My limited experience with Jersey Mike’s Subs indicates that it’s at the top of its class. In a marketplace filled with mediocre and tasteless sandwiches, it’s nice to find a restaurant that makes flavorful meals from freshly sliced meats and cheeses.
As with many of my restaurant experiences, I didn’t pay for my Jersey Mike’s subs. I’ve learned that free food isn’t always good food, but in the case of Jersey Mike’s, I got great sandwiches on both visits.
On my first experience a few months ago, we visited the location on S. Hulen St. in Fort Worth during a promotion that offered free sandwiches in exchange for a charitable donation. While we listened to Brad Thompson sing outside, I experienced the best sub sandwich I’ve found since local Blimpie locations closed several years ago.
Freshly sliced meats and cheeses make a real different on a sandwich, and the line at Jersey Mike’s can back up during peak times because they slice everything fresh.
I tried the regular-size Original Italian, a hefty sandwich with provolone cheese, ham, prosciuttini, cappacuolo, salami and pepperoni. I had it “Mike’s Way”, so the sandwich was dressed with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, vinegar, oil and spices.
It had more oil than necessary, making it messier than it needed to be. Still, the sandwich was so much better than anything offered by the chain’s competitors that I can hardly complain.
It would be wrong not to mention the soft white bread. Jersey Mike’s also offers a wheat and a rosemary bread, but the white bread was perfectly soft and still hearty enough to hold the sandwich together.
The only problem was that the regular sandwich is really too large for lunch. I finished it, but I probably shouldn’t have.
Still, at nearly $7, the regular-size sandwiches are too expensive for everyday dining, at least for a frugal, simple writer like me. Minis are also available in the $4 to $5 range. The chain also offers large sandwiches for $10 to $12.
Since I signed up for the company’s email promotions, I got a coupon for a free sandwich and drink on my birthday. The coupon was only good on my birthday, however — not for a week or two before and after the actual date as many other birthday coupons are — so I thought I was out of luck since all their locations are closed on Christmas, my birthday. I emailed asking for a replacement coupon, however, and they quickly provided one for the day of my choice.
For my second visit to Jersey Mike’s, I tried the new location on Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth on December 26. I had a regular Original Italian again, but this time I shared it. Half of a regular sandwich was plenty for lunch, and it was once again so soaked in oil that my finicky stomach appreciated not having to deal with the other half.
The sandwich was excellent both times, and I see no reason to try any of the company’s other offering. While Jersey Mike’s offers hot sandwiches with cheese steak, chicken parmesan and, of course, meatballs as well as other cold sandwiches, the Original Italian will always be my choice. The company also offer wraps and will make any sub as a salad.
It’s nice to find a good sandwich at a chain place. I’ve never been a fan of Subway’s tasteless breads and meats, and Quiznos never won me over either. I always liked Blimpie because their meats and cheeses were sliced fresh, but all of their Fort Worth-area stores closed. On my last few visits, Blimpie was using pre-sliced meats anyway.
Jersey Mike’s is a New Jersey-based sandwich shop with more than 400 franchised locations that has been aggressively expanding, so if you don’t have one near you now, you probably will soon.
And that’s a very good thing. The sandwiches may be a bit pricey, but they’re also quite a bit better than your average sub-shop chain.