Jersey Mikes Subs Review – Nationwide Chain

Jersey Mikes Sub ReviewSo I saw this “pseudo-documentary” the other night, and one segment was on the founding of Jersey Mike’s Subs.

After reading a bit on Wikipedia, one or the other took a little poetic license. No matter. The shop started in Point Pleasant, NJ, a seaside down equidistant between Manhattan and Philly.

After 3 owners, long time employee Peter Cancro, around 18 purchased the shop in 1975, with financial assistance from a high school mate and a local banker/football coach (yeah, I don’t get that either).

They began franchising in 1987 and today there are over 1000 locations. Their “hook” is sub sandwiches made to order, slicing the meats and cheeses as needed.

They’ll ask your choice of bread (white, wheat, herb) and size (small, medium, and gigantic), and you can order by number from their menu, their recipes of hot or cold combinations, about a dozen of each, or of course, design your own.

They’ll ask you if you want it “Mike’s Way”, which involves sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, salt (spices) and “The Juice” – a mixture of red wine vinegar and olive oil.

They don’t seem to have as many toppings as competitors, tho it was my first visit and maybe they just don’t have them on display.

I went with a #13 “The Original Italian” – Provolone, Ham, Prosciuttini, Cappacuolo, Salami and Pepperoni. I didn’t request cheese, should have.  The meat is ok, nothing distinguishable.

I elected for the white loaf, and it’s good bread, better than competitors.

I don’t get the point of “slicing as needed.” It’s just ordinary deli meat, and this just adds an employee to the payroll. When I say “ordinary deli meat” I am talking about the formed, seasoned ‘loafs’ we’re used to seeing in deli counters. Slicing on site does enable Jersey Mikes to have the meat be paper thin – nearly translucent, and that means profit, I imagine.

Don’t know how (most) deli meat is made? Here’s a video (Dietz & Watson, pretty high quality).

Having not been in before, I ordered the large. Shouldn’t have – it’ll end up being 2-3 meals for me. It also game with a large price tag, $15. If I added extra meat and cheese, it’d top $17. That’s a helluva lot for a sandwich that is not coming out of the Carnegie Deli.

Overall verdict? Better than the competitors, with the exception of our local guy, who actually roast meats on site. The standard add-ons of chips and cookies available. Order your “sandwich” as a wrap or salad if you like that kind of thing.

Caution tho, as with any vegetable laden sandwich, if you’re not going to consume immediately, the bread is going to get soggy over a fairly short period of time.

If you’re saving it for later, consider disassembling, at least the tomato, lettuce. Really. Postscript:  I forgot to say, the employees at this location were VERY happy and courteous.  The only other chain I have experienced this level of “hospitable” employees is Chick-Fil-A.  So whomever is motivating franchisee employees, good job!

Jersey Mikes Sub Review

Jersey Mikes Sub Review

Jersey Mikes Subs Review

Jersey Mikes Subs Review

Potbelly Sandwich Review

Potbelly Reivew(Spoiler alert) I have missed out by not being a customer of Potbelly.I painted them with the “same brush” that I have used against a couple of their competitors that I truly don’t like, and that wasn’t fair.

I was recently contemplating a visit when coincidentally the company invited me in for a taste.

At our table was the broccoli cheese soup, an “Italian” sandwich, the “Mediterranean” Sandwich, 2 bags of Zapp’s Potato Chips, a mixed berry smoothie, and a chocolate chip cookie.

Wow. Seriously. Wow.

Name your favorite sub chain and know that Potbelly is better food and a much more enjoyable experience.

You’ll notice it the minute you walk in, subdued lighting, lively music(including live performances), seating and tables designed for comfort not to see how fast a place can flip a table……….and then there is the food.

If you’re ordering a sandwich, you have a choice of a regular roll, whole wheat or flatbread (gluten free), and you can order a half or whole, from the menu suggestions or design your own. Wanna double up on the meat, you can!

The rolls are fresh every morning from Chicago’s beloved Turano Baking; they’ve been around for over half a century. As I said earlier, I went with the “Italian,” capicola, mortadella, pepperoni, salami, and provolone cheese, slipped into the oven, served warm and melty. You can choose from any or all of these condiments at no charge: Mayo, Brown Deli Mustard, Hot Peppers, Lettuce, Onion, Tomato, Pickle, Oil, and Italian Seasoning. The vegetables are ultra fresh.

Sides include  chips, cole slaw, macaroni salad, potato salad, and whole pickles. (They carry a good selection of Zapp’s potato chips, a New Orleans favorite). Salads are available and customizable, and there are daily soup specials as well as chili, their best selling broccoli cheddar, and a new favorite, siracha black bean (which is vegan). Finish off your meal with made to order shakes and smoothies, or a fresh baked cookie.

A bit about Potbelly – it started as a single restaurant on Chicago’s near north side; it operated successfully as a single location for many years, until 1996, when entrepreneur Bryant Keil purchased the shop, updated and standardized the offerings and operation, and built Potbelly to have over 300 outlets in the U.S.

Some locations deliver, any of them can arrange to serve your office party, school, team, or church gathering, or family reunions. A typical order form looks like this, and you can fax it in.

The ‘dining in’ menu lists all your choices, and you can find the nearest Potbelly with their locator.

The location I visited was in the suburban Chicago burg of Algonquin, and is capably and cheerfully managed by Dan Horwath. He knows his product well, and is so enthusiastic about the company he will undoubtedly climb the corporate ladder quickly.

Potbelly Review

Italian Sandwich with Broccoli Cheese Soup!



Potbelly Sandwich Review

Ed Note.  Potbelly comped the meal.

Algonquin, IL – Takin’ A Bite of A.S.S. (Algonquin Sub Shop) Sandwich Reviews

For over 15 years, this local guy has slugged it out against the giant sandwich chains, and by all accounts is winning….big time. On a mid Sunday afternoon, this place was jammed.

With a long list of pre-customized sandwiches of all types, quality proteins, fresh-baked breads, and fresh vegetables make all the difference in the world.

Salads, 1/2 pound fresh sirloin burgers,  Red Hot Chicago dogs, and house-made soups round out the menu. Dirty brand chips, created by the late Ron Zapp in Grammercy, Louisiana are available, and beverages are by Coca-Cola.

This place is a little spendier, and a little slower than the chains, but the wait and the dosh are worth with.  The wait is made more pleasant by the demeanor and attractiveness of the woman behind the counter.

I tried their best seller, the Al Capone, which is capacola, salami, pepperoni, mortadella, provolone and black olives. Most sandwiches are dressed with mayo, mustard, tomato, onion, pickle, lettuce, oregano and balsamic dressing.  Upgrade to a multi-grain roll for 45 cents.  The sandwich is easily in the top five of this type of roll that I have eaten anywhere in the world, anywhere.

The burgers are outstanding.  Big beefy flavor, with a little smoke undertone, and a slight char. Soft rolls. At 8 ounces, it’s a monster, and at $6.49, it’s a steal.  Shoestring fries are crispy, salty, and delicious, with or without Chicago’s favorite cheese sauce.

Support local business.  When you’re in the area and you’re jonesin’ for a sandwich, think of Algonquin Sub Shop.

Menu is online. Catering available, too.

Algonquin Sub Shop

Al Capone Sub

Algonquin Sub Shop

1/2 pound burger w/ swiss



Algonquin Sub Shop on Urbanspoon

Sandwich Reviews