Firehouse Subs – Grand Rapids Township
I’ve been eating a lot less burgers lately. Maybe it was overkill for a while or something, but when I’m at work, I really don’t feel much like getting a burger. Finding sandwich shops isn’t quite as easy as finding a burger joint. I have a couple deli’s in Grand Rapids that I really like but they can be really expensive.
Finding a good sub shop can be hard. As far as local sub shops go, there are very few good ones. The bit national sub shops are alright, but I feel like them like I feel about most fast food burger joints. They do in a pinch, but not when I have time to actually do something for lunch.
Last week I read an article about a new sub shop opening in Grand Rapids Township. My initial reaction was to run out there right away, but I waited until I actually had time for a dinner break.
Firehouse Subs is a chain of sub shops with almost 600 locations nationwide. The Grand Rapids location is one of two open right now in Michigan, but there are several more planned including one in Muskegon (but none in the Kalamazoo area). The chain was founded in the early 90’s in Jacksonville, FL.
The Grand Rapids location is just off the East Beltline on Celebration Drive. If you’re familiar with the area, it’s in the little shopping area of Knapp’s corner that is anchored by Celebration Cinemas.
Before heading out that direction, I looked online to see what they offered. At that time, I noticed online ordering…yay! I was able to put in my order before leaving which would make my dinner trip a little quicker.
The restaurant is a pretty typical sub shop with a fire house theme. On one wall is a large mural depicting the Grand Rapids Township fire department battling a large fire. They also have a foundation set up to benefit local firefighters which you can donate to when you check out.
The sandwiches are billed as “fully involved.” The meats and cheeses are steamed hot then served on a toasted sub roll.
I did a quick glance over the menu but instantly found a pastrami sandwich. A “fully involved” sandwich comes with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion. All I wanted was the mustard, so I left everything else off. The half pound of pastrami is topped with provolone cheese and served on a toasted sub roll.
In addition to the sandwich, I decided to add on a bowl of chili. It was a cold enough day and firefighters are known for their chili, right? So it sounded like a good idea to me.
When I got to the store, I had a little bit of a hard time finding a spot to park. It was a Saturday night and there are a lot of popular Saturday night date spots in this shopping center. I did eventually find one in the large parking lot behind the store. While the main entrance is on Celebration Drive, there is a door leading to the restaurant from this back parking lot.
When I got to the counter, I was told my sandwich was being made and would be up shortly. I paid the $12 and took a seat at the end of the work counter right next to the large collection of hot sauces. There is a wide range of sauces to add to sandwiches which all have a sticker on them ranging from 1 to 10 which correlates to their hotness.
When I got back to work, I cracked the top open on the chili first. The large portion is filled with ground beef, beans, and a variety of veggies. The chili was yummy, but lacked any sort of heat. It was a pretty mild chili with a pretty mild flavor. Not a bad thing, but I was hoping for a little bit of a kick.
The sandwich was up next. The soft, toasty bread has stuffed full of tender pastrami and just enough of a spicy deli mustard to give it a little bit of a tangy kick. I’m always happy to find a pastrami sandwich on any menu and this one is no exception. It’s a little odd eating it on a sub roll, but the sandwich was good enough that I barely noticed.
Firehouse Subs is another in a long line of fast casual sandwich shops. I enjoyed my meal and got a lot of jealous looks from co-workers. I wouldn’t be unhappy if one popped up a little closer to where I live and/or work.