Monday, July 22, 2013

Firehouse Subs

Saturday evening SP & I were on our own for dinner. My parents had gone out to the casino and then dinner out, a sort of date night before my dad flies back to Las Vegas. Neither of us felt like cooking, so we decided to try Firehouse Subs. Firehouse Subs recently opened a location in Robinson. It's in the same area as Burgatory, Game Stop, and Chipotle, which are near Panera and Pier One  -and WalMart. So SP was lucky enough to be able to drop into WalMart to pick up a few items (Chex Mix ingredients!) before getting our dinner and bringing it home.
Engineer sub
SP tried the Engineer sub (how appropriate!). It's turkey breast, melted Swiss, and sauteed mushrooms with tomato, onion, and lettuce. He likes that they have an option to swap a white sub bun for a whole wheat bun and we both thought that compared to some other sub places, the amount of meat on this was pretty generous. He said it was tasty. He also enjoyed his dill pickle, and mine.
I chose Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket. I asked for the 'special sauces' on the side, so SP returned with two packets of mayo (which I did not use) and 2 tiny containers of a BBQ, which I did use.
Again, there was a good amount of meat. I like that it was thinly sliced and I could taste a faint smoke flavor. The BBQ sauce was a very nice standard BBQ sauce - not too sweet, not too tangy, just very basic.
SP said that the employees were handing out coupons for a free combo upgrade so he got a bag of chips (Fritos!) and a Coca-Cola Freestyle soda. I think he chose Coke Zero with cherry-vanilla syrup flavor. Our meal cost $13 and change. Definitely a good deal.

To me, it seems there are a lot of sub places around these days, including several new ones in the area, which makes me wonder how they all can survive. Here in Robinson, in addition to Firehouse Subs, a Jimmy John's recently opened (at Settlers Ridge). Robinson also has Uncle Sam's, Dibella's, Subway and there are sub options at all the pizza places and I think there is a Charley's Grilled Subs, too. When we are in McMurray, we also see Jersey Mike's and Quiznos.

Of the places in Robinson, I would put Firehouse Subs in my top 2. It might get the top nod because it was founded by firemen and they established the non-profit Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the goal to provide funding, life saving equipment, disaster assistance, and educational opportunities for first responders and public safety organizations.

Personally, this hits home of late. To start, when I fell and broke my hip, we called 911 and the Robinson EMTs arrived. These guys were amazing, not just in getting me onto a stretcher and being careful of our hardwood floors, but on the ride to the hospital, a young EMT let me grip his hand the entire way while I gasped and yelped in pain at every bump and turn.

Second, just last week there was a fire at a condo/apartment complex just down the hill from us. We were woken by all the sirens around 5 am and later that morning turned on the news to see what had happened. The firefighters battling that fire were out there at 5 am in that incredible heat & humidity, wearing pounds of gear, battling to stop the fire and save any trapped people/pets. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

Third, for the last few years of his life, my grandpa struggled with his health. Several times, EMT's were summoned because he fell and at the end, because he had a heart attack. That very same summer as my grandpa's last summer, our neighbor was very ill. Many times, we were woken in the middle of the night by the flashing lights next door when the EMTs were summoned. Sadly, both my grandpa and our neighbor passed away within the same week. But I remember feeling grateful for the EMTs who helped both of them.

I know the EMTs and police are right down the hill. I know the firemen are nearby. I hear the fire siren every time they are summoned and I say a prayer of thanks it's not for me and I hope it's a minor call. But sometimes, I think we take these services for granted.

It's a very small thing to buy a sub for dinner and round up to make a small donation or to buy a used pickle bucket to support first responders. You never know when you'll need them - and trust me, from my experiences, someday, you will.

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