By Glen Macnow

WAWA, locations everywhere.

Look, there’s no way that a sandwich bought at a convenience store is going to keep up with any of the fine restaurants I’ve travelled to for this food hunt. And yet, there’s something comforting in a Wawa meatball hoagie. It’s reliably good. Better, really than it has to be. And, at just $4.59 for a Shorti, it’s a bargain.

OK, maybe it doesn’t have the zest or complexity of a sandwich bought at a neighborhood deli. The meatballs won’t be up to what you’ll get at a red sauce restaurant.  But it’s better than Subway, and far better than Sheetz – if anyone wants to start that inane debate again.

There’s a certain comfort here. You go in to any Wawa anywhere, head for the deli counter and push your preferences on the touchscreen.  Add roasted red peppers? Sure, why not. Double the cheese? Hmm, now you’re just trying to kill me.

Thing is, I’ve enjoyed a Wawa meatball hoagie at 11 a.m., at 7 p.m., at 1 a.m. Often with a soft pretzel and a 24-ounce coffee. Always there, always reliable. It won’t win this contest any more than your best friend will win a Nobel Prize. But you still appreciate your best friend.

Score: 60/100

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