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Jimmy John's

I thought that since I frequent this board, I should contribute a topic about a favorite chain. I grew up in Philadelphia, PA where good-to-magnificent hoagies abound. Back in 2005, I moved to Nashville, TN. I discovered that Southerners do not know how to make sandwiches, let alone hoagies (you can't make a sandwich worth eating without bread worth eating). Subway was not an acceptable substitute, and the places that tried to replicate a Yankee-style hoagie often had excellent quality ingredients, but something was often lost in translation. Usually the bread. Anyway, a few years after I moved down there, Jimmy John's opened near Vanderbilt University.

Now, I moved back to Philadelphia in 2012. Places where you can get good-to-magnificent hoagies abound here. However, in Nashville, they were a lifesaver. Their hoagies would have qualified in Philadelphia as pretty good, solid hoagies. You wouldn't go out of your way for them, but you wouldn't refuse to get a sandwich from them either. However, in Tennessee? In Tennessee, they officially qualified as stellar. The white bread was a touch crusty, soft enough inside to collapse around the meats, but a bit tough so it wouldn't turn to paste as it absorbed the oil and vinegar, the fat from the meats, and the juices from the veggies. Their deli meats were good, the veggies were fresh, and their tuna tasted fresh and good. I became a regular, and I always got the Italian or the tuna.

Any other Jimmy John's fans here?

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  1. I think Jimmy John's I'd extremely mediocre.

    Have you tried Mitchell Deli in Nashville? Good hoagies (like the roast beef) and a surprisingly good French dip. I just wish it was closer to VU.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yeah, there aren't many places near me that serve anything other than barely acceptable subs, and I rate Jimmy John's on par with Subway if you do a calorie vs taste comparison, IMHO. Other than the two aforementioned shops there is a Quiznos, a local chain that serves hoagies, and a bunch of other independent joints that serve subs as a secondary menu item. They are all interchangeable and uninteresting to me, but that does not prohibit me from getting a sub from time to time. I usually go with subway just because it is a healthy option. Jimmy John's rarely makes it into my rotation; I can't imagine it would at all if I were in a good sandwich town like Philadelphia.

      1. re: MonMauler

        Oh, now that I'm back in Philly I won't be patronizing Jimmy John's, but in Nashville? They were a godsend!

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Mitchell Deli was great...unless you wanted a hoagie. Their bread was way too hard for a classic hoagie. I often got sandwiches at Mitchell, though I was fonder of their breakfasts than their sandwiches. I did like their curried chicken salad a lot, and I greatly appreciated that they carried the diet Milo's tea.

        But Mitchell Deli made the same mistake that a lot of foodie-centric places make when it comes to hoagies (including, sadly, here in Philadelphia recently). The bread was too hard. The true alchemy of a great Philadelphia hoagie roll is that it's a bit crusty on the very outside, but the inside is soft enough to smush, while also being tough enough to soak up oil, grease & veggie juices without turning into paste. The bread at Mitchell was more like cibatta. Good if that's what you wanted, but not good for hoagies.

      3. I've tried Subway, Jimmy Johns, Quiznos, Philadelphia Mike's, Panera, Firehouse Subs, and Potbelly. I've come to the conclusion that Potbelly is the least horrible chain sandwich option when it comes to quality of ingredients, service, selection, and price. Jimmy Johns and Philadelphia Mike's are simply adequate; nothing bad but nothing to really recommend or go out of the way for. Subway I find inedible and can't get past the "smell." Fortunately, at both work and home, I'm in relatively close proximity to FAR better mom & pop sandwich options. Hell, even the Chinese carryouts make a better cheesesteak than these guys.

        I have observed that each of these chains will have their own defenders, but I'm inclined to think that it's not a case of "x being better than y" so much as the nostalgia value. A lot of people under 40 grew up eating these sandwiches, so there's a lot of brand loyalty.

