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Pacific Subs

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Pacific Subs in Boise got its name, I suspect, from the slow surfer dudes who'd rather be riding waves in the Pacific Ocean than working.

The new-ish sandwich shop on Main Street is in a neat, open space with minimal decoration and a menu of hot and cold sandwiches, soups and salads. Because it is in a high-traffic spot, I think it is meant to be an in-and-out lunch stop for the busy downtown crowd, but it took me exactly 20 minutes to get my to-go sub and salad one afternoon when I was the only patron for the first nine minutes of my stay.

Pac Subs' menu doesn't include just how big small, medium and large sandwiches are, so I asked cashier. 5 inches, 7 inches and 12 inches, respectively, she told me. When I asked the cost of their salads, she didn't know. "They're not that expensive," she said. "Something like $4.50."

I got a Greek salad (she was correct about the price) and a small hot sub: the Buffalo Wing, which is chicken, provolone, ranch and buffalo sauce which set me back about $8.50. When I asked for my receipt, she looked at me quizzically and said, "We usually don't give these out," and handed me the crumpled paper. I was hungry, a little annoyed and the most absurd part was yet to come.

A young man, who I'll call Pac Man, appeared to have the job of making the sandwiches. He didn't move when I shimmied down the counter to his station. Nor did he say anything when I greeted him. He just stood there until I asked, "So, uh, do you make the sandwiches around here?" With that, he silently went into the back room where I saw him make a phone call.

When Pac Man came back out, he looked at the loaves of bread, almost like he was going to cut them, but he didn't do anything. By this time, I had been waiting 16 minutes. The phone rang and again Pac Man silently returned to the back room. Something to be aware of if you order tomatoes on your sandwich: When Pac Man finally came up front to make a sandwich for the guy in line behind me, the guy told Pac Man that he didn't want tomatoes on his sandwich. Pac Man pulled the tomatoes off the sandwich and stuffed them in his pocket. Seriously. At this point, the cashier came to my rescue and quickly made my sandwich and salad in exactly four minutes.

The hot sandwiches have only some hot meat on them; they are neither toasted nor prepared on warm bread. On the plus side, there's a lot of meat piled on the cold bread, but in the end, it is just a plain sandwich that takes an awful long time to prepare. An in-and-out lunch stop for the busy downtown crowd Pac Subs is not.

--Jennifer Gelband lives in a yellow submarine sandwich.

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