By Courtney Tennill

The goodAt Penn Station the sandwiches are some of the best you’ll eat in Richmond. And they’re made-to-order right in front of you, which is a refreshing alternative to fast food venues. If you’re a fan of Philly cheese steak, you can’t miss their version. They also offer several of their subs as wraps or salads for the carb-conscious eater.

The fries are also an interesting alternative to what you’d find at a burger joint. They’re made from freshly sliced potatoes and fried in cholesterol-free peanut oil-and just like the sandwiches, they’re made in front of you.

The East Coast Sub joint offers the usual selection of Pepsi products, but also serves homemade lemonade and fresh-brewed iced tea.

Don’t leave without having one of their fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. One is big enough for two people to share, and you can have it run through the sandwich toaster. It melts the chocolate and softens the cookie-which makes it taste like it just came out of your mom’s oven.

The atmosphere is college-student friendly: Sandwiches are served in baskets, a television is running with breaking news or sports highlights, and the staff is friendly and laid back.

The bad

Unlike most other sub chains, they don’t offer a variety of breads. The French bread they use for every sandwich is amazing, but if wheat or rye is more your style, you’re out of luck.

The parking lot is a little awkward: in some places, it’s hard to see how to get out.

The discounts

With a student ID, you can get a free drink if you buy an order of fries and a sandwich. If you get a small sub, you can get a whole meal for around $7.

On Tuesdays after 5 p.m., ask for the family special-you can buy any sub and get a small sub free. While this offer is for everyone and not specifically for students, this is probably the best deal they have. Two people can get sandwiches, fries and drinks for around $15.

If you try it and decide you like it, go to www.penn-station.com and sign up for their email offers. Every now and then they send out coupons for free subs.

Even though it’s a little more expensive than other sub venues, the discount seems to make up for the price difference-especially on Tuesdays nights.