ERIE, PA—Local resident and frequent fast-food-restaurant patron Don Turnbee said Monday that he was "still a little leery" of the wrap he'd ordered from the Jefferson Street Subway sandwich shop minutes before.
"I'm not sure about this thing," Turnbee said, eyeing the Chicken Bacon Ranch wrap sitting on his tray beside a bag of chips and a large soda. "I mean, I'm gonna try it, but I don't understand this whole tortilla fad. What's wrong with bread?"
Turnbee acknowledged that he probably wouldn't have sampled the wrap without the 20-percent-off coupon he found in a newspaper insert, but added that he isn't averse to trying "new and unusual foods." In fact, the Erie native reports that he ordered a McDonald's Big N' Tasty Burger only days after learning about the sandwich on television.
"This wrap can't be all that bad," Turnbee said, poking at the item's paper exterior. "If I don't like it, at least I'll know I didn't pay full price."
Although Turnbee said he likes all the ingredients inside of his wrap, especially bacon, he said he was skeptical of "the whole idea of wrapping."
"I almost got the Turkey Bacon Melt, but that Chipotle Southwest Sauce scared me off," Turnbee said. "But this one seems like it'll be all right. What's the big deal, right? I guess I'll know in a couple bites."
Turnbee said he was thankful that Subway displayed a detailed list of ingredients near the serving line, allowing him to make an informed choice. He said his worries that he might accidentally get a wrap with "fancy" ingredients, such as sun-dried tomatoes, have stopped him from ordering wraps in the past.
"Some places don't tell you what's inside of the wrap," Turnbee said. "They cut it in half and make you guess from the colors. Some of these new types of sandwiches have a lot of weird stuff in them. I'd rather know what I'm eating."
In addition to his fear of unfamiliar ingredients, Turnbee said he is "uneasy with wraps," because he associates them with salads.
"My wife Shelly wants me to eat more salads," Turnbee said. "I try to eat one once a week. But I don't want to halfway eat a salad by eating a salad wrapped up in a tortilla."
"Not that Shelly ever told me to eat a wrap," Turnbee added. "I bet she doesn't even know what a wrap is. She doesn't dine out as frequently as I do."
Turnbee said he is pretty sure that wraps have something to do with the Atkins diet craze.
"Half the places I go offer some low-carb or Atkins thing," Turnbee said. "I ignore all that crazy business. At most of the places I go, I can still get one of the old standbys: a burger, a roast beef sandwich, or a ham and cheese sub. I do have some trouble when we go up to Canada to visit Shelly's sister. The restaurants are all different up there."
Although Turnbee acknowledged that he enjoys tortilla-based food items at restaurants such as Taco Bell, he said he doesn't understand why people want "regular sandwich fillings inside of Mexican food."
"That might be okay for the people in California, but I can't see myself getting too into them," Turnbee said. "They seem kind of flimsy. I like food you can grip with both hands, something like a Double Whopper with cheese."
In spite of Turnbee's reservations, sources close to him expect him to enjoy the wrap that he is about to eat.
"I'll bet Don likes it," Shelly Turnbee said. "I've never seen him not like anything with chicken and bacon in it. He's just wary of new things, especially if they seem gourmet. It's like when restaurants started switching from iceberg to romaine lettuce. He complained for a while, but he got used to it."