Many years ago, I ate in one of the chain sub shops. (I think it was "Blimpies"?). I was a truck driver, waiting for a delivery and the place was right next door- how bad good it be? (I should have thought back to living in LA in mid-70’s, seeing a sign that said, "East Coast Style Submarine Sandwiches" and being served something on a hot dog roll with relish on it…). It was bad (seems like the bread had the same cheap hot dog roll texture as the one in LA, too…).
I now live in a somewhat "rural" section of NJ with no chains within 10 miles of me- until the "town fathers" allowed this huge ugly strip mall to be built in a corn field on a state highway that passes through town on the way to the NJ Tpk, which features a Dunkin Donuts (for morning commuters) and a Subway. And, one day, hungry and (not thinking straight), on that side of the road, I stopped in. I thought it was weird when the guy in front on me was asked "What do you want on it?" and he had to explain that a sub (in NJ anyway) is a sandwich with oil, vinegar, lettuce, onion and tomato. (Not that you can’t add or subtract to the list, but that’s what a standard sub *IS*).
When I got to the front of the line, I saw that they had pre-sliced meat piled up in the cooler and it all had that sort of rainbow-like sheen and hard curly edges that old cold cuts have. Uh, no thanks- I left.
I used to buy all of my cold cuts (when I took a lunch to work) at a small Polish deli near South River, NJ, which made most of their own cold cuts and after that, I have a hard time eating ANY commericial brand, even the "good" brands like Boarshead. On a sub, with all the other ingredients, I admit, it’s easy to eat most commercial brands, altho’ there is a tendency nowadays to put a LOT of meat on some subs, a la the way the make "wraps" and the meat is up to one inch thick. I bought two subs the other day and they were over $11 each! I was shocked at the total but, when I got them home I figured it was technically "worth it" for the quantity of meat, but I would have been much happier with a sandwich with half the amount of meat (and a corresponding lower price).