So I have to admit - I was one of those people anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Subway restaurant in Degla. Living in Oakland City, Indiana I existed on Subway sandwiches for a few years. It was either that or Denny's since there was nothing else in Oakland City. If I felt like having a little food with my grease I would go to Denny's. As I sit now and write this I realize that I would give my first born child for some hash browns smothered with gravy and shredded cheddar cheese. I would be lying if I said I would not be the first one through the door if they opened a Denny's in Egypt. It could work theoretically - they could replace the All-American-Slam with the Egyptian-Grand-Slam...
But for now, at least, I am pleased as punch to have Subway again. There has not been a decent place to get a good sub since Quiznos on Road 9 went out of business last year. It would have been a great location for a Subway to go in, but it became Garden Foods instead. Garden Foods does offer sub type sandwiches, however, they don't hold a candle to Subway. This is not the only Subway in Cairo either, there is one in Zamalek not far from Diwan Bookstore. We don't get to Zamalek that often. I first noticed the "Subway coming soon" sign on a trip to the Duty Free in January. I'm not sure of the exact date they actually opened, but I paid my first visit last week.
We went in the early afternoon and found a line all the way out the door. We did not wait as long as I thought we would. In typical Egyptian fashion there were way too many employees working. A Subway restaurant twice the size of this one in the States could run efficiently with two employees. I counted six. The second you step through the door you smell the familiar smell of Subway bread baking. However, when I stepped up to order my all time favorite tuna on whole wheat, I was disappointed to learn they were out of whole wheat bread. It is obvious the employees are still learning their jobs and adapting to becoming "sandwich artists" but there were a few minor mistakes that I noticed right off the bat. The first employee cut the bread and scooped the tuna on, and then slid it down the line to the next employee who would add the vegetables. They did not put a wax paper liner under the bread beforehand and as it slid down the counter I watched it glide through a pile of salt and pepper and some kind of sauce (which ultimately got all over my sandwich). After the vegetable guy, it was passed down the line again to yet another employee who wrapped it. In my opinion, way too many people handling one sandwich. The counter should have been wiped clean after each sandwich was made, and the employees should have changed their gloves more frequently to avoid cross contamination. If you think I am being too picky, sorry - but I used to work in the restaurant business and these are all things that would have been brought to our attention by our General Managers.
Arriving at the register with my foot long tuna and my husband's foot long veggie delight we were asked the standard Subway question: "Do you want to make this a meal deal?" Yes, I did. But I did not want chips. Eying the freshly baked cookies next to the register (which are slightly smaller than those in the States), I asked if I could have a cookie instead of chips. No. That is not an option here. Now I'm slightly disappointed. Next came the drink cup. Even though the drink station is free standing in the lobby it is not self-serve. The cashier passed our cups back to a drink employee who's sole job it is to make the drinks. (Like I said - way too many employees.) He asked me if I wanted ice and I asked him if I just couldn't make my own drink. No. That is not allowed either. I will never really understand this culture's need to have absolutely everything done for them.
The cost of two foot long meal deals was LE 68 - about $12.00. This was fantastic considering that is how much I could expect to pay for one foot long in the States. However, kind of average to high for Egypt. If you want to eat there, they do have adequate seating with additional seating available downstairs. As crowded as it had been when we arrived we were able to easily get a table upstairs. I ate my sandwich while staring at the map of the New York City subway system which adorns the walls of all Subways. You will also find the trademark Subway wall art: bright, colorful pictures of vegetables shown 300 times actual size. The place is spotlessly clean. The staff was friendly, eager, and accommodating. The sandwiches tasted great.
All in all I give it a 4.5 out of 5. I will no doubt be a frequent customer. Yes, they do deliver. Have not seen them on Otlob yet though but I'm sure it's coming.