        5 Replies
        1. re: monkeyrotica

          Monkey, in Tennessee I tried Jersey Mike's, Subway, Jimmy John's, Panera and Firehouse Subs. Subway was awful, but they were all over the place with several 24 hour locations. Since my work schedule was so erratic, I sometimes ended up there (tuna on flatbread, no cheese, extra veggies was the closest thing to okay I could come up with there). Jersey Mike's I tried once right after I moved to Nashville. I was too fresh from Philly. I bit into my sandwich, looked at my friend Maria (who was also from Philly) and said "They MUST be kidding!". We agreed that anyone trying to pass that slop off in NJ would be run out of the state. Panera sandwiches were..."Eh" at best. I don't care for most things from Panera, though a few of their soups are pretty alright. I tried Firehouse Subs once and found them to be both overpriced and inedible. I never went back. I've never tried Quizno's. I'll agree that Jimmy John's was simply adequate. In Tennesse, that qualified it as stellar. In Philly, those same sandwiches would be barely passable. Funny how that works...

          1. re: StrandedYankee

            So are you saying that Subway, et al are better in Philly than Nashville, or are you saying that Subway, et al in Nashville are not not as good as local, independent sub shops in Philly? If its the latter, then that's not a fair comparison at all.

            1. re: carolinadawg

              I've never eaten in a Subway in Philly. I imagine that they are as awful here as they are everywhere else I've had them.

              The exact same sandwich that I was thrilled to find in Nashville wouldn't have thrilled me in Philadelphia. But that's to be expected. I don't expect to find chess pie or bbq here in Philly that would make me happy after living for 6.5 years in Tennessee. If I find some eventually around here that will hit the spot when I am seriously jonesing for it, I will be very happy. And I won't hold these foods to the same standard up here that I held them to down there. As long as it's yummy and hits the flavor/texture marks correctly I will simply be grateful to have found it. Which is how I felt about Jimmy John's in Nashville.

            2. re: StrandedYankee

              Sorry to pile on, but you are comparing apples to oranges. Comparing National chains which happen to be in the South to regional Philly area places is just ridiculous.

              1. re: StrandedYankee

                We have all those chains in Florida, but none of the great local sandwich shops like you have in Philly. Of all of them, I think Jersey Mike's is far and away the best, with Wawa as a close second and Jimmy John's a distant third. I wouldn't even count Panera because they don't make make SUBS like all the others, and Firehouse is probably my least favorite, even below Subway.

            3. I'm living in Colorado after spending my first 34 years in Jersey. When I get a deli sandwich craving, I go to Jimmy John's. There are a few deli-type sandwich shops around here, but I'm skeptical of them.

              Oh god, I miss a sandwich on an Italian People's roll...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Heatherb

                Heather, I also left Philly at 34. As I said, I'd never go to a Jimmy John's in Philly or NJ, but if I ever get to Colarado and I want a hoagie, I will go to Jimmy John's without too much complaining.

                1. re: Heatherb

                  Italian Peoples!! TRENTON!! I was there last month and brought back ham bread, torpedo rolls, and bags full of other breads, cheeses, etc.

                  In Richmond, VA (where I have been for 30 years) we have all the chains: Jersey Mikes, Blimpie, Subway, Quizo's, and Jimmy Johns. My son worked a summer at JJ's and we got fresh baked bread brought home almost every night. It wasn't too bad. But the meats are, well, chain meats.

                  I hit Philly for cheese steaks and italian pork sandwiches and I get hoagies at the Trenton Farmer's Market or in Princeton at Hoagie Haven. You'll never eat a chain sandwich again...

                  BUT, if you have to, Jimmy John's makes decent (not great) bread.

                2. +1 to your comment about Southerners not knowing how to make deli sandwiches. You're so right about the bread.

                  However, I can partially agree with monkeyerotica (I feel weird just typing that screen name) about relative assessments of the sandwich chains. I've never lived near a Potbelly so I have no opinion there. The others are all just about the same and not worth much of anything unless there are just no other options.

