Regardless of what you call them – subs, hoagies, heroes, grinders – big sandwiches are fantastic, filling, comfort food. Topped with anything you can imagine, a good sub will satisfy any hunger and any hankering.
So when we learned that within a several week period, we would be getting a Firehouse and a Jimmy John’s (two well-known and well-regarded franchises that have flourished elsewhere but were just starting to make its way out here), we were very excited to give them both a try. First up is Firehouse Subs.
I’ll admit, we were hesitant, as we are huge fans of Jersey Mike’s and were somewhat reluctant to “cheat.” But these are the things we do for you, gentle reader. We try new stuff and tell you if the new stuff is worth trying.
Upon entering Firehouse Subs – located on Valencia Blvd in the Creekside Plaza, in between Ben and Jerry’s and Baja Fresh – you get an immediate sense of their identity. The name matches the décor, with firefighting gear and other memorabilia dotting the walls. The franchise was started by a pair of Florida brothers who were fire fighters, and on top of honoring the vocation, they have set up a Foundation that benefits from store sales.
The menu is filled with a number of varieties of both hot and cold subs. The cold is exclusively made up of salads (chicken and tuna) while the hot is both steamed cold cut and traditional hot subs, like meatball and cheesesteak.
Wait, steamed? Yeah…and it is really good. They take your fillings and steam them, which gets them hot but keeps them moist and juicy. No dry meats here, like you can get on toasted subs. The fixings include a balanced amount of veggies and condiments.
We ordered and sat down, which is a nice change from ordering and walking the line while your sandwich is built. Within a few minutes, our sandwiches were delivered to our table and they looked really fresh.
I had the Firehouse Hero, which is a combo of roast beef, turkey and ham, with provolone and veg on a toasted 8 inch (for a medium, 12 inch for a large) roll. My companion ordered the New York Steamer, which featured corned beef brisket, pastrami, provolone, mustard, mayo and dressing, also on an 8 inch roll.
Both sandwiches were fantastic…the meats were fresh and tasty, with the cheese perfectly melted and the bun toasted, giving a bit of a crunch to the taste. The meat and cheese having been steamed added a nice juice to the blend.
What really caught our eye was the customer service. From the friendly “Welcome to Firehouse” when we walked through the front door, to the patient explanation of the menu by the counter staff, to the tableside service, to the occasional floor sweeps by staff to clean tables and ask how your meal is, the folks at Firehouse get it…even when you are out for a quick sub, you want to be appreciated.
And the amenities are nice too. Every one of the 850+ Firehouse Subs, nationwide, has a Coke Freestyle machine and a hot sauce corner that features dozens of different varieties, from Franks and Sriracha to the house made Capt. Sorensen’s Datil Pepper Sauce (sold in bottles at the store, as well).
All in all, Firehouse is a winner and we look forward to going back and trying more of what they have to offer.
23630 Valencia Blvd
Valencia, CA 91355