You haven’t lived in a small town until you’ve lived in a place that gets excited a Subway is moving in to the gas station. How small is this town? It’s the only national chain other than Dairy Queen that has ever set up shop. Yes, that’s the town I grew up in. This review is actually a holdover from a couple of weeks ago when J and I were home for the Ashkum Homecoming. I didn’t snap a picture and really just forgot about it until I stopped at my parents house on my way to Champaign tonight.
Like I already mentioned, this particular Subway is located inside the only gas station in town about half a miles from Interstate 57 in Ashkum, IL which is about halfway between Chicago and Champaign. Before Subway moved in a year ago, the only food option this town had was pizza from the local grocery store or pizza from the operation that occupied this space. The townspeople were ecstatic when it was finally annouced Subway would set up shop. My mom actually eats there at leaset three times a week.
J and I got up after a long night of drinking and catching up with some of my old friends. The only options for lunch at the park where the homecoming was being held were greasy foods like hamburgers, pizzas, and brats. She wanted something a little healthier and I didn’t want grease so we walked down to the BP for lunch.
Since Subway is located inside the gas station, they have to share space with the rest of the business. The counter is pushed to one side and there’s a little roped off area with tables for Subway patrons. There was a pretty good line when we got there. We weren’t the only ones who needed something other than grease.
J knew what she wanted, but usually when I go to Subway, I get the worst thing on the menu calorie wise. That needs to change, so I went with the turkey breast and ham on wheat. Instead of getting a foot long like I usually do, I was good and went with the six inch knowing I had done a lot of damage to my diet with the gallons of Busch Lite I drank the night before and would probably drink later that night. My other downfall when it comes to Subway is I don’t get enough veggies. Since I only got a six inch, I need more to fill the sandwich. A footlong with just the meat is usually enough, but a six inch would leave me hungry. I had them put lettuce, sweet peppers, vinegar, and oil on my sandwich which actually made it a little heartier. I surprised myself. I was trying the peppers for the first time. They weren’t great, but in moderation, they were pretty good. There was too much lettuce, but that was easy to remedy.
J went with a six inch veggie delight on wheat. I don’t remember exactly which veggies she got on it, but she piled it on. She also got a bag of chips with our two drinks. Since my mom eats there so much, they clip coupons and they had one for a free six inch with the purchase of a six inch and two drinks, so that’s what we did. She got the sandwich she usually gets and really liked it and I’m sure was happy we didn’t have to eat hamburgers for lunch.
The wierd thing at this particular Subway is how you have to pay. There’s a cash register at the Subway counter and they ring it up there, but they then give you a reciept that you have to take to the cash register for the gas station to pay. Really an inconvience. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but it’s really stupid to do it that. J went and paid while I waited for my sandwich to be finished.
I not a huge fan of Subway, but I don’t mind it every now and then. I’d still prefer to go to a local deli that cuts the meat fresh and isn’t so mechanized in it’s procedures. I do prefer Subway over most of the other chain sandwich shops, so if that’s the choice then I’ll take it. Subway is great for this little town. Seriously folks, I know most of you can’t even imagine this, but the closest metro area is Kankakee and that’s 30 miles away. There are a few fast food options in Gilman, but we’re still talking 15 miles. Can you imagine 15 miles to the nearest McDonald’s? Most people can’t, but this is how I grew up and the people that live in towns like this don’t even think twice about it. It’s the way things have always been. I know I would be happy to have an option like Subway if I still lived there and if they’re going to put a chain in town, I’m much happier it’s Subway instead of a fast food giant. So, if you’re leaving Champaign, heading north, and don’t want to stop in town, Subway in Ashkum is a great choice for gas and food before you get too far down the road.