I’m part of a lot of random Facebook groups about food—hot dogs, pizza, cheesesteak—and one of the groups is run by fans of the Doughboys podcast. A fellow member recently posted an odd photo that caught my attention big time. It depicted a typical Subway sandwich assembly line with steamer trays of protein, cheese, and toppings—but piled into one of the compartments was an unusual ingredient: seven hot dogs.
What the hell? Subway, I am positive, doesn’t sell hot dogs. (Not in the United States, at least.) I reached out to Josh Foltz, who posted the original photo to the Facebook group, to find answers.
Why some Subway restaurants serve hot dogs
Foltz lives in South Carolina, but that’s not where the mysterious Subway hot dogs showed up. He does a lot of traveling for work, and he had stopped by a local Walmart in West Palm Beach, Florida, shortly after stepping off a plane.
“It was a Subway in a Walmart that also had a pizza menu,” Foltz explained. “[I] needed to grab water or something from Walmart after landing, then just grabbed Subway on the way out.” That’s when he saw the hot dogs on the assembly line.
“I looked for a ‘sausage’ sandwich on that menu, thinking that might have been it, but nothing,” Foltz said.
I asked an employee at the Subway inside that particular West Palm Beach Walmart about the hot dogs. They explained that there’s a small value bundle on the menu at that location, one that includes a Nathan’s Famous hot dog, a soft pretzel, and a beverage for $3.99. (Not too shabby, in my opinion.)
The employee went on to proclaim their love for Nathan’s hot dogs and said they swear by these franks. They also mentioned that it wasn’t just the West Palm Beach location that had this combo meal—other Subway locations inside Walmart stores sell Nathan’s hot dogs as well.
I called nine other Subway restaurants located inside Walmarts, and only one of them carried hot dogs (and today they were fresh out of them, the employee informed me). Some employees sounded understandably confused by my question, but everyone responded politely. Nathan’s Famous has yet to respond to my request for further information.
One question, however, was still gnawing at me. I called up the West Palm Beach location one more time to ask: Hypothetically, could I order a hot dog on my Subway sandwich?
The answer was a quick “no.” I’d have to order the hot dog separately. While this dashed any hope of someday asking for a tuna salad and hot dog sub on Italian herb and cheese bread, at least I know that if I ever find myself in a Walmart Subway, there’s a chance I can assemble one myself a la carte and live out my wildest dreams.