Potbelly’s and Subway.

They’re located about one block from one another; they both serve sandwiches, and they’re both vying for our lunchtime dollar.

Now, the differences between these two sandwich stores may not be as great as the differences between, say, The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, but there are differences between these two vendors of what is essentially the same kind of sandwich.

Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea and Next, arguably America’s most creative chef, favors Potbelly’s for staff meals, and at a recent lunch there, I thought the sandwich I had was just fine. 

Anthony Gambino, local restaurateur and co-owner of Cucina Paradiso and Burger Boss, told me that he did an informal survey of Oak Park lunch spots and found that Potbelly’s was one “of the more expensive,” which was a kind of surprising but quite possibly an accurate observation.

There’s little doubt that in a matchup between the two that Subway is the less expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s a value…though it might be.

Which do you prefer?

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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