through the door. I don't know where you FARGL WARGL QWESTIUNS! people came from. The fault of Grunge and iPods probably, be we never saw many folks like you. Making it right in view of the customer just the way they wanted it was a selling point in those days.

And, honestly, any way of ordering was fine with us, although the latter could be a bit of a pain during a big rush when we setup more of an assembly line deal where we would hand it on down the line rather than the more mellow times when one person would take the sandwich all the way through.

The only kind of customer that really drove us batty was the kind who would come in and, nearly always with a New York accent, start ordering like they were in a deli instead of a fast food restaurant. "This is white American. This is the only cheese we have. If you want provolone or swiss, the Kroger is just down the strip mall thataway."

You want the fucking seafood sub?! Get the fuck out of here!

The owner of the stores I worked at was like the one mentioned above who counted olives (they were one of the most expensive produce items.) And there was always this huge drama every time I was there because the tuna and the seafood inventories were always coming up a few pounds short. As if one of the employees was slipping a frozen brick of crab-flavored cod out of the store in their pants ever so often. Then on my last day, my very last day ever, maybe even my last sandwich ever, the customer orders a tuna sandwich and the manager--the manager who trained me on My Very First Day--goes eyes-wide with horror when I put three scoops of tuna on a six-inch sub. "You're only supposed to use two!"

And the Great Seafood Caper was finally solved.

In my defense: they wanted to make me a manager, so it's not like I was a complete fuck-up. And I had worked dozens if not hundreds of shifts with that manager, often shoulder-to-shoulder. I was just a shocked as she was.
posted by Cyrano at 8:02 PM on July 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you want provolone or swiss, the Kroger is just down the strip mall thataway."

The Subways around here all have provolone and have for years. Is that a regional thing?
posted by Miko at 8:13 PM on July 1, 2010


Is this something I'd have to eat food to care about?
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:16 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


No; not even one down, yet. Bring Back the Classic Cut, then we can move on from Subway.

I pretty much stopped going to Subway when they stopped cutting the bread properly. The correct cut preserves the structural integrity of the sandwich! I still go once every couple of years, and every time I gnash my teeth because they are CUTTING THE BREAD WRONG STOP THAT YOU POOR CORPORATE GOON YOU ARE RUINING MY LUNCH.

and nutritionally void Subway sandwich

Actually, if you avoid slathering mayo on everything, Subway's pretty darn healthy.

Quizno's is tastier though.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:51 PM on July 1, 2010


You guys liked the God forsaken V-cut?

Honestly, everyone I ever talked to hated it, and I remember reading about what a huge amount of business it brought in when they started cutting the bread like sane people.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:30 PM on July 1, 2010


When you like your sandwiches as wet and sloppy as I do (well Subway sandwiches anyway), you need something that'll hold together. Thus, the V-cut. This whole hot dog bullshit just falls apart if you look at it funny.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:26 PM on July 1, 2010


Showing up late here to state, for the record, that I recently visited Chicago for the first time and though I never set foot in a Subway unless there are no other 30-mins-or-less options within 10 mins drive, I'd execute every last motherfucking one of you if I thought it might somehow lead to someone opening a Potbelly in my hometown.
posted by gompa at 11:29 PM on July 1, 2010


I agree with DNAB. For the delightfully unhealthy meatball sub, the V cut is far superior.
posted by wierdo at 12:48 AM on July 2, 2010


So will they fill in the holes in the swiss chesse?

My Subway got rid of Swiss as a cheese selection. I guess they can try to tessellate my new selection of Provolone.
posted by asciident at 1:08 AM on July 2, 2010


The Subways around here all have provolone and have for years. Is that a regional thing?

How many years are you talking about? I did my time there from '91 to '94.
posted by Cyrano at 2:02 AM on July 2, 2010


You guys liked the God forsaken V-cut?

It was called the "U-gouge" when I worked there. Because if you did it right (and yes, I could) you'd get a nice U-shaped, errr... gouge.

