On the right track:  The veggie patty sandwich

On the right track: The veggie patty sandwich

Though frequent dining at Subway can be a sad thing, we have held on to our grudging affection for this ubiquitous fast-food chain, which has fed us when we might otherwise have gone hungry for want of a meat-free alternative. Subway, to be sure, offers only two vegetarian sandwiches, but the deal is sweetened by the “have it your way” setup, which allows customers a choice of bread, cheese, veggies, and condiments. Tonight one of us picked the Veggie Delite, essentially a salad on a roll, adding a slice of Swiss to this otherwise low-fat, low-calorie option; the other went with the veggie patty sandwich (not on the menu), the same concept as Veggie Delite but with a soy-based (though non-vegan) meat analog to fill out the package. Though the bread is a cipher, even toasted, and the patty is a bit rubbery, both are easily lost amid the other flavors, in this case a honey-mustard spread and a vinaigrette drizzled on a tasty heap of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickle, “banana” peppers, hot pepper, red onion, and black olives. Perhaps most important, the two sandwiches plus a 20-ounce bottle of Nestea iced tea came to under $10. It’s certainly not the most elegant way to travel, but when you’re looking for a cheap and convenient route to lunch or dinner, Subway will get you there.