Need fuel for unplanned day trips? Turn to sub shops

Me: “What do you want to do today?”

Dear Husband: “I don’t know, maybe hiking or going for a picnic at the beach.”

Me: “Great, I will pack the lunches! Oh, never mind, we don’t have any sandwich makings.”

DH: “Oh.”

Me: “I guess we will have to pick up some sub sandwiches before we head out.”

This is our family’s normal conversation on Saturday mornings. We wake up with no plans and no fixings for a day trip because we already used up the week’s groceries.

So what we almost always do is grab a small cooler, drop in an ice pack or two and hit the sub sandwich shop before we head to the mountains or to the beach for the day.

Oftentimes a large sub is cheaper than going to the store at the last minute or lunching at a sit-down restaurant.

Subs can be put in a backpack when you reach the trailhead and will keep well until you reach your halfway mark. Sub shops also have bottled drinks and salads on hand as well.

Each shop usually has its own niche in the market, like maybe they have homemade roast beef or slice their meat to order. And many of these shops make their bread in house.

Here are some of our family’s favorite sub shops:

Red Rock Subs: 3514 Broadway, Everett; 425-252-2786; www.redrocksubs.com; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Red Rock is known for their pot roast subs which are amazing. I also like Red Rock because their convenient location on Broadway is near the freeway.

They get their bread from a local bakery and have a few specialty subs that are made to order. They make their own potato and macaroni salads in house. The service is top notch.

Petite Sweet Bakery: 2613 Colby Ave., Everett; 425-258-1800; www.petitesweetbakery.com; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Petite Sweet recently moved from Arlington to downtown Everett to take over the former Pave bakery storefront.

Petite Sweet not only does tasty bakery treats, they also make a great sandwich. They make all their own sandwich bread, including Focaccia, Cuban bread and hoagie rolls. True, this is not a traditional sub shop but don’t pass them up if you need a quick picnic to-go option.

Cubans, California chicken and Smokin’ Granny are some of their specialty sandwiches. You can fill out the sandwich form and pick all your own fillings. Most of their sandwiches come with a side salad. My personal favorite is the Greek orzo salad.

Their cookies are also good for a reward after completing a challenging hike.

Port of Subs: 22000 64th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace; 425-776-5652; www.portofsubs.com; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

A key thing about Port of Subs is that they slice all their meat and cheese to order. This means your meat has not been sitting in the same area as the onions all day.

They also list their meat combos on a reader board: the No. 1 is ham, salami, capicola, pepperoni and Provolone cheese, the No. 13 is peppered pastrami, turkey and Swiss cheese and so on.

You get your choice of homemade white, wheat or sourdough breads. You also get a bag of chips and your choice of condiments. My sub was tasty and I was pleasantly surprised to see a kids menu. They also have locations in Mill Creek, Bellingham and Tulalip.

Jersey Mike’s Subs: 2701 184th St. SW, Suite 121C, Lynnwood; 425-774-4466; www.jerseymikes.com; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Check the website for other locations throughout Puget Sound area.

Yes, Jersey Mike’s is a national chain. The reason I write about them here is that I personally think they are much better than the other two chain sub shops that I won’t mention. Also, their giant sub is one of the best deals around. For about $13 you can get a sub big enough to feed three adults.

What’s most tasty about Jersey Mike’s is that they make their own roast beef daily. They also slice their meat to order.

Other offerings include hot subs, wraps and a kids menu.

Of course they have bottled drinks and chips to round out your picnic. With multiple locations you can find a sub shop near where you’re heading for your day trip.

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