Tuesday 19 May 2009

Firehouse Subs Bathroom Offers Few Surprises, Lots of Paper on Floor

Firehouse Subs
1455 Semoran Blvd., Suite 295
Casselberry, FL USA

Where is it?

This location of the popular sub chain looks and feels just like the others I've been to: It's along, rectangular store with a sandwich-making counter on the left side (with your back to the entrance) that takes up about 1/3 of the floor space and a dining room filled with two-top and four-top tables filling up the remaining area.

In the very back, against the far wall, is a soda fountain. To the right of that, in the far right corner, is an opening to a short hallway. The bathrooms are down that hallway, with the entrances being on your left.

What's it like?

As far as sub chains go, I rank this one on the high end of the spectrum. The bread here is doughy and fresh-tasting, the fillings are tasty enough and don't taste over-processed, portions are substantially sized and prices are decent. Plus, I like that the place offers a wide variety of subs and also houses a number of designer hot sauces to try (the bottles are lined up on the half-wall separating the sandwich preparation line and the dining room), as well as a decent house brand made by the company itself.

The decor is, as the name indicates, firehouse-inspired. There's lots of reds, blacks and dalmatian-dog-inspired dots, stripes and patterns. Tables covered with back and white polka dot patters. Amusing firehouse-based art (old photos, etc.) and signs on the walls. Friendly enough, and a good, relaxing place to meet a friend for a cheap lunch (like I did on this occasion with my buddy and occasional Where's the Toilet contributor, Ayal Wolf.)

The bathroom is pretty much what you'd expect from a place having this kind of design: Kind of kitschy, based in the store's branding, and little else.

It's lower walls have red and white tiles on them, with a black border around the perimeter to separate lower wall from upper wall. Upper walls are just white drywall.

That standard faux-brick-tiled floor we've seen at so many other places -- like Rainforest Coffee Company, Columbia Restaurant in Celebration, Kolob Canyons Visitors Center in Utah, Toon Lagoon Toilet at Islands of Adventure and many more -- covers the ground here. In fact, even the red and white tile (in some variation) has been seen elsewhere, like at Big Boy Diner, Jack in the Box, and Pizoodles. Boorring!

The place also has a red door, though it's not as impressive as the one at Anmol, I should add.

There is a white porcelain urinal, toilet and sink -- none of it with automatic flushes or faucets (the paper towel dispenser is automatic though, but the soap is just a pump). An unframed mirror mounted above the sink and some parlor lights above that.

A photograph print of an old fire station (circa 1920s) hands to the right of the mirror. A novelty sign, badge-shaped, reading "Are you hungry? Call the Firehouse" hangs on the opposite wall. Yawn......

The room itself is well-sized, a standard one-bagger. Comfortable enough but nothing exquisite or memorable. It wasn't remarkably clean -- there was lots of pieces of paper towels strewn about the floor, as well as bits of wear and tear and mildew here and there -- but it wasn't the worst either. Straight forward, predictable, nothing more. On par with the one visited at Famous Phil's Cheesesteaks only with a smaller area.

Marks out of 10:

5. Clean it up a little more and it would be a 6, but nothing more than that.

Comments to the Management:

Needs a little more policing, so there isn't as much torn paper floating around. Also, a little more scrubbing would be good, just to keep the edges clean. Otherwise, it is what it is.

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