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looking to hear from fans of Jimmy Johns Gourmet Sandwiches

MarkG Jan 15, 2008 12:37 PM

i think they may be the best of the sandwich chains not counting those that run their product through a toaster/griller. what are your faves and do you agree?? are they midwest only??

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    pollymerase RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 01:00 PM

    Mmmm. I love JJs! I miss not having any near me.

    My personal fav is the #5 (Italian -- genoa salami and capicola) w/hot peppers, sometimes double meat if I'm feeling like a particularly meaty sandwich.

    The country club is also excellent. Actually, I think I like almost all of them!

    So tasty! Plus they deliver.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pollymerase
      amandaqtpie RE: pollymerase Jan 17, 2008 05:52 PM

      No one has mentioned the veggie, so I will. I love this veggie not because health reasons (obviously, with the mayo and avocado and cheese), but I love that they offer alfalfa sprouts, provolone, and the stated avocado. With tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and any addition or subtraction of items at no additional cost (onions, olives, peppers, other condiments; it's quite a tasty sandwich).
      I usually get the original Veg with a Slim #5 (minus capicola). Reasonably priced, and a total throwback to college bar-nights (15 years ago).

      1. re: amandaqtpie
        jjbailee RE: amandaqtpie Apr 15, 2009 12:33 PM

        Just to add really quick--there are no olives on the menu there, and peppers do cost extra

        1. re: jjbailee
          Jason1 RE: jjbailee Apr 27, 2009 01:44 PM

          If peppers cost extra, than it's location by location. There's no extra charge at my local Jimmy John's, and I'd feel really strange being charged for the addition of peppers.

    2. Prav RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 01:19 PM

      They are everywhere in my hometown of Ann Arbor, MI, but I spotted one in Charlottesville, VA on the UVA campus.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Prav
        ccbweb RE: Prav Jan 15, 2008 02:49 PM

        I've eaten many times at the Charlottesville Jimmy John's right near UVA. The sandwiches are pretty good though I prefer the toasted variety, so when I'm in the car I head for Quiznos. Jimmy John's was on the way walking between my apartment and UVA for a couple of years, so they got a fair bit of business from me. I, too, like the #5.

        1. re: Prav
          charlesbois RE: Prav Jan 16, 2008 11:37 AM

          IMO, the JJ's in Ann Arbor have gone waaaay downhill. We stopped ordering them at our office when one too many orders were screwed up. And whenever I get a sub, the predominate taste is wet lettuce. I end up ordering no lettuce to curtail that problem. Their avocado spread got really disgusting too. Not sure why, maybe it has sat around too long? I will admit though that their bread is pretty good and their BLT subs are excellent (unless there's too much lettuce).

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          swsidejim RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 01:23 PM

          not a big fan, but they are better than Subway, Quiznos, or any of the other sub chains. the only one I know of that you can get hot capicola on a sandwich. Edible, but I usually go to an Italian deli if I am in need of a sandwich.

          1. little audrey RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 02:38 PM

            One just opened nearby, in Maryland, so I too would like to know what is good there! (And what makes them better or different from Potbelly, Cosi, Panera, Atlanta Bread Co., etc. etc.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: little audrey
              ccbweb RE: little audrey Jan 15, 2008 02:53 PM

              To me, what makes them better than the above mentioned options (apart from Potbelly, at which I've never eaten and so can't offer an opinion) is focus. They do sandwiches and that's it. They have relatively few bread options (i think just 2) and, really, relatively few things they put on the sandwiches (infinite combinations, of course). I think that allows for better quality product and creates quicker turnover of their stuff and with sandwiches, fresher is often better.

