Taste Test: Subway ‘Flatbread’ Club Sandwich

Taste Test: Subway ‘Flatbread’ Club Sandwich

Subway now offers a lighter flatbread alternative to its traditional bread offerings. The result is being advertised as a “thinner, lighter and flatter” sub — but is it actually any better for you than the original? And what does it taste like? Lifehacker investigates…

As its name implies, the Subway flatbread takes a regular sub and substitutes the bread for a thinner Lavash-style alternative. Here’s the Subway pitch as it appears on its website:

“We think everything is getting smaller these days…thinner, lighter, flatter. So we figured it was about time that our favourite lunch caught on with the trend? Our new toasted flatbread is here… It’s the perfect option for whatever food mood you’re in! Try your favourite sub on it today or give it a whirl with our new oven roasted chicken, and you’ve got it made with just 8 grams of fat or less!”

Alert readers will have noticed that the above blurb fails to specify whether the flatbread is healthier than a regular sub — that’s because it isn’t. [related title=”More taste-test” tag=”taste-test” items=”4″]

A six-inch flatbread sans toppings contains 1120 kilojoules of energy and 44.5 grams of carbohydrates. A normal white bread sub, meanwhile, contains 804kj and 34g worth of carbs. The flatbread also packs in more than double the amount of fat (5.1g vs. 2.4g), a higher level of sodium (332mg vs. 296mg) and less dietary fibre (1.8g vs. 2.2g). In fact, the only area where it beats the white bread sub is sugar; the flatbread contains 1.8 grams while the white sub has 3.3g.

This is more than a bit cheeky on Subway’s part — while the company doesn’t flat-out state that the flatbread is a healthier option, the implication is clearly there (“thinner, lighter, flatter”). If you’re the type of Subway customer who asks the sandwich artist to hollow out the bread prior to adding the fillings, this new option clearly isn’t for you.

For everyone else though, all that really matters is how it tastes and handles. To test the Flatbread, we ordered the Club version and compared it to a white Subway Club made with the same ingredients. Here’s how they look side-by-side:

Again, we really think Subway should have made it clearer that the flatbread is a guiltier option, or at least tried to avoid the word ‘lighter’. Based on appearances alone, the sandwich on the left clearly looks healthier than the one on the right.

After seeing Subway’s flatbread adverts, we were worried the bread would be too flimsy to hold in the ingredients — the fillings are practically exploding out of the sandwich in all the posters. While this might make for a cool marketing image, it’s less than ideal for snacking on the go. (The last thing anybody wants is to have half their lunch spilled across their lap.)

Thankfully, the reality is a lot tidier looking and can be easily managed with one hand. Whether this is due to larger bread or fewer ingredients remains unclear — something to investigate in a future Takeaway Truth, perhaps? But for now, we’re judging the Flatbread Sub based purely on our taste buds.

If we had to sum up the Subway Flatbread Club Sandwich in a word, it would be “delicious”. Being a cold and rainy evening, I plumped for the toasted option which made for a delightfully crisp sandwich. The thin bread really brings the inner flavours to the fore, making for a much more satisfying meal overall.

If I had one complaint, it would probably be that the flatbread version left me feeling less full than the regular version, despite having a higher fat and energy count. I can only assume that the thinner appearance deceived my stomach.

All in all, the Subway Flatbread is definitely a winner and we hope it sticks around for a long time to come. Just be aware that it’s not as healthy as the adverts have subtly led you to believe.

Score: 9/10


      • My friend and I ordered one, he got Meatballs, we both noted that the Subs while tasty where a bit harder to eat. Although that could be the Trainee who positioned it more to the edge.

        We also came to the conclusion we’d like it pressure toasted rather than just toasted.

        But yeah it was tasty, not more so than my usual favourite the Italian Herb and Cheese.

  • I think they taste fairly ordinary (being as fair as possible to Subway).

    They seemed “doughie” and quite dense – I’m guessing where the extra fat and Kjs come from – but nowhere near as filling for the extra penalty. And mine tasted a bit sweet – not enticing at all and I won’t be trying again….

    • I noticed it had a doughier taste as well. It was alright overall, but I won’t be trying it again either. I’ll stick with the Italian herbs and cheese roll instead. Yum!

  • I have to wonder if this constitutes false advertising. They are strongly implying its healthier, and they are using terms ‘lighter’ and ‘thinner’ that might push them over the lines (even though both words have another meaning).

    • More fat doesn’t mean unhealthier. In fact it’s the sugar that is the bad boy here and with a significant reduction it’s actually healthier in that respect

      • True, but when you add the extra carbs, kilojoules and sodium to the equation it becomes a lot murkier, especially for people who are specifically trying to lose weight.

  • Had one of these the other night and have to say it is the single worst thing I have ever bought from Subway or any other sandwich/burger place. It was soggy (toasted!), very hard to keep the filling inside the bread, and also fairly chewy. By the time I got to the end of it it was more like a kebab (with the sauce and leftovers in the bottom) but without the benefit of a wrap that holds the contents in. Won’t buy again!

  • Smart, not one word they used in the advertisement actually says it’s better for you. End of the day if you were looking to loose weight you would be looking at the macro breakdown anyway and if your not then you probably don’t care.

  • I work close to a Subway, so it’s pretty much my default lunch.
    Tried flatbread, didn’t like it. Back to regular breads for me.

  • Why don’t you guys review, you know, some actual good food rather than multinational chain takeaway junk? Wouldn’t you better off encouraging your readers to get their lunch from some local businesses?

    Sure, a bit of junk is ok once in a while, but all you review is rubbish like McDonalds and KFC.

    You’d be doing a service to both your readers and the community by informing them of good, cheap, local, healthful food options for lunch.

    • The problem with that idea is that the reviews would only be relevant to a tiny pocket of local readers.

      • I can appreciate that, and I figured that would be the reason.

        My counter to that would be to review places in areas like CBD Melbourne and Sydney – thereby covering a large chunk of people who either work there or travel there often for shopping etc. Granted it wouldn’t be as many people as those who are exposed to chain restaurants, but I think it’d be far better for all involved – you’d be doing good for the small guys plus the public simultaneously. People need to be encouraged to eat better – not just healthier but better tasting food too.

        I live in Melbourne and there are literally hundreds of amazing places to get a good cheap lunch in the CBD, and not enough people know about them.

  • it’s absolutely amazing! i hope they keep it on the menu permanently. I raved on about it to alot of mates when i first tried it and they are all hooked on it too. I did notice a buttery taste by the end of a footlong which seemed to indicate it probably is worse than the normal bread but i don’t eat subway too often yet from now on, when i do, i’ll go flatbread.

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