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Firehouse Subs (Oshtemo Township)

July 19, 2017

  • 1750 S. Drake Road Suite A
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49006
  • (269) 372-8400
  • Website
  • Menu

We had one last day with only one kid at home.  L was still with J’s parents.  We were meeting them in Portage, IN before all of us headed to a wedding in Hobart.

The morning of the wedding, we decided to run to Kohls and get me a new shirt.  We also needed to make a quick Costco run.  All of this was happening around lunch time so in between Kohls and Costco we decided we needed lunch.

I wasn’t feeling anything along West Main so I asked J if Firehouse Subs worked for her.  It’s right in the Costco parking lot and we could quickly stop for lunch then get back on track.

Firehouse Subs is a national chain of toasted sub restaurants with it’s home base in Jacksonville, Florida.  The first Kalamazoo area location is on Drake Road in the Corner Shoppes @ Drake development.  

There are a lot of restaurants that use the firehouse theme.  It’s pretty easy to do.  Almost everyone knows a firefighter and has a special connection to them.

Firehouse Subs was founded by brothers who are former firefighters.  The first restaurant opened in Jacksonville in 1994 and in 23 years, they’ve expanded to over a thousand stores in 44 states.  All of those restaurants have a similar decor using turnout gear,  helmets, equipment, and photos from local fire departments.

Since the restaurant is in Oshtemo Township, it’s Oshtemo Township Fire Department gear that adorns the walls of this location.

Another unique feature at this restaurant is a large painting on the wall featuring KDPS PSO Eric Zapata and MSP Trooper Rick Johnson playing golf in what can only be assumed as somewhere in the after-life as both were killed in the line of duty.  (I’m a little annoyed at myself for not taking a picture of this….sorry)

Firehouse Subs is the kind of subs shop where you order your sandwich then walk away to wait.  It’s not a build-your-own type of place where you walk the sandwich maker through it.  There’s an order counter at the back of the space and then a large open air kitchen running the length of the store.  The menu board hangs on a wall off to the side of the cash registers.

There’s a pretty large dine-in area that fills in the rest of the space.  The firehouse theme is continued throughout with photos and other memorabilia hanging on brick walls.

The menu is simple.  Sandwiches.

I ordered a large Italian white Italian bread.  The meats on the sandwich are Genoa salami, pepperoni, and Virginia ham.  It’s topped with provolone cheese, Italian dressing, and a proprietary mix of seasonings.  I didn’t realize it, but the sandwiches all come “fully involved” (which is the appropriate term, by the way, not “fully engulfed”……that’s redundant).  Fully involved includes mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion with a kosher dill pickle on the side.  I took the tomato and onions off as well as some of the lettuce before taking my first bite.  The sandwich  had some nice crispy edges on the bread without being burnt and a some spiciness from the pepperoni, deli mustard, and Italian dressing combination.  This was a sandwich I thoroughly enjoyed and was a little sad when it was gone.

I’ve eaten at Firehouse a couple of times in the Grand Rapids area, but this restaurant is J’s first experience with them.  This trip wasn’t the first time we had ordered from Firehouse, but she is still kind of feeling out the menu.

She decided to do a medium Virginia Honey Ham.  She likes her sandwich with little meat and lots of veggies.  The sandwich comes on a toasted sub roll with Virginia ham and provolone.    As for the veggies, they don’t have a lot of options outside of the “fully involved” option.  I know she doesn’t like onions and tomatoes so those were left off.  She still got a pretty large sandwich.

Sandwich not hot enough for you?  They have a whole counter full of different hot sauces of varying hotness.  You’re encouraged to try out different ones…including a couple of their own, but we both passed this time.  I have to be in the mood for hot sauce and I still wasn’t fully awake despite the fact I had been up for an hour and had been out shopping.

As soon as B walked in to the restaurant, his eyes went straight for a drink cooler near the pop machine.  He noticed boxes of apple juice and loudly started yelling “Juice!  Juice!”  We don’t give the kids juice at home, so it’s a treat when we go out.  We weren’t going to just get him a juice though, so ordered him a Hot Grilled Cheddar Cheese off the kids menu.  The sandwich is a simple grilled cheese on thick white bread.  It comes with a cookie, chips, or a Rice Krispie Treat.  The kids also get a little plastic fire chief’s hat.  B wasn’t super interested.  He had his juice and he wanted some of the lunch meat off our sandwiches, so J and I split his sandwich.

I can’t write this blog without mentioning the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.  Firehouse Subs donates 0.13 percent of all purchases or a minimum of one million dollars.  There are other ways to donate at the store including rounding up your purchase and donation buckets.

Our bill for lunch was just over $25.  Firehouse Subs is another great quick option on the west side of town.  The area around Costco is finally starting to fill out with something other than banks and credit unions (seriously?!  Who still goes to a bank?).   This will easily work it’s way into our rotation just to keep things fresh.

Firehouse Subs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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