            2. Suzy Q RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 03:59 PM

              We just got one here in NC. I'm not the world's biggest fan of cold sandwiches, so take this for what it's worth, but I think it's pretty good. Everything seems really fresh and I, too, love the fact that they're a mile away from my house and that they deliver. My husband loooooves cold deli sandwiches, so I'd count him as a fan.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Suzy Q
                rockycat RE: Suzy Q Jan 18, 2008 06:08 AM

                Sounds like you're in my 'hood, Suzy Q. I work withing walking distance of the new N. Raleigh JJ's but haven't been in yet. From what I've read Jimmy John's opens almost exclusively near college campuses so I'm not quite "getting" why they chose this location. I've also assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the focus on feeding college students quickly and cheaply would lead to lower quality. After all, if you need delivery at odd hours and you're 20 years old, you're probably to wasted to go out for food.

                Still, looking at their menu on-line, I wasn't overwhelmed. Not terribly interesting, even for a sandwich shop. I may have to think about trying it, though, after reading some of these comments. Although the concerns about their bread don't make me happy. Why, oh why, can't any chain come up with a decent loaf of bread?

                Btw, I think there are 2 or 3 more JJ's coming on line in the Triangle area soon.

                1. re: rockycat
                  pollymerase RE: rockycat Jan 18, 2008 07:16 AM

                  The menu may not be progressive, but it's simple and tasty.

                  I've always enjoyed their bread. I remember they would sell the extra loaves from the night before the next morning for really cheap and they would make a great snack on the way to class.

                  1. re: rockycat
                    Suzy Q RE: rockycat Jan 19, 2008 01:48 PM

                    Hey rockycat! I live near the one in Cary, which is the parking lot with Lowe's and adjacent to Starbucks. All I can figure it that they must get a lot of hungry home improvement do-it-yourselfers on the weekends. :-)

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                  aelph RE: MarkG Jan 15, 2008 04:07 PM

                  Better than Subway, Quiznos, Potbelly, but that's not saying much. I only order the "Vito." Oddly, I've been in a JJ's whereupon ordering the "Vito" (which it's called in bold lettering on the menu board, I was asked..."um...you mean the number 5?") Rather strange. Apparently, they have a huge college following, but until I moved to Illinois(long-post matriculation), I'd never heard of them; they started in Charleston, IL.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: aelph
                    tasmonia RE: aelph Jan 15, 2008 08:32 PM

                    Oooh I think Jimmy John's is the best overall of the sandwich chains. Erbert's and Gerbert's makes a really good turkey and sprouts, but I'm not sure if that's a chain or just by the U of MN, and their overall quality isn't as high as JJ. I liked Big Mike's Super Subs when it existed, but it went downhill fast. I have only eaten at Potbelly Sandwich a few times and liked it, but the ambience was a big much. I think Subway is the lowest of the low and I would rather go hungry than eat there.

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                    sophia519 RE: MarkG Jan 16, 2008 11:30 AM

                    I like Jimmy Johns better than most of the other chains because I think their bread is much better. The lettuce is always very fresh and crisp which really makes the cold sub, in my opinion. No matter what I try at Subway it always seems to be flavorless....I also feel that Panera has gone downhill and never thought Quizno's sandwiches had much flavor either. Like another poster said, they do one thing and do it well. They don't overhype their sandwiches or ingredients, which also helps.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sophia519
                      gordeaux RE: sophia519 Jan 16, 2008 12:18 PM

                      I would be at JJ's almost every day for lunch if they had better bread. As it is now, my opinion is that all of their ingredients are head and shoulders above subway, but the bread is still almost as weak. JJ's used to be my spot for an almost decent cold sammich fix. I'm a potbelly guy all the way now (they are "toasters," but the bread is decent along with the ingredients)

                      I've also noticed that within the last 3 years, JJ's switched to a more "meat jello" ish roast beef substance a la subway. At least in my neck of the woods anyway. There is nothing worse than that stuff people call "deli" lunchmeat. Listen. Roast beef is roast beef. There is no "middle ground" on what constitutes roast beef. If I order roast beef at subway, I most definitely do NOT get roast beef. I get some substance that resembles roast beef. If I order turkey at subway, I most definitely do not get the same stuff that is roasted and on the table for Thanksgiving. I get some replication of turkey. This is my biggest beef with these places. Didn't mean to go off like that - I actually did start off with giving JJ's kudos!

