You know that feeling when a coworker is running out to pick up lunch and offers to grab something for you, too? That hesitation while you wonder how high-maintenance you’ll come across when asking to hold this or add that? We know it all too well and receive varying food quality when we ask for “whatever they offer for vegetarians.” Take sub sandwiches for instance. These can range from a basic salad on bread to a beautiful combination of flavors, but it depends on whence they come.

As a standard option that comes immediately to mind, Subway offers a pretty wide selection of toppings to put together for a vegetarian sandwich. And some locations offer a veggie patty. Heated in a microwave, this patty gives the sandwich a little more weight when they don’t overcook it. Add spinach and your favorite toppings for a decent sandwich and filling lunch.

We heard great things about Charley’s Grilled Subs. They, too, offer warm warm sandwiches, but the vegetarian version does not live up to the hype. We had hope for this one, with cheese, onions, mushrooms and the standard salad toppings, but this basic onion sandwich was not created for vegetarians so much as thrown together with what was available on the line. If you like meat, two of our carnivores are mixed on this. One loves the prime rib, another isn’t clear about the turkey, so your meat-eating friends may be in luck. The vegetarian option, however, was not great.

Firehouse Subs also offers a warm sandwich similar to the one at Charley’s. Melted cheese, onions, mushrooms, and toppings sound like a good start, but the sauce mixed with the lettuce for a cole slaw experience before it got everywhere. Soggy bread, lackluster flavor and a general feeling that this sandwich was made of random sides definitely keep this off the favorites list.

On the other hand, Quiznos has a toasted veggie sandwich that starts with cheese, mushrooms and similar items, but actually works. Perhaps because this one includes avocado as a standard ingredient, or possibly because the onions aren’t half an inch thick, but this is a good lunch option just the way it comes. No need to substitute anything.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop has several options for vegetarians with a warm peanut butter and jelly, mushroom melt, and the new Mediterranean. Any lunch with hummus is amazing and Pobtelly’s newest edition is no exception. Hummus, peppers, cucumbers, artichoke hearts and red peppers make this spicy enough to let you know it’s there without overwhelming the general goodness that we love about a mediterranean flair. This has great flavor, makes a filling lunch, and was obviously created as a vegetarian sandwich.

Among our favorites, Jimmy John’s has an addictive cold sandwich that is good enough to make you fat. Plain and simple. A basic enough sandwich, we absolutely love it. White bread, provolone cheese, avocado and mayo don’t leave much room for anything else in the daily calorie count so if you’re on a diet, stay away from this beautifully simple sandwich. If, however, you aren’t afraid of a few extra ounces, definitely give this one a try. This comes in a gourmet club, as well, which is wonderful on extra thick wheat bread. It’s not a sub, but the bread’s nutty flavor makes the experience feel slightly less forbidden. Oh, and you can get this delivered, too!

The absolute best vegetarian sub, hands down, has to be the summer sub on wheat from The Great Outdoors. Being a favorite and a place we frequent, this might have influenced our opinions about a few of the others. Even without seeing a menu, ordering a number 19, hold the lettuce and add sprouts just rolls off the tongue. This is an amazing cold sandwich with cream cheese, mushrooms, cucumbers, muenster cheese and more. We add avocado because it’s worth it, but that’s not required for an extremely satisfying lunch. This is our far and away favorite sub and shop.

So there are a few of the “eat-at-your-desk” options when your office mates are going out for subs. We’re always on the lookout for something new, so if you have a favorite sub shop hidden away, let us know.

Until next we meet, enjoy great food and keep a happy heart.

Come back next Sunday for another ride through cattle country.