Friday, April 12, 2013

Bearden Firehouse Subs connects good food and new friends

My evening at the Bearden Firehouse Subs blogger event was unforgettable. Meeting  Firefighters who turn  into entrepreneurs and then become philanthropists are rare. The combination makes Firehouse Subs co-founders Chris and Robin Sorensen "hero's hero" kind of guys.

John, Robin Sorensen, Gayle
The Bearden Firehouse Subs blogger event was a chance to meet Robin Sorensen and find out more about the company. Some of the top bloggers from the Knoxville area were invited. We all walked away with a richer appreciation for the company and sampled some mean sandwiches.

It's no secret that I've been hooked on Firehouse Subs since my first taste of the Hook and Ladder. The two-fisted job is a steamed sandwich that's piled high with Virginia honey ham, turkey and melted Monterey Jack cheese. Add lettuce, tomatoes, a dash of deli mustard and a dab of mayonnaise and I'm a happy customer. Toss that cool crisp pickle on the side and I'm even happier.

The Bearden Fireshouse Subs blogger event highlighted four sandwich choices. The first that we were served was the Hook and Ladder sandwich. It was quickly followed by the Italian Sub, NY Steamer and Beef and Cheddar brisket. Here's why my lunch decision just got harder.
 
Paul at Bearden Firehouse Subs
Italian Sub
Piles of Genoa salami, pepperoni,and ham and meet their match with melted provolone.

Italian dressing, and seasonings add to the robust flavor. Choose lettuce, tomato, onion, deli mustard, mayo or get your Firehouse Subs "Fully Involved" with all the great toppings like Hubby does. What's not to love?


NY Steamer
Bearden Firehouse Subs brought out my new favorite. The NY Steamer is piled with delicious corned beef brisket, pastrami, melted provolone, mustard, mayo, Italian dressing and "fully involved" toppings.

Beef and Cheddar Brisket
It combines beef that has hickory smoked for over 16 hours, with melted cheddar cheese and a crowning touch of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.

To ramp up flavor and quality, Firehouse Subs uses only USDA Choice meats. But, the commitment doesn't end there. They expect quality in their stores, their suppliers and of the their franchise holders. This impressed me the most at the Bearden Firehouse Subs blogger event.

Coca-Cola Freestyle®
We had fun with the Coca-Cola Freestyle® beverages dispenser at the Bearden Firehouse Subs. The 120+ drink options the lets you create the soda concoction of your dreams. I wanted to push all the buttons but stuck to just one (okay two).

Price
A higher quality can translate into higher cost but not always. We were guests at the Bearden Firehouse Subs and didn't buy dinner. However; Hubby and I do dine at Firehouse Subs regularly. We usually pay between $17-$18 dollars for two combos. That's pretty competitive for other sub shops in Knoxville. Plus, kids eat free on Wednesday evenings which helps families.


Community
A tweet from co-founder Robin Sorensen reads "it's all about the people. Well, the food too :)". Giving back to others is another thing that the company does well.

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Donation, has given millions of dollars in grants to support communities. Funds have provided equipment, helped after disaster and supported educational opportunities for first responders and public safety organizations.

Confidence
Firehouse Subs is confident in their products. They promise "Our way beats their way, if you don't agree it's free.". So far, I've not heard of anyone who needed to cash in on the guarantee. Have you?