                    2. Chew on That RE: MarkG Jan 18, 2008 06:34 AM

                      I went to school in Champaign, IL where the Jimmy Johns guy himself lives! Needless to say, it's huge there and all around me. And I'm pretty sure it is a Midwest thing.

                      I do enjoy their turkey sandwiches... I get the slim turkey with cheese. Satisfying if you just need a quick meal.

                      1. madgreek RE: MarkG Jan 18, 2008 09:13 AM

                        Their beach club on whole wheat is my favorite food to get at any chain restaurant, though the Jimmy John's close to me has problems with consistency. As a result, I make this sandwich fresh at home (about half the size if J/J's)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: madgreek
                          SungSook RE: madgreek May 2, 2008 12:05 AM

                          Mmmmmmm, Beach Club! My favorite! I'm going to miss this too when I move to San Diego!!!

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                          Mag454 RE: MarkG Jan 18, 2008 11:53 AM

                          jimmy johns is on the east coast too.

                          for some reason, i feel that it is the same thing as subway and since subway was closer i would go there first. no brand loyalty with this girl.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Mag454
                            ccbweb RE: Mag454 Jan 18, 2008 02:10 PM

                            I would totally disagree with that on just about every level when it comes to the sandwiches. I think the bread is better at Jimmy John's (no idea whether it's fresher...but I think it tastes better) and the cold cuts and vegetables are really quite a lot better to me.

                            1. re: Mag454
                              DebinIndiana RE: Mag454 Apr 4, 2014 07:48 PM

                              Well, jimmy john's just SMELLS so much better than subway....

                            2. janetofreno RE: MarkG Jan 18, 2008 02:13 PM

                              I can't say anything about the quality of JJs, as I've never eaten there. But I can tell you that the three JJs in Reno have some of the best delivery boys around (My son does delivery for them :-) They seem to have a pretty good business model: doing only one thing and trying to do it well.

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                                uvahustla RE: MarkG Jan 22, 2008 10:21 PM

                                I think Jimmy John's is mediocre at best (Charlottesville). The totally tuna is the only thing I've ever really liked and it's never been consistent for me. I would put it above Subway, but IMO Jersey Mike's is a cut above. I remember reading the menu for Jimmy John's and being impressed how many of the same ingredients are in each sandwich. For the 16 (guess) or so sandwiches they have I feel like they are very similar.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: uvahustla
                                  ccbweb RE: uvahustla Jan 23, 2008 07:55 AM

                                  Is there a Jersey Mike's in C'ville now? Or were you writing about chain sandwich shops generally?

                                  In C'ville...not a chain, obviously, but I'm far more likely to duck into Little John's for a sandwich.

                                2. SungSook RE: MarkG Jan 28, 2008 08:05 PM

                                  I love Jimmy Johns! I'm moving to San Diego this summer and will be missing it (along with my other non-foodie cravings) when I move. There's one in St. Paul I stop by after class on my way home and I'm yet to try one I don't like.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: SungSook
                                    janetofreno RE: SungSook Jan 29, 2008 09:32 PM

                                    I know its mostly a mid-west chain but it seems to be spreading west, fwiw. As I said earlier, there are three Jimmy John's (all owned by the same individual; my son's employer) in Reno...and the other day I noticed one in Las Vegas. (No where near the strip). So there could be a few in San Diego....

                                    1. re: janetofreno
                                      danhole RE: janetofreno Jan 30, 2008 11:14 AM

                                      Jimmy John's has opened a few shops here in Houston, Tx, but I haven't tried them. So many sandwich places, and their menu doesn't look all that fabulous.

                                      1. re: janetofreno
                                        sasha1 RE: janetofreno Apr 29, 2009 09:04 AM

                                        They're in Washington state too.

