Offering an array of meal options for less than four bucks, Silver Mine Subs (328 W. Gorham) is easily any college student's utopia.
This newcomer serves meals cheaper than the cost of a greasy frozen pizza. But does inexpensive equal satisfying?
Silver Mine Subs receives mixed reviews; overall, it's on par with the cadre of chain-owned sandwich shops on State Street.
The friendly sandwich builders are experts in the field and accommodate even to the most bizarre requests. The menu offers many opportunities for sandwich customization; diners can choose sandwich size (small, medium, large), bread type and complementary condiments, like ranch dressing or Dijon mustard.
The oven at Silver Mine subs produces fabulously soft and doughy white hoagie loaves, the guaranteed highlight of any sandwich.
I adored a number of the cold selections. The Mother Lodge stands out as the stellar menu item. This hungry man's monster sub is stuffed with roast beef, turkey breast, ham, salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil vinegar, oregano and mayonnaise. The ratio of portion to price was generous ($4.79 for a small). I'm passionate about the Mother Lodge's unusual combination of ingredients and the enormous size of this mouthwatering sandwich.
Silver Mine's heart healthy menu features a few cold subs containing fewer than six grams of fat. We enjoyed the Georgetown, layers of turkey topped with crispy bacon strips, provolone cheese, garlicky avocado spread, lettuce and tomato, covered in ranch dressing. Skip the low-carb wrap — it's flavorless and resembles cardboard in texture.
For an unusual treat, try a distinctive hot sub. The Cripple Creek is a great combination of sandwich fillings — slices of grilled chicken breast and strips of bacon covered in melted provolone, romaine lettuce, and beefsteak tomatoes drenched in ranch dressing. The chicken was definitely frozen and was cooked a bit too long in the microwave.
The popular Steam Engine comes with mixed reviews. I'd heard great things about this sub, consisting of three meatballs covered in provolone cheese, onions, green peppers and mushrooms covered in marinara sauce. The sandwich itself is a great concept, but the meatballs were bland, lacked seasoning, and the skimpy portion of vegetables was a letdown. But for three bucks, who's complaining?
Vegetarians have a few appetizing, dirt-cheap options in the $2.89 to $5.99 range. I liked the Pikes Peak or Bust ($2.89 for a small), two slices of provolone cheese thickly covered in avocado spread, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and mayonnaise stuffed in a somewhat disappointing grainy wheat sub. This sandwich suffices as a solid, filling meal.
Silver Mine prepares a few salads. The Grilled Chicken Salad ($3.99) consists of a moderately sized bowl of iceberg lettuce topped with sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes and a sizable portion of grilled chicken, accompanied by a packet of Kraft dressing and seasoned croutons. This salad is the least expensive in town, but also the least desirable. The grilled chicken was chewy rib meat and nearly inedible.
Silver Mine Subs serves an extensive number of lunch and dinner options, but the menu lacks innovation. And while the ratio of portion to price is generous, the subs leave sometime to be desired. The biggest draws are easily the low prices and convenient location, perfect for the penniless, over-stressed college student.