Flames of Desire at Firehouse Subs

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Why did Mike McCown become the franchise owner of the newest location of Firehouse Subs (9359 Katy Fwy., 713-468-7827)? "Simple," he says, "my first bite. I tasted one and fell in love. We serve a Northeast grinder-style sub with lots of meat that has been steamed, and cheese and bread that has been lightly toasted. Because of the heating process, the juices in the meats and cheeses are kept in and the sandwiches are incredibly moist. When you bite into one, you get a tremendous burst of flavor." The Firehouse Subs franchise was founded in Jacksonville, Florida, by firefighters and brothers Robin and Chris Sorenson. Each location has a firehouse theme.

The most popular sandwich is the Hook & Ladder, which is smoked turkey breast, Virginia ham and Monterey Jack cheese. Cafe Bites liked the New York Steamer, a combination of corned beef, pastrami and provolone. As Mike says, the meat is juicy and there's plenty of it. Also terrific is the Firehouse chili, which is full of large chunks of beef, and, of course, the collection of hot sauces, with well over 100 different bottles. Newbies take note: If you want everything on your sub, request it "fully involved," which means loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and dill spear on the side.

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