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                                      SaraC RE: MarkG May 1, 2008 05:44 AM

                                      I am JJ's biggest fan. I would eat there everyday of every meal. I am a picky girl, so I just get the Slim 4 with mayo packets. Heaven. I would just eat the bread. I have not had Subway or Quizno's since they've come to the Jackson, MI area. As for the Ann Arbor location... I eat there every single time I am downtown. Personally, they are the friendliest and the best sandwich makers!!

                                      1. Calipoutine RE: MarkG May 6, 2008 11:23 AM

                                        I live near London, Ontario but I make frequent trips to Port Huron, MI. I discovered Jimmy John's last month( It opened up in Feb). Yummy, I was on my way to Ann Arbor and ended up eating one every day that I was in AA. I really like #12 or the veggie sub. I think the bread is pretty darn good and the quality of ingredients is above par. Does anyone know what brand of cold cuts they use? I'm secretly hoping its Boar's Head.

                                        I think Subway sucks and I've never liked a hot sandwich so Quizno's is out. I've never had potbelly before ( I suppose I should try that on my next visit to AA).

                                        I like JJ's so much that I started a topic over at Egullet about it. I even emailed them to ask if they were moving into London, Ontario ( sadly, NO). Guess I'll continue to make the 62mile trip to MI when a craving hits.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Calipoutine
                                          Calipoutine RE: Calipoutine Aug 21, 2008 07:28 AM

                                          Just an update. I did try PotBelly in Ann Arbor and it sucked!!

                                        2. steakman55 RE: MarkG Aug 21, 2008 03:03 PM

                                          Mostly in university towns, and there are a couple in Tallahassee. I love it.. Don't particularly like hot sandwiches, just my personal preference. I like the #9 Italian Night Club with banana peppers and always ask for them to go easy on the mayo...otherwise you get several tablespoons. Bread is good and the capicola makes the sandwich.

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                                            jujuthomas RE: MarkG Aug 22, 2008 07:26 AM

                                            tried JJ's for the first time last month in Louisville. Now I REALLY hope the expand into the PA area. Love the roast beef, and the turkey sammies. never had sprouts on a sandwich before, very tasty. :)

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: jujuthomas
                                              jjbailee RE: jujuthomas Apr 27, 2009 01:43 PM

                                              ^They already have several locations in PA

                                              1. re: jjbailee
                                                jujuthomas RE: jjbailee Apr 28, 2009 05:24 AM

                                                I just started working near temple and found that there's one a few blocks away! AND they deliver! WOOHOO!!! :)

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                                              ferret RE: MarkG Aug 22, 2008 12:44 PM

                                              The "Gourmet" part is a little misleading because all I experienced was a sandwich served on an oversized hot dog bun with an overabundance of iceberg lettuce. Not very good.

                                              1. kiwi RE: MarkG Aug 22, 2008 12:47 PM

                                                A few things that make JJs a stand out:
                                                1. Terrific interactive nutritional info on the online menu. You can screw around with any sandwich and customize it to your heart's content all the while keeping tabs on sodium, fiber, weight of the sandwich plus all the obvious stuff like calories, carbs and fat.
                                                2. Tuna is quite good (unlike Subway's tuna which scares me).
                                                3. Delivery is FAST and, what 25 cents? totally worth it!
                                                4. The 7 grain bread has a more sodium than it needs, but is not bad, very fresh, very soft and, has a decent amount of fiber.

                                                Only negative is that they can't toast the bread.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: kiwi
                                                  jimmyjohn RE: kiwi Apr 3, 2010 05:53 PM

                                                  First time I went to JJ's i thought...what, you can't heat up your sandwich? But once you eat one they are great; always cold and super fresh. My fav is the Vito...#5 i believe.
                                                  I cross the border from Ontario into Michigan to get one! Wish there were franchises in Ontario opening....anyone know of any?? Thanks..