                  My latest "meh" go-to option when I haven't brought lunch from home is to pick up a sandwich at the Harris Teeter, my local supermarket chain. The meat is Boar's Head and they have daily sandwich specials. The bread still stinks but the meat is good quality, the size is very reasonable, and the price beats the chains all to heck. Similar quality and taste, much better price. I'd kill for a decent Northeast-style hero.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: rockycat

                    There are a bunch of places here in Denver that "import" Amoroso's rolls from Philly, which cracks me up. I always envision a sort of cargo-culture-style "airdrop" taking place somewhere in the wasteland around DIA.

                    1. re: Heatherb

                      Lack of decent bread is a standard chain sandwich complaint. Even if they have decent quality deli meat, the bread is some factory produced thing that's either flavorless, has lousy texture, or is downright bad. This seems to be a big problem where there's no "bread culture" where fresh bread is valued as a commodity, like Paris or Philly or New Orleans. I discovered a Latino bakery near me that bakes bollilo rolls fresh every morning; it's all gone by dinner time. They resemble a squat little French sandwich loaf; crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside. Not as soft as Leidenheimer po boy rolls but not as firm as Amoroso sub rolls. It's somewhere in between, but it really makes the sandwich. A couple bucks more than the chain sandwich fare, but one bite and you know where that extra money went. If there's a Latino community in your neck of the woods, they'll probably have a bakery that's worth checking out.

                    2. re: rockycat

                      In Nashville, before Jimmy John's, I would get hoagies at times of hoagie desperation at Publix. Boars Head meats, decent veggies, decent bread...but somehow it was never quite right. Publix, for a supermarket, had stellar bread...but somehow it just wasn't a hoagie roll. No matter what they called it!

                      1. re: StrandedYankee

                        It's probably more like Cuban bread. They make awesome Cubans.

                    3. Since you are back in the Philly area, it's hard to beat Wawa's for value and convenience. I think they are better than Jimmy Johns (not to be confused with the Great Hot Dog place on 202). If you are in the city, there's all the good spots, but Wawas is everywhere. I like them better than the non original Capriottis

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                        Thanks for reminding me how much I miss Wawa! I'd forgotten :P

                        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                          I do love Wawa, but...I hate their hoagies. Especially the tuna...Wawa tuna is awful! Once I get back to Philly, I become a hoagie connoisseur, picky as heck and proudly hard to please. In truth, a Jimmy John's hoagie is about as good as a Wawa hoagie. There's much better to be had here in Philadelphia. Why if I feel that way did Jimmy John's make me so happy in Tennessee when Wawa displeases me so in Philly? Eh...my mommy always said I was difficult!

                          1. re: StrandedYankee

                            Wawa tuna IS nasty, but here in Virginia the Wawa's are all full service convenience and gas marts. The old Wawa's in NJ were just little delis and the hoagies were great. There used to be one right next to the Dinky train station in Princeton and one off 33 in Hightstown...both had great hoagies.

                            Fact is, in Virginia, if you want a hoagie late at night, Wawa is as good as you'll get. Italians or "Premium" turkey is not bad.

                            Bread baked daily at regional bakery.

                            Again, nothing like home.

                            1. re: chefsalad

                              Honestly, I love me some Wawa, but the idea of getting tuna fish salad there... *Shudder*

                              1. re: Heatherb

                                I can't blame you a bit, Heather, but to be honest tuna hoagies were always tied for favorite with Italian with me. So I can't not consider the tuna when deciding if I like the hoagies somewhere. I never cared for turkey, or roast beef, or plain ham & cheese hoagies...I liked the Italian hoagies for the spicier, somehow drier deli meats. Most of the rest were too bland for me.

                                For me, all hoagies were always ordered with heavy tomato & heavy onion, no lettuce, oil, vinegar, and oregano.

