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May 5, 2009 08:21 PM

Where can I find an amazing tuna fish sandwich?

A tuna fish sandwich is one of my favorite comfort foods but it never seems to get treated seriously. I've had too many awful tuna sandwiches and I am starting to lose faith in finding a decent one. Many places glop it with too much mayo, throw some celery in for crunch, over salt it, then call it a day. Either that or they plop the soupy low grade tuna salad out of that dreadful white plastice bucket.with an ice cream scooper. I'm looking for deli's or lunch counters that are doing something unique or interesting with their Tuna salad. With the seemingly endless stream of diners in NJ one of them must boast the best Tuna sanwich. Anyone have any leads? .

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  1. jrd303, I was going to second your rec for Mike's Subs in Keyport on another thread, but this looks like a good spot for that. I know you asked about a Tuna Fish sandwich, but would a Tuna Sub do? I love the Tuna Sub at Mike's. I don't know exactly what is in it, as the tuna salad is really smooth, (I imagine that some type of machine is involved in the mixing) but it is the only place I go for tuna. The flavor is totally different than any I've had anywhere. I get it with everything on it as well, (lettuce, tomato, onion, oil, vinegar & hot peppers)

    4 Replies
    1. re: DrewBB

      Haha, I also like my subs with all the fixings. Mike's tuna is very smooth and very creamy maybe almost watery, I'm pretty certain they use the chunk grade, I think it gets an intense taste because it's not ordered that often and the flavor mingles and concentrates. One thing I don't care for is, like many other tuna subs from all over, it tends to become a sloppy mess.three bites in and the salad starts coming out of the sandwich every which way. I'm partial to a sandwich that holds together from the first bite to the last.

      The best simple tuna sandwich I've ever had came from a guy in a lunch truck I happened upon in South Plainfield, Instead of having premade salad he opened a fresh can then spent a good ten minutes asking me everything you can imagine about how I like a tuna fish sandwich prepared. He asked about everything from the texture of the flake I liked to the amount of mayo (and added a little bit at a time and kept checking with me untill it was perfect) to the addition of spices and condiments he had on hand to what type of bread and the degree to which I would like it toasted, He ended up delivering the perfect tuna fish sandwich along with a big smile to my face and pretty much wrecked me from ever being satisfied with anything from a deli or subshop again. This was in some random parking lot and the guy just happened to be passing through. I've never seen him since but it's amazing how someone taking ten minutes out of their day to give excellent service can leave such a lasting impression,

      I'm hoping a place like D'jeet is doing their take on tuna. I'd love to find a tuna sandwich made with some fresh oregano or chives or dill or tarragon, maybe a touch of horseradish in the salad, possibly mustard or sourcream I've heard of people adding anchovie paste, celery seeds or caroway seeds and a little crisp cooked bacon or toasted walnuts instead of celery for crunch, Onion or shallots would be nice. Maybe even a touch of avocado or hummus or sliced radishes on top, If it came on thick slabs of toasted rye or pumpernickel I'd be in heaven, I prefer a lightly flaked, firmer tuna ideally with with thick cut, in-season tomato slices for moisture pr oil and vinegar soaked into toasted bread if the tomatoes aren't in season. I think I'm leaning more towards finding a cafe or restaurant than a deli or subshop unless there's one adding these kind of ingredients.

      1. re: jrd303

        I bet D'jeet would make one for you if you asked, and it would be great. But if you're in the area, the Jersey Mike's in Middletown does a pretty good job with their tuna sub.

        1. re: jrd303

          D'jeet sounds like a great idea, I love that place, if time allows I'll go today and try the tuna, if available. BTW I agree with your description of Mike's Tuna, but I have to add that they do go through quite a bit of it, so I'm not sure if that's is why the flavor is so intense, I still think that there is an ingredient added, that is hidden by the consistancy.

          1. re: DrewBB

            Our secret ingredient is Old Bay, and a lot of it. Drained canned tuna, a little mayo or olive oil, a little mustard, and a lot of Old Bay. This simple mixture, rye bread, swiss cheese and a panini press is all you need for a perfect tuna melt. I love the idea of adding tomato or radishes, avocado, onion, sprouts, herbs, anything you like. Just do not leave out the Old Bay. Make it at home and experiment.

      2. White House subs in Atlantic City has the most ridiculously good tuna hoagie made with olive oil, celery, and just the right seasonings that soak up beautifully in their top notch bread.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yankeefan

          There is a picture of that sub at

        2. Random Side Note - interesting local food contest - the Superior Sandwich Contest
          Tuna sandwich possible, the guy does not eat mayo, but maybe his sidekick will find one...

          Your Tuna Sandwich Vision is beautiful!

