Subway offers only two core vegetarian sandwiches: the Veggie Delite, which is stuffed with fresh vegetables of your choice like lettuce, tomato, banana peppers and onion; and the Veggie Patty. A third, featuring cauliflower, is currently testing in Seattle and is set to launch in Baltimore on Feb. 27.
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These aren't your average florets, though. The new menu item is breaded, fried cauliflower fritters seasoned with onions and garlic. How do we know? Because we tried them.
Thanks to our friends at Subway, Daily Meal editors were able to sample two limited-edition wraps available at select restaurants in test markets. The first, Cauliflower Curry, comes in a spinach tortilla with cauliflower fritters, lettuce, red onion, green peppers, banana peppers and a brand-new curry sauce made with red pepper, basil, coconut milk, curry powder, red chili, garlic and ginger.
The second, Cauliflower Ranch, comes in a tomato basil wrap with cauliflower fritters, spinach, tomato, red onion, jalapeno and ranch dressing.
Is this new vegetarian-friendly option any good? Let's talk about these fritters. If you gave them to someone without disclosing that they're made of cauliflower, they'd probably think they were hash browns. The consistency isn't cruciferous. It's potatoey.
"The cauliflower breading has the flavor of a fast food chicken nugget, which I don't hate, but it's a bit of a sodium bomb," one editor said. "And while this new option is vegetarian, it doesn't seem healthy."
Technically, it's not all that healthy. A footlong Cauliflower Curry wrap has 790 calories and Cauliflower Ranch has 820. Both have 15 grams of protein.
"I wish the cauliflower wasn't breaded," another said. "Made it feel heavy and caloric. It felt like I was eating fast food. I feel less that way when eating a regular Subway sandwich."
Most staffers came to the conclusion that they liked the wraps, but that they wouldn't go out of their way to buy one if they were vegetarian. All but one preferred ranch over curry, which had a lot of different flavors going on. Looking at the sauce individually, it was quite all right.
"The curry sauce isn't bad for a fast food place, speaking as a native eater," said an editor who often consumes homemade curry.
As for an editor who's been vegetarian for five years now, she's happy another option may be headed to her local Subway. With vegetables, you often don't get the substance you once had with meat. The cauliflower fritters are much denser than a toppings-only sandwich. They're a fine option for people who forgo meat. However, they aren't vegan. If you want to go cold turkey, get the best plant-based eats at the best vegan-friendly restaurant in your state.