                                                  1. re: jimmyjohn
                                                    Calipoutine RE: jimmyjohn Apr 4, 2010 12:28 PM

                                                    Nothing in Ontario. I get my JJ's in MI too( Port Huron). I told them they should open one in London, but they have no plans to come to Canada( like a lot of US places).

                                                2. LaLa RE: MarkG Apr 5, 2010 06:38 AM

                                                  I love Jimmy Johns.....the bread is what makes it for me....I am a sucker for the veggie sub.

                                                  1. Lindseyup67 RE: MarkG May 11, 2010 03:26 PM

                                                    We just got one here, and all me and all my co-workers LOVE it! They even gave our business free subs because everyone there orders from them so much! Give me a #9 ....no tomatoes, light lettuce, and I am in heaven!!! FAST and cheap delivery! I was all about hot subs until they came to town!!!

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                                                      Dab035 RE: MarkG Apr 2, 2014 09:39 AM

                                                      Mmmmmm! We just got a JJs in our town in Hartford Wisconsin. I am hooked. #11 unwich! No mayo, no cheese. Avocado spread, a little onion, tomato, and I am in heaven! All that fun for 165 calories, 3 grams fat and 10 carbs with 24 grams of protein. Just delicious. Oh and did I mention they deliver it to my office FREAKY FAST?

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                                                        exvaxman RE: MarkG Apr 11, 2014 02:37 PM

                                                        There is a local boycott of the chain thanks to the franchise owner. Due his refusing to stop speeding drivers on a local road three towns are looking to sue each other over a closure. One of their drivers going well over the 25 mph speed killed a local doctor walking his dog. The b-tard despite it being in his lease that other sandwich shops could go in at a local strip mall threatened to sue over a local much loved corned beef place opening in a second location for the first time in their 50+ year history. May Jimmy Johns rot in hell forever.

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                                                          UTgal RE: MarkG Apr 28, 2014 01:32 PM

                                                          I'm a fan - it's a great alternative to Subway which was the only option here for many years.

                                                          I haven't tried any of the gourmet ones, just the simple turkey and roast beef.

                                                          1. j
                                                            justicenow RE: MarkG Apr 28, 2014 02:07 PM

                                                            I think it all depends on the local ownership of the franchise. The JJ's in Meridian, Idaho was really good when it opened. After a year they had cut out offering sprouts and cut back on meat portions. Now, it is just mediocre.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: justicenow
                                                              Jason1 RE: justicenow Apr 30, 2014 11:43 AM

                                                              Not offering sprouts wasn't a franchise issue, the stopped this in all stores due to e-coli outbreaks. I really do miss them, though, as to me they "made" some of their sandwiches. However, a quick web search indicates that they may have recently been added back (in the last month), so I'll have to go check it out!

                                                            2. Bob W RE: MarkG Apr 30, 2014 12:20 PM

                                                              JJ's is now in the DC area, as is Jersey Mike's. Both are better than Subway, and much better than the now-bankrupt Quizno's. Potbelly is also decent.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: Bob W
                                                                monkeyrotica RE: Bob W May 1, 2014 06:11 AM

                                                                There's also Firehouse and Togos around DC, also better than Subway, but that's like saying cholera is better than leprosy.

                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                  Bob W RE: monkeyrotica May 1, 2014 06:30 AM

                                                                  We had a Quizno's out in Chantilly that went out and has been replaced by a Subway. My view of that switch was that it was like the 62 Mets being replaced by the 63 Mets.

                                                                  1. re: Bob W
                                                                    monkeyrotica RE: Bob W May 1, 2014 06:40 AM

                                                                    I think the best thing about Quiznos is that it didn't smell like Subway. The second best thing is that they're going bankrupt. At least with JJs and Jersey Mike's and Firehouse, you can get an okay sandwich that (a) doesn't smell like Subway and (b) doesn't shred the roof of your mouth until you're spitting blood like Quiznos.

