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Wal-Mart Deli – Deptford, NJ

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Retail giant makes a value push.

Wal-Mart Deli – Deptford, NJ 08096
200 Clements Bridge Road
Meal: Lunch / Prepacked
Price: $2.98 (No tip necessary)

We’ve previously reviewed PathMark’s Deli and it was inevitable I’d eventually start looking to save some pennies by heading over to Wal-Mart. Located in the brand-new supercenter in Deptford, the ‘Sprawl-Mart’ is a gigantic example of human compulsory-shopping-achievement. Sure, they leveled acres upon acres to build this compound, but look at the jobs they create. Hard to complain when you see hundreds of people with income, benefits, and some measure to pay their bills. But enough of these heavy topics – can all this economic heft of theirs make us a better hoagie?

The deli is located in the ‘market’ section of what looks like a train terminal from the outside (those departing for Washington, please head to register 12!). You’ll notice right away they’ve got a full-service deli and lots of pre-made pizzas, hoagies, wraps, etc.  While the wraps and pizzas were generally of normal size, the hoagies were of riduculous portions, and naturally what I wanted to try.

That's a regular sized flashlight.

That's a regular sized flashlight.

For $2.98, you’ll get a ‘half’ 16oz sub. No one – WaWa, PathMark, Subway – is going to beat the value here. The only problem appeared to be variety.. American or turkey were the only two choices I saw as far as hoagies. Wraps were similiarly limited, with two or three to choose from. For just a buck more, you can get a full hoagie, which in the Wal-Mart world is a massive 28oz – nearly two pounds! The wraps were cut in fourths and weighed in at a comparably modest 10z.

Eating the thing was problematic. There is no way you’re going to just bite ‘around’ this monster without compressing it with a vice. You’ll kind of have to work slowly. Inside my American variety, there was yellow chese, salami, bologna, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Unlike PathMark, they don’t take the extra step to enclose all the stuff in a thin plastic layer, which means they’ll get the bread a little soggy. They also don’t include any condiments, so be sure you’ve got some mustard or mayo around. I thought the ingredients tasted a little old; the lettuce was on the dark side, the tomatoes had virtually no taste, and the meat, while plentiful, just seemed like filler. The bread, for all its voluminousness, was on the crumbly side. Overall, even the supersized portion can’t save this from a low score. It was way too dry without much of a flavor. I ate the whole damn thing and realized I didn’t really enjoy it.

The wraps, mine with sundried tomato and chicken, seemed plagued with a bit of age too. I don’t know how long they sit in the fridge display .. but they just didnt seem like they were made recently. Also, for the same $2.98 price as the much larger hoagie, they weren’t a terrific deal. I wasn’t going to try the retail pre-built chili dogs or cheesesteaks either.

If you’re on a budget, this is the way to go. You’ll get a ton of food for a very small price. The 28oz hoagie can probably feed four people easily for under a buck a piece. For everyone else that doesnt mind paying a dollar or two more for something that tastes better, I’d pass on Wal-Mart and stick with PathMark’s subs instead. Sure, they’re smaller, but they’re just flat-out better.

Guru’s Score: 2.5 Chews
Subjective rating: Average.
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