Last week, when discussing the California Fresh from Le Boulanger, I called the paltry amount of avocado a “serious flaw.” If that was a serious flaw, I don’t know what to call what I got from Zino’s. Judging by the sign in the parking lot, this was previously a Quizno’s. When I saw this, I thought to myself, “Well that’s interesting. An establishment that’s broken away from the larger chain.” After eating there, I have come to realize it is less likely that they broke away and more that they were jettisoned. I ordered my sandwich, and as is customary at this type of eatery, moved down the counter to the toppings. It was there that I stood and watched something unfold that was nothing less than horrifying. The man standing in front of me picked up a plastic bag filled with some manner of green substance, halfway between a cream and a paste, and he squeezed the bag so as to collect this substance near the corner of the bag that had been snipped off. Surely this was not the avocado? The menu board had pictures of avocados on it! My attention shifted as I saw my sandwich come out of the conveyor toaster. There was a layer of cheese on it, with that sheen that sandwich shop toasted cheese always has. I can’t say the cheese was a surprise, the sandwich industry as a whole is very fond of cheese, but on top of the cheese were black olives. Olives, like a great many food items, have their place on a sandwich. But no one had asked me if I wanted olives. Further, I was standing in front of the toppings. Where had the olives come from? Why would they be stored separate from the other items? Things were going bad with some speed, and soon enough my greatest fears were confirmed. The man at the topping station took my sandwich, squeezed his bag, and laid a zig-zag stripe of green mystery down. He looked up at me and asked me what else I wanted. Shell-shocked, I believe I muttered something along the lines of “red onions, I guess…bell peppers…lettuce and tomato, sure.”
As my sandwich was being wrapped up, I considered walking out. Everything I know about sandwiches was telling me that I was in for it. I am a sandwich enthusiast, I am not a professional and I do not share the obligations of a professional. Still, the sandwich was now prepared and ready to be eaten, and how could I come before you and condemn it if I was unwilling to eat it?
This was a lousy sandwich. There was entirely much mayonnaise on both sides of the bread, and again, I was not consulted on that. If I were I might have suggested a substitution of mustard, but apparently Zino’s knows better. The so-called avocado was dreadfully bland, the cheese was unnecessary, the bread hardly even worth considering. I can usually find at least some element of any sandwich that I enjoy, but there was nothing here. This was just a lousy sandwich.