                        2. There's only one in New Jersey (last I checked) and it's relatively close to where I live. I've had several sandwiches there and thought they were good.

                          1. I love Italian hoagies and subs more than just about anything. Here in Orlando, we JUST got Wawa AND Primo Hoagies, to go along with Jersey Mike's and Jimmy John's. Jimmy John's has good bread and I love their hot peppers, but they're probably my least favorite of those four. I don't love the owner's politics either, so I'm happy to have better sub options in town.

                            We've always had Subway and Quizno's, but neither one makes an Italian sub worth ranking. I've lived in Florida my whole life, and I have to agree that we don't have anything like the great sub shops and Italian-style delis of cities like Philly, New York, and even Boston. Instead, we rely on these northern chains, and most of them do a pretty good job.

                            1. Jimmy John's is better than Subway, which is about all I can say for it. It's technically food. You can eat it. They do have very quick delivery, but the meat is poor quality pressed lunch meat, the tomatoes are always mealy, and the bacon is that pre-cooked microwave stuff served cold. We get it at our office from time to time, but only because it's quick delivery. Good chips and pickles too.

                              1. My favorite thing about Jimmy Johns is the "slim" options. IE, just the meat and cheese. That's how I like my sandwiches, and in other places it's always a pain to order them. Jimmy Johns makes it easy, "I'd like a slim 5 please" and I know I'm going to get exactly what I want.

                                This was especially helpful at my old job when we were ordering delivery, and most places inevitably get my order wrong, they always end up adding that stringy lettuce that is impossible to completely pick off. Or they put on pickles that leave behind pickle juice on my bread. Blech. I can avoid that situation by ordering from Jimmy Johns. Not to mention their delivery really is ridiculously fast.

                                Plus, in my old city they released health department results for restaurants to the public, online. Subways were always at the top of the lists for most violations. No Thank You.

                                I will also say that I miss Port of Subs, in central CA. They were good sandwiches. I like the oregano seasoning, and the mustard/mayo mix spread.

                                1. I like Jimmy Johns and I'm glad to see them moving east... Unfortunately it seems they aren't usually "on my way" when I need to pick up a sandwich.

                                  1. "Southerners do not know how to make sandwiches..."

                                    I guess all I can do is just shake my head at a statement like that. Unbeleivable.

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                      No joke, c-dawg. I'd like for those who say that to go to New Orleans and tell some of the purveyors of fine Muffalettas, shrimp and oyster po-boys, not to mention debris sandwiches, etc., and say that.

                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                        To be fair, OP's handle is "StrandedYankee." What do you expect? I'm sure there's a "StrandedSoutherner" posting somewhere on the NYC Boards about how Northerners don't know how wo make a muffaletta or a po-boy for some reason.

                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                          And 2 wrongs make a right? Someone, sometime, has to stop the nonsense.

                                          Not to mention there is a huge difference between what the OP wrote, and something like "As a Philadelphia transplant, I was unable to find a sandwich like those I was used to in Philly" for example.

                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                            Come on dawg, you know you really want to hear about how they do it up north. : )

                                          2. re: monkeyrotica

                                            ...and Northeners being the patient understanding types that they are would say__________?

                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                              In my defense, a lot of people who came up to Nashville after Katrina had the same complaints I did about trying to get sandwiches worth eating. And a few people who wanted to serve New Orleans sandwiches would complain about the bread available to them. I never got to spend time in the Gulf area, but in Middle TN, Northern GA and in Kentucky...I stand by my words.

                                              1. re: StrandedYankee

                                                Having grown up in NC, but in a family that came from hoagie land, I'm with strandedyankee. If you've never been exposed to a food, it's hard to recreate it well. Most sandwich places in the South where I've been, and the people who work in them, have never been exposed to really good Italian hoagies.

                                                We have other great food, but that's not part of our repertoire. No need to be defensive about it, dawg. It just is.

