Firehouse Subs Sampling and Talk with the Founder

Blogger David of Lunchboy Says, Robin Sorenson, and myself.

Blogger David of Lunchboy Says, Robin Sorenson, and myself.

Two weeks ago, I was invited to the Firehouse Subs on Kildaire Farms Road in Cary for a night of sub sandwich and soda tasting with my blogging peers. The real draw for me was the chance to hear Robin Sorenson, who founded Firehouse Subs with his brother Chris, speak about the origins of the company, their goals, and their nonprofit work. I jumped at the chance because (a) I am not against chain stores unless they have dubious practices or a bad quality of food, and (b) I had never been to a Firehouse Subs.

The real draw for you is to leave a comment on this blog to win a $10 gift card to Firehouse Subs! First five comments will be mailed a gift card.

Firehouse Subs 01

In case you’re one of the few people in the country who also hasn’t been, Firehouse Subs is decorated to resemble the inside of a firehouse with rows of firemen jackets, fake hoses, and attractive murals depicting local fire trucks and scenery.

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Why the firehouse theme? Both of the Sorenson brothers are former firefighters, and Robin was inspired by the quality of eats and the sense of fellowship that came from breaking bread with his coworkers in the firehouse. I’ve heard legends of the skills of fireman and policemen at the stove, so I believe him. The Sorenson family has a history of entrepreneurship, so it was only natural the brothers would eventually try their hands at it. And they did, opening the first Firehouse Subs in Jacksonville, FL, in 1994.

Robin showing off the brisket used in their restaurants.

Robin showing off the brisket used in their restaurants.

The Firehouse Sub sandwich-building technique involves toasting the bread then adding the meat, cheese, and dressings and sending all that through a steamer. The cold toppings are added before serving the sandwich. The result is outstanding for me, but I’m a fan of messy sandwiches with lots of mayo. For my husband, it was generally too drippy. I was especially impressed with the creamy, mellow mustard they use because strong mustard can be off-putting for me. The mustard on these sandwiches was a nice complement instead.

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