Although last week was technically half way through the Sub’r Bowl, due to the shop being in the “wrong” Division, I consider this week’s review of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches to be the half way point. For some reason I was dreading a visit to the National Chain Over 1000 Locations Division, but sometimes it’s nice to be wrong.
We didn’t get to eat until really late this week, after 3:30pm. As such, the place was empty, and we got to order right away. Jimmy John’s serves “sub” and “club” sandwiches: while both varieties are served on 8 inch French bread rolls, the difference is that the club sandwiches have twice the meat. The staff told us that the most popular sandwiches were the Italian Night Club and the Beach Club sandwiches. Well, the Beach Club is some kind of California salad on a roll, but the Italian Night Club was right up our alley.
As is usual with most of the chains we’ve been to, there is a combo that includes chips and a drink. Greg made the comment that the most they can get on the sides was 3 points, and I jokingly said, not if they come in 12 ounce bags! The joke was on me, however, as the chips, while not sold in 12 ounce bags, were in fact 2.125 ounce bags, which are anywhere from one half to a full ounce bigger than the competition. That’s two servings per bag, if the nutritional information is to be believed. While it’s not enough to make them stand out in that category, it’s certainly worthy of some bonus points. Also, to Greg’s satisfaction, the soft drinks were Coca Cola products.
Jimmy John’s makes a monster sandwich. The French bread is freshly baked in the store, and it’s a really great tasting French roll. The problem for me is that I don’t really prefer French bread for a sub — it’s a little too crusty for me. Be that as it may, the sandwich itself is loaded with freshly sliced meat and cheese with the perfect amount of vegetables.
With the “club” sandwiches, there is double the meat of the “sub” sandwiches. Not only was there a lot of meat on the sandwich, but it was also very flavorful! It wasn’t just meat for meat’s sake, and it didn’t taste like a mishmash of cold cuts, like we’ve had in the past. You could really taste the different flavors of the meats on this thing, the mark of high quality cuts. For $5.49, this sandwich blows away the competition on taste, price and overall value.
As for the veggies, initially I thought there was too much lettuce, but when I opened it to remove some, I actually ended up taking off very little. There were ample roma tomato slices and just enough onion to be tasted without being overpowering. A welcome addition to the sandwich not present in the other’s we’ve tried was sliced red peppers. I also added hot peppers to my sandwich for a small fee, which were large and spicy but not overbearing.
A recurring theme for me is the complaint of too much mayonnaise on the sandwich, and Jimmy John’s is no exception. I understand the point of mayo — it keeps the bread from getting soggy by providing a fat layer. Heck, I put mayo on most of my own sandwiches at home where excess moisture is a concern. The problem is that I don’t like it oozing out of the sandwich when I bite into it. Nobody else in our group has ever expressed a concern about the mayo other than perhaps there being not enough, so maybe this is a personal preference, and I need to start asking them to go light on the mayo.
Another thing that was not really a problem for me but more of an observation was the amount of dressing on the sandwich. It had a really good flavor and didn’t really overpower the sandwich, but, my goodness, was there a lot of it! I had large puddles (plural) on my wrapper by the time I had finished eating the sandwich and had gone through half a dozen napkins trying to stay dry. This is definitely not a sandwich you’re going to eat on the go.
I rated the following categories:
- Bread: 6
- Sandwich Stuff: 6
- Price/Value: 7
- Non-sandwich Stuff: 3
- Bonus points: 2
- Total: 24 points
This past round saw some of the best and worst sandwiches we’ve had so far, with Jimmy John’s surprisingly topping the ratings for me to date. While we’ve still got almost half the contenders yet to review, it’s hard to see one of them topping these scores. I honestly never expected a large national chain to be at the top of the ratings chart, and it will be really interesting to see how things turn out in the playoffs!