                                                We were graced with a Capriotti's here in Wilmington NC, starting over a year ago. Could hardly believe my eyes. Didn't know they'd started franchising outside of the Delaware/Philly area. It took months to train a staff on what an italian hoagie was supposed to be like. Now they're pretty close. At first, it was a shadow of what a Capriotti's standard would be up there.

                                            2. re: carolinadawg

                                              I've been trying to learn but it's so confusing...

                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                Glad you said something, because I couldn't come up with a way to respond without being tacky.

                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                  Uh, hypersensitive much? I really can't see myself taking offense at someone saying "Northerners don't know how to make good barbecue" or something. One guy's opinion about one part of the vast array of options in one region of the country, and a few of us agree that we have had problems finding sandwiches to our liking too in other parts of the country. Besides, when someone in the Trenton/Philly area says "I'm going to get a sandwich" they are not talking about a burger or a grilled cheese or a cheesesteak or a BLT for the most part, but a deli-made sandwich featuring a chicken/tuna salad or lunch meat.

                                                  Lighten up! This is not something to really stew over. Really.

                                                  1. re: Heatherb

                                                    LOL. Thanks, but, no I'm not too sensitive and I'm not stewing over anything. Bless your heart and have a great day!

                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                      Folks, can we ask that you let this subthread go, please? If you've got an opinion about Jimmy John's, go ahead and post, but if you just don't like the way the original poster expressed his opinion, that's really off-topic. Thanks.

                                                    2. re: Heatherb

                                                      Actually, since moving back to Philadelphia, I haven't been able to find fried chicken or bbq that hasn't made me sad. Pie is also a lot better down south than it is up here. However, cakes and cookies are better up here. Regions have specialties. This doesn't bug me, except when I want something I can't get.

                                                  2. Let me put the Tennessee sandwiches into a bit of perspective. East Tennessee used to be home to steamed sandwiches, and they were dearly loved. Wanting that feel of a sandwich may have lead to an avoidance of crisper bread. Old fashioned steamed sandwiches are harder and harder to come by, sadly.

                                                    Did you ever try a Slugburger in north Mississippi or a chilli bun to the northeast of Nashville? Both regionals with their own followings.

                                                    Cisco's in Flourtown is my favorite cheese steak purveyor, if that gives you an idea of where my preferences fit on your scale of good to bad.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: shallots

                                                      I had a slugburger in Northern Alabama, maybe 45 minutes outside of Memphis on one of my "Exploring the Mid-South" road trips. I found it to be simultaneously kinda gross and really very tasty. You didn't see slugburgers in the Nashville area, though.

                                                    2. Guess you are leaving New Orleans out of the South. Philadelphia nor Jimmy John's can't beat a properly made Po' Boy!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: libstewart

                                                        I'll have to reserve judgement. The sandwiches served in Nashville called Po' Boys were, well, pretty sad. So were the Muffelatas. However, the people from Louisiana that I met in TN were as harsh about those sandwiches as I was about the lack of decent hoagies and corned beef specials. So I will eventually make it down to New Orleans, and I'll find out then.

                                                      2. I must admit this post got my curiosity up. I worked for 4 years in Philly and lived in South Jersey, really miss the food. I now live most of the year in a good sized town in the northern plains. I tried JJ's today for lunch. Not only would I not compare JJ's with the sandwiches back east, these were just bad period. I've worked off and on in food service for the last 35 years. I've never been in place that serves food that doesn't have salt & pepper available in my life until today. They have a Blimpe here, I'll stick with that.

                                                        1. Jason's Deli makes a pretty good sandwich, I think. They are a fairly small chain but try it out if there is one in your area.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                            I had a great pastrami san at Jason's a few years back in Arizona.

                                                          2. We just got a JJs in town, oddly enough - right next to the new 5 Guys. I hadn't tried it, but a group I was with had lunch there one day. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of meat and cheese in the subs. After we ate, I ordered a Gargantuan to go. I took it home and heated it in the toaster oven after opening it up in the middle. I was surprised that they weren't heated at all, but that's just what we're used to around here. The only other subs we have, really, are Subway, which are really anemic.

