Normally I have avoided chain restaurants on this blog but with a name like Jersey Mike’s Subs I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t cover it. Especially since they have locations all over the United States.
Let me get straight to the point and say that if the “Arthur Avenue Cookbook” is my “Hustler” than the deli case at Jersey Mike’s is my “Over 50”. I mean look at the meats in the deli case below … they don’ even look real. Have you ever seen a rectangular shaped ham? What is “hot ham? Is it pepperoni, sopressata, or some Frankenstein cured pork product? And what the hell is prosciuttini ? I don’t know but my best guess is cheap prosciutto.
Anyway as the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. So how does it taste? Well I have had numerous sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s over the years and honestly I find the food mediocre. I would best describe it as a New York themed version of Subway (I know it is called Jersey Mike’s but New Jersey is really just one giant suburb of New York City). The cold deli sandwiches are in the right vein, but as you can tell from the deli case the quality of the meats are pretty horrific. The bread is soft and mushy, and they are skimpy on size (vertical size). Jersey Mike’s also makes hot sandwiches including my favorite chicken parmesan. The best I can say is at least the chicken is breaded, and that is a step in the right direction for the west coast. But they use the same mushy bread, the sauce is way over seasoned, and they use provolone cheese instead of mozzarella.
So what is the verdict on Jersey Mike’s Subs? Well if you are desperate for something New York Italian deli “like” or something that resembles a chicken parmesan hero then give it a shot. Otherwise if you have access to someplace better (e.g. Salumi in Seattle) I suggest you do the same thing you should do the next time you find yourself in New Jersey … drive right past it till you get to New York City (food)*.
*NOTE: No New Jersey natives were hurt in the making of this article … only slightly insulted which they are used to anyway.