As has been said, perfect for meatballs.

Handcuffed to the Provolone Guy on the batty scale was the Slice It Sideways guy. We didn't prep the bread that way And you almost always got bread that was baked within the last few hours so really, quit bitchin'. You know the whole "Don't eat fish on a Monday," thing? In my day, you don't come into a Subway during the first hour it was open because at worst you'll get the last of the bread baked the night before. (And more than ten leftover from the night before was too many.)

The horror.

Again, fast food. Not deli. Ask the Burger King dudes for a diagonal sliced Whopper and see how well that works out.

But I guess, thinking back, the worst, THE WORST, customer you could get during the U-Gouge Era was the "Oh, I see you just took the bread out of the oven and I want the freshest, warmest loaf!"

Yeah, sounds great in theory. But in practice if we cut into that thing before it cools a bit the entire insides are going to collapse, the crust is going to turn into concrete and you're going to be coming back to the counter in a few minutes complaining that your sandwich sucks even though we warned you!!!
posted by Cyrano at 2:30 AM on July 2, 2010


twoleftfeet: "They stand there looking confused for a long time before they finally say "on what kind of bread?""

My reply: "whichever bread is freshest right now".
posted by idiopath at 3:49 AM on July 2, 2010


How many years are you talking about? I did my time there from '91 to '94.

The first Subway I ever ate was in 1995, and it definitely had provolone, which I am certain of because I will forego cheese rather than eat American. That Subway was off Route 6 on Cape Cod. I can't recall ever being in a Subway where provolone wasn't an option.
posted by Miko at 5:52 AM on July 2, 2010


mattdidthat: "The Subway cheese arrangement has never bothered me, because I disassemble the sandwich and eat each ingredient separately."

According to to some, that makes you a grade A nimrod.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:09 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


AskMetaFilter: FARGL WARGL QWESTIUNS!
posted by yhbc at 6:23 AM on July 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like the seafood sub. In fact I love fake crab in general.

I love real seafood too -- and it's not like that haddock's crab impersonation is all that convincing. But there's something about the chewy texture, the salty taste, even the Ferrari red racing stripe, that I just can't get enough of.

I throw it into my ramen with great abandon too.
posted by CaseyB at 7:33 AM on July 2, 2010


I guess I'm not really opposed to surimi/imitation crabmeat, per se. I mean, I like it in California rolls, but I think I'd prefer real crab or lobster in other preparations, assuming I can afford it. (Anyone know of other uses for the fake crabmeat that are worth trying?)

I think what squigs me out most about the seafood salad at Subway is all the white goo (mayonnaise? egg whites?), and that it seems the most likely candidate for going bad than anything else behind that counter. But if you like it, more power to you. You can even have mine.
posted by crunchland at 7:49 AM on July 2, 2010


My reply: "whichever bread is freshest right now".

Oooh, I like that. Since I don't really care which bread I get.
posted by smackfu at 10:41 AM on July 2, 2010


posted by 1f2frfbf that makes you a grade A nimrod.

I thought no one else would get that reference. Thanks!

Now, why isn't anyone picking up on my joke in the mega-whale thread? Come on!
posted by mattdidthat at 2:41 PM on July 2, 2010


I ordered the chicken sandwich once. ONCE. The chicken looked like (and tasted like) an un-breaded chicken nugget. If I wanted mechanically separated, pressed and formed chicken, I’d go to McDonalds.
The cheese is a flavorless wax triangle with only the slightest similarity to the texture of real cheese.
The jalapeños have no heat and exude only the flavor of the crappy vinegar that they are embalmed in.
In my experience, they seem to ask me if I want mayo after they’ve started squirting it on the bread. Same with the oil and vinegar.
“No, I don’t want…. Fuck! No, wait no oil and… fuuuck!”
There are enough good sandwich shops around me that I have no need to suffer through the mediocrity that is Subway.
posted by Krapulous at 2:46 AM on July 11, 2010


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