Finding the most ‘sub’sational sandwich in Kent

Dan Stroble

Local favorite for more than 20 years, Franklin Square Deli can now boast Rate It!’s number one place to grab a sub sandwich in Kent. Carl Picelle has been the owner for 24 years. ALLIEY BENDER | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

     Sub sandwiches are one of the most common and inexpensive foods available, especially in a college town. For the fifth installment of Rate It!, I visited three restaurants that specialize in subs to find out which has the biggest, most flavorful Italian sandwich.

I chose to review one local shop and two franchises to decide which is better – a unique, small-town atmosphere or a run-of-the-mill chain restaurant.

Franklin Square Deli

Franklin Square Deli has been a local favorite for more than 20 years. So it is no surprise that it is my top choice as well.

Franklin Square Deli’s subs are made the way a sub should be. The seeded bun was loaded with seasoned, tender meat and crisp vegetables. Customers may choose to heat up their subs as well. At $4.80, the sub was worth every penny.

Franklin Square Deli

Location: 108 S. Water St.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Stater rating (out of five): *****

Service was fast and friendly, and the workers asked each customer how everything was as they left the restaurant.

The racing art and photography displayed on the walls are fun and interesting, even for those who are not racing fans. To go along with the theme, there are also stipple drawings by Kent artist Jerry Gambaccini for sale, and customers can always expect a televised race. It was nice to be able to enjoy my sandwich in a fun and friendly environment.

And on a nice summer day, customers can take their sandwiches outside to one of the tables under the shade.

However, although the tables on the sidewalk are a nice touch, they are a little too close to sidewalk and street traffic. But this is a very minor gripe of a nearly perfect eatery.

The combination of delicious sandwiches, good service and a unique racing theme will have customers speeding back to Franklin Square Deli often.


To get a fix of their favorite sub, fans of Quiznos have two Kent locations to choose from – 1665 E. Main St. and the Kent State Student Center.

The atmosphere at the East Main Street location is fairly vibrant and fun for a restaurant chain. The bright, colorful walls are decorated with speech bubbles and goofy cartoons with ingredients listed on them, and the tables and chairs have a unique look to them. The eating area is encased by a large window, which lets the sunshine in and provides a large view of outside.


Location: 1665 E. Main St.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Stater rating (out of five): ****

Quiznos subs are known for being toasted, which is supposed to help bring out their flavor. Quiznos also uses an assembly line method to build and toast its sandwiches quickly, and you can watch as your sub is prepared.

My main complaint about Quiznos is that the flavors of the dressing and spices are too strong, making me feel sick after eating my sub. This sub is the most expensive at $5.25.

Because of differences in my taste, I have trouble liking this new competitor to the local sub scene. I won’t discourage students from going to one of the most popular eateries in Kent, but I, personally, won’t be getting an Italian sub from there again anytime soon.


I had my doubts about reviewing a large chain restaurant, but I thought it would be good to compare the local restaurants to the one that most students have visited dozens of times. But as one may guess, Subway is as plain as its namesake.


Location: 1709 E. Main St.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Stater rating (out of five): ***

Subway’s average sandwiches are a fine choice – when one is somewhere that doesn’t offer any local shops.

The workers were fast and friendly, willing to put any of the many ingredients on the sub and to toast it.

But, on the other hand, the flavor of the meat and onions were too strong and salty. The vegetables were crisp and cold but not as fresh as they should be.

Also, the sub was small and not filled as much as I expected, so it is no surprise that it was the cheapest at $3.79.

If you have ever been in any Subway, you have been in them all. The walls are covered in wallpaper resembling a map of a city and its subway system, and pictures of vegetables are hung on the walls. There is nothing too exciting or unique about visiting a Subway.

It’s just too bad Jared “the Subway guy” doesn’t live in Kent. He would be able to enjoy a much better sandwich in a much better environment at Franklin Square Deli.

Contact general assignment reporter Dan Stroble at [email protected].