                                                            I'd go to JJs again, since I'm not likely to fly elsewhere soon for a sub sandwich.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: tracylee

                                                              Hoagies really aren't meant to be heated. Also, toasted hoagies are actually called grinders. Aside from a few exceptions (meatball, veal parm, and a few other things where the fillings are really meant to be served hot), I think toasting a good hoagie really ruins it. The lunchmeats are usually too salty to taste their best hot, and the veggies lose a lot of their life when heated.

                                                              1. re: StrandedYankee

                                                                I think that's exclusive to New England. They were originally called grinders because of the hard Italian bread they used. At some point, "toasted" = "grinder" but that term really didn't make it out of the east coast. Quiznos has always served theirs toasted, it they never called them grinders. Anyway, when I order a hoagie, I wouldn't expect it to be toasted.

                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                  They called a heated sub, grinder, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Before I went there for school. I had never heard of the term.

                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                    Yes, but a meatball parm sandwich would be a natural for toasting...

                                                                    And now we start thinking about lunch!

                                                                  2. re: StrandedYankee

                                                                    Thanks for the relative clarification. Here where I live, we don't have any kind of tradition around meats/cheese/veggies on a long roll. I just generally prefer them heated.

                                                                2. I like Jimmy John's fast, cheap their bread (whole wheat) is very good, their French rolls are good and their ingredients are slightly above average.

                                                                  They are comparable, albeit different to Pot Belly's and one of the better sandwich shop options around.

                                                                  BTW, I lived in Nashville 14 years ago and they didn't have a decent sandwich place around then but they had some other awesome places. I had my first deep fried turkey their and some amazing barbecue plus their used to be a roadside stand up I 65, near white house that had the best hamburgers ever. People would come from miles around.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                    Nashville has a few places now that make good fancier sandwiches, but not so much if what you want is, well, the kind of sandwich I grew up with. Let's not even talk about if you want good Jewish deli sandwiches (if you think finding an acceptable hoagie roll is hard, just try looking for good rye bread)!

                                                                    My favorite Nashville sandwiches were the pulled pork on cornbread pancakes with extra slaw and white sauce at Hog Heaven (by Centennial Park, just off of West End) and the catfish at Eastside Fish (extra pickles & onions, and please don't skimp on the hot sauce!).

                                                                    1. re: StrandedYankee

                                                                      Just because you can't find "the kind of sandwich (you) grew up with" in Nashville doesn't mean "Southerners do not know how to make sandwiches".

                                                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                        This is the thing that doesn't make sense to me. It's like complaining you can't get a good slaw dog in NYC or a lobster roll in Kansas City or Italian beef outside Chicago. Why would you expect to? 

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                          In truth? I'd never lived more than 100 miles from Philadelphia. When I moved to Nashville, I knew there would be no Chinatown. That broke my heart, but I knew not to look for the kind of Chinatown stuff I grew up with. I knew that my beloved scrapple would not be on the breakfast menu. I knew I would be too far inland to get seafood quite as good/fresh as I was used to. It had simply never occurred to me that bread and sandwiches would be so hard to come by. I mean, I'd only moved 850 miles! It was still the same country. Right?

                                                                          The same country, yes. But a whole other world...

                                                                          1. re: StrandedYankee

                                                                            Why not embrace and enjoy the difference? Explore new foods, try new cuisines. There's lots of good food everywhere! And good people who know to make it.

                                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                              After compounded interest, nostalgia is a pretty strong force. It leads otherwise sane people to look for that taste of home thousands of miles away from home. It's the reason why so many people are willing to pay for mediocre sandwiches (and barbecue and pretty much any cuisine). It's singlehandedly driven the market for flavorless ethylene treated tomatoes and even more flavorless iceberg lettuce. 