          1. 'ENDLESS STREAM OF DINERS'....Your looking for tuna in all the wrong places....

            Taystee sub shop in Edison is your lead for today....

            12 Replies
            1. re: gudeatz

              Agree that Taystee in Edison or their branch in Franklin Township (RT 27) has a great tuna fish sub.

              1. re: tom246

                I'll join in the chorus of support for the Taystee tuna sub (although I haven't had one in more years than I care to count).

                1. re: bgut1

                  I lived in Edison for 40 some odd years. When ever I visit I have to go get a number 9 with everything plus peppers from Taystee.

              2. re: gudeatz

                I'll have to agree with this one.
                If I have to have something other than home-made (which is still the best and never beaten) , Taystee has for many years been the #1 Tuna Sub in NJ as far as I'm concerned. ...always consistently good. Most other places, subsup and diner alike, seem to mash the tuna up too much, use too much mayo, use lousy mayo, or horror of horrors use that nasty crime against nature, Miracle Whip.

                1. re: gudeatz

                  Taystee's tuna sub - WOW! There was a point in my childhood when a Taystee tuna sub was my ultimate choice - way before McDonald's, pizza, ice cream or the like. Pretty much the one thing about our time living in the area that I've always missed.

                  1. re: gudeatz

                    I'm not a big diner guy myself but with how many there are I was hoping one would take pride in their tuna. I hate to go against the popular tide here but I've had the Taystee and it wasn't for me. Too much mayo, poor quality tuna and no fresh ingredients mixed in.

                    European Provisions in East Brunswick has a pretty good tuna salad they call "west coast tuna salad", It .has both red onion and green onions. both red and green pepper, a small amount of celery. and a bare bit of green olive maybe a quarter of an olive in the whole sandwich. I usually can't stand olives in my tuna but the small amount added just a hint of flavor. There also seemed to be some paprika mixed in which I like. It wasn't too salty or too messy.

                    I also give them high marks for how well they take care of their bread. They keep it wrapped in plastic bags to keep it fresh, I don't know where they get it from and if anyone knows I'd be most appreciative. I asked the lady who runs the place but I'm pretty sure she gave me the wrong place. They have several types with my favorites being the pumpernickel and multigrain.

                    1. re: jrd303

                      GASP!!!! How can you mention European Provisions and not even mention pork!!!! I'm kidding of course, but when I go to European Provisions, my sandwich of choice is the Goose Liverwurst on their wonderful Rye, you are right about the bread. Next trip, I will definately try the tuna - after the liverwurst!

                      1. re: DrewBB

                        As a side note I had a slice of Edam cheese, lettuce tomato and onions on my tuna sandwich as well.

                        Liverworst has never in my life appealed to me but if it's your favorite I'd love to give it a throw. How exactly do you order it and what are is it about their Liverwurst that you like so much? Is it uncommon to use goose for liverwurst?

                        1. re: jrd303

                          I always thought the only fish at EP was pickled herring. Is it foul that I want and EP tuna sandwich with double smoked bacon on it????

                          As for 'wurst, here's a recent discussion:


                          Just ask for a small slice. It's fatty and tangy and, well just try it. Personally, my favorites in decending order are: calves, goose, pork, but what do I know!

                          1. re: MGZ

                            A food scholar based on your assessment of liverwurst...keep eating!

                            1. re: MGZ

                              k, now I want to try pickled herring. I'vre never had that either. Is it the same brine as for a cucumber? Do you just have it on a roll with no fixins or is there a standard you enjoy?

                              With the wurst is there a cheese that pairs well? I love that EP has a wall full of sandwich suggestions. It's seems like every regular customer's favorite combination is up on the wall somewhere.

                              1. re: jrd303

                                Pickled herring is available two ways. One is a "clear" sauce, vinegar based, not dissimilar to cucumber:


                                It is also available in a cream sauce, which is sort of like the clear herring with sour cream added:


                                Neither is a particular favorite of mine (probably because my Polish blood was partially diluted ); however, like anything else, it is worth a taste.

                                As to liverwurst and cheese, I had never thought of such a combination until recently when, after a long day and a couple shakers of gin, I made a meal of what I found in the fridge. Thus, I sat down to a cutting board full of ingredients: braunsweiger, a boiled egg, red onion, swiss cheese, mayonaise, freshly grated horseradish, and crusty bread. Eventually, some of the braunsweiger found itself on bread with the cheese, mayo and onion and I deemed it quite tasty (it paired well with a now forgotten IPA) . Thus, I could see a sandwich consisting of such ingredients, as well as, perhaps, some lettuce.

                                I am afraid this thread has taken a turn for the wurst!

                    2. Primo Hoagie's Tuna Diablo. Made with Italian tuna. An excellent sandwich!