Regional food favorites like Publix Subs enjoy a cult-like following.
For the uninitiated, Publix is a 1,200 store-plus strong supermarket chain that serves the southeastern U.S. While enjoying tremendous popularity in general, it’s the Publix sub, or Pub Sub, that has built a rabid fanbase. The question is why?!
Publix bakes its own sub rolls. So does every other supermarket chain in the country. Publix uses either Boar’s Head or its own branded cold cuts. The same would also apply to other chains. Hey, Publix has condiments like mustard, oil, vinegar, and oregano! Um, so does everyone else. Tell me again what makes the Pub Sub so unique, let alone special?
Try as you may, you can’t reasonably and logically detail any way in which Pub Subs differentiate themselves from other chains’ subs. Don’t get me wrong, they’re fine. They’re fresh. They’re made to order. They provide good value. But they’re the same as any other supermarket sub in the country and I defy you to dispel that belief.
Social media praise and flowery adjectives don’t change the fact that Pub Subs are simply ordinary.
Lest you think I’m embellishing Pub Sub’s popularity, they have their own Instagram account, are an active hashtag on Twitter, and are often referred to as “famed”. I’m normally not one to tell someone what beverage to enjoy with their Pub Sub, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that Kool-Aid might be a fitting accompaniment.
By comparison, it would be reasonable for someone to say that supermarket chain “x”‘s fried chicken is amazing and far better than supermarket chain “y”‘s, because that particular item is prepared differently by everyone. Seasonings create variations on the theme and it’s totally feasible that one place nails it while another falls short.
But subs? We’re back at rolls, cold cuts, veggies, condiments, and spices. YOU can create the same “famed” sub. There’s nothing proprietary and nothing unique. It truly is much ado about nothing.
Despite the histrionics that Pub Subs enjoy–“Stop Everything! Pub Subs are now available for delivery!” exclaimed Orlando Weekly or “Publix subs are the most delicious thing to ever happen!” per Buzzfeed–I’m here to bust the myth. Publix subs, Pub Subs, are NOT all that!
Is the Pub Subs myth finally busted? Where do you stand on this Publix debate?