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Firehouse Subs (Portage)

April 3, 2023

  • 5311 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Portage, MI 49002
  • (269) 365-4930
  • Website
  • Menu

Whenever a new chain moves to town, I think, yeah, this is going to be a place I go to often.

It happens all the time. I’ll go there when it first opens, write a blog about it, go back a couple more times in the next month then something new comes along and dangles their shiny keys to get my attention.

That happened with Firehouse Subs. They opened a location near my house in Oshtemo Township way back in 2017. We ate there three or four times in the first few months after it opened. The sandwiches weren’t earth shattering good but they were tasty and filling.

After the first few months, I can’t tell you if I have even been back. Not because I don’t like the food. I do. It’s just because I never think of them when I’m hungry.

A few years later, during the pandemic, Firehouse Subs opened a second location in Portage. I drive by this location all the time and every time I think to myself, “I should stop for a sandwich.” But I never do.

I was in Portage late last week on a job assignment and I was already thinking of lunch on my drive down Westnedge towards the Portage business district. I was going to go out of my way and grab City Barbecue…but then I actually remembered Firehouse Subs was on my way and would be easy to get to on my drive back north on Westnedge.

Firehouse Subs is on Westnedge near Andy Avenue right off the exit for I-94. There are a lot of restaurants in this area. IHOP, Steak ‘n Shake, Grand Traverse Pie Company. So much to choose from. This Firehouse Subs opened in fall of 2020 and took up part of the space that used to be a BD’s Mongolian Grill.

The shop is set up like a typical sandwich shop. There’s a long counter along the outside wall where the sandwiches are made. At one end of that counter is the order area/cash register. The other end is the pickup. The menu board hangs behind the counter kind of in the middle so you can look at it on your way in.

It didn’t take me long to find a sandwich. I picked the New York Steamer. I love pastrami and will order it almost every time I see it. I passed on making it a combo and just got my sandwich with a pickle on the side. The cost was right around $14 after rounding up which goes to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

It was going to take a few minutes to make and toast my sub so I took a seat in the dining room. They have a pretty large space and theme all of their dining rooms around local fire and public safety departments. They all have wall murals depicting a fire scene and since this one is in Portage, there is a Portage Department of Public Safety engine in the mural.

They also use helmets and turnout gear from local departments as wall decorations in several spots throughout the dining room.

It took less than 10 minutes for my sandwich to be handed over the counter. I grabbed it and headed back to the office to eat.

The New York Steamer is probably my favorite sub from Firehouse. It’s corned beef brisket and pastrami with provolone cheese, deli mustard, and Italian dressing. I got the sub on white bread which was toasted perfectly to give each bite a little bit of a crunch. There’s a decent size portion of each meat on the sandwich and that’s really all this sandwich needs. The mustard and Italian dressing are just a bonus to the delicious meats piled together between the toasty bread.

I eat Jimmy Johns a lot or Subway every so often just because they’re within walking distance to work. Firehouse Subs has tastier options as long as I can keep them on my radar. I finally stopped in this location because it was convenient on that particular day but Firehouse doesn’t need to be a “convenience stop.” It should be something that comes to mind when looking for a tasty sandwich.

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