                                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                      Bob W RE: monkeyrotica May 1, 2014 08:04 AM

                                                                      I've never minded the Subway smell, but I also limit my orders there to a very few items, mainly the Spicy Italian and the tuna if I'm looking for a 1000+ calorie lunch of which about 800 of the calories are fat. Some of the other sandwich fillings are truly disgusting.

                                                                      As for Quizno's, their offerings are really salty and I've never seen the appeal of a toasted sub roll. Like a good bagel, a good sub roll doesn't need to be toasted.

                                                                      My one word of warning for Jimmy John's: If a sandwich comes with mayo, tell them to go easy on the mayo or you'll get a mayo sub.

                                                                      1. re: Bob W
                                                                        monkeyrotica RE: Bob W May 1, 2014 08:50 AM

                                                                        The mayo thing seems to be getting out of hand. Half the time, even when I say hold the mayo, they go apey on it. If I had the venture capital, I'd start a chain of mayo-only fast casual eateries where you get nothing but cups of mayo served soft serve frogurt style. It would need a snappy name like "TGI Mayo's" or "The Mayo Clinic" or "Virginia Mayo" or "Mayo the Force Be with You."

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                          Bob W RE: monkeyrotica May 1, 2014 10:53 AM

                                                                          The first time I got a JJ's sub, there was so much mayo it probably doubled the caloric count for the sandwich.

                                                                          +1 for Virginia Mayo!

                                                                          1. re: Bob W
                                                                            monkeyrotica RE: Bob W May 1, 2014 11:05 AM

                                                                            I'm thinking the same customers who are eating a "healthy" sandwich that's slathered in a half cup of mayonnaise are the same ones buying those "healthy" salads topped with bacon, fried chicken, and a whole g*ddamn bottle of ranch dressing. The most powerful force in the universe is not compounded interest, it's self-delusion.

                                                              2. John E. RE: MarkG Apr 30, 2014 06:29 PM

                                                                I don't like that the Jimmy John's customer cannot see the sandwich while it is being made. I want to see the put the ingredients on the bread.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: John E.
                                                                  Bob W RE: John E. May 1, 2014 06:30 AM

                                                                  At Subway that has helped me know which sandwiches to avoid.

                                                                2. Veggo RE: MarkG Apr 30, 2014 07:03 PM

                                                                  Pretty good reports here and on more recent local reviews. I'm in Bradenton, FL, and my physician has opened 3, including a free-stand with a drive through. I need to give it a try!

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                                                                    Fydeaux RE: MarkG May 2, 2014 09:21 AM

                                                                    I have only had a sub from them once, and that was several years ago. I recall that it wasnt bad, but there are much better to be found nearby.

                                                                    I do know that their advertising is so horrendously bad that it will be a cold day in hell before I try them again.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Fydeaux
                                                                      monkeyrotica RE: Fydeaux May 2, 2014 10:58 AM

                                                                      Are the ads as bad as Quiznos?

                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                        John E. RE: monkeyrotica May 2, 2014 03:19 PM

                                                                        Their radio ads have actually been funny. The point of the ads were how fast Jimmy John's can deliver a sandwich. On one spot, a homeowner call's Jimmy John's because their house was on fire. When the firemen gets to the house the Jimmy John's guy is putting out the fire. When the firemen ask the homeowner why he did not call the fire department first, the homeowner responds, "I did."

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                                                                          Fydeaux RE: monkeyrotica May 5, 2014 06:12 AM

                                                                          Worse. Much worse.

                                                                      2. f
                                                                        ferret RE: MarkG May 3, 2014 12:29 PM

                                                                        In an act of desperation I just stopped at a Jimmy Johns. Never again. I wasn't fond of it on a previous visit but I must now have remembered how awful it is -- and an awful value. Bread is the key to a good sandwich and while theirs is better than Subway, it's only slightly better than Subway.

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