                                                                              A good sandwich, like a good pizza, is a deceptively simple construct that requires a lot of talent and quality ingredients. They're not things any highschool kid in a smock and hair net can pull off.

                                                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                Oh, I did...eventually. Sooner or later, I got tired (as did everyone else) of hearing myself complain. So, I started investigating bbq, hot chicken, meat & threes...and I have to admit, I came to love things like neckbones & turnip greens. But the thing is...sometimes a person just plain needs a hoagie. Especially someone who grew up eating them.

                                                                                Monkey is right, craving tastes of home does make us try, and often settle for, things that are substandard. Heatherb is also right, I was going to Jimmy John's not because they were great hoagies, but compared to what else was available to me in Tennessee, they were stellar. I was perfectly happy to eat catfish, fried chicken, okra, smoked turkey legs...and I loved them all. But...but I was born and raised a Philly kid, and sometimes (alright, frequently) I preferred getting the best available hoagie to the most stellar examples of local specialties. It wasn't a rejection of the local foods as much as just plain wanting what I grew up thinking food was. In Philly, that's spicy, greasy, salty and chewy. In a good way!

                                                                                You could certainly get greasy down there...deliciously greasy, no less...but it was a different kind of greasy.

                                                                              2. re: StrandedYankee

                                                                                If you're looking at Jimmy Johns, Subway, and other fast food chains you won't find good sandwiches in the South.

                                                                                I'm not going to head North, walk into a KFC and lament that there's no good fried chicken above the Mason-Dixon line.

                                                                                1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                  I believe the OP was making the point that he tried local places and didn't like the sandwiches and "makes do" with chain sandwich shops because they come the closest to what he was looking for. No one goes to KFC up North for good fried chicken, but fried chicken is hard to find up North at local restaurants, so a Southerner might make do with KFC.


                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                    I can't remember the last time I got tasty fried chicken in a KFC, here or in Tennessee. It must have been more than twenty years ago. However, no one comes to Philadelphia and thinks "Man, I have got to get me some fried chicken while I am here!". Well, maybe the Korean fried chicken at Federal Donuts, but that's a whole other bird. At best, after my years in TN, if I want fried chicken I'm usually willing to settle for something that just plain doesn't make me sad. Just like I was with hoagies in Nashville!

                                                                        2. JJ's # 5 with extra hot peppers and extra sauce - a once / week lunch for me. Can't handle the 'smell' at Subway, and their bread is awful.

                                                                          1. If I was to compare Subs from chain stores, I guess I would put Jimmy John's in first place. I am only comparing it to other Italian offerings in other stores, because I usually only order cold Italian subs. I'm in Texas, so I wouldn't consider going to a fast food chain for a fajita. I'm wondering why you would pick a fast food restaurant to have a good sub. If you compare Jimmy John's to Pat's or Geno's, that wouldn't even be a fair fight. The only thing I would suggest to people is to embrace the cuisine that the area is noted for. Oh, and by the way, what are you favorite places to eat in Philadelphia ?

                                                                            1. As an aside and not anything to do with the food, I find the name "Jimmy John's" too deliberate. Typical two-name pattern, two-syllable name followed by one-syllable name. If the place served pastrami it would be either "Manny Joe's" or "Bernie Sol's". Sort of the Disneylandization of food culture, if you will.

                                                                              1. Jimmy John's 'vito' sub is passable, if processed-tasting and bland. The bread is awful and pasty. You basically would have to customize it to approach a hoagie. Which makes not patronizing them anymore very easy. (they're one of those companies that claimed they wouldn't be able to afford to offer their employees health insurance benefits, and would cut their hours to part time to avoid it. They also screw their employees in other ways, including denying overtime pay. Sorry, but I don't patronize crap like that, even if their 'hoagies' didn't suck).

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: regional66

                                                                                  As I've said before, when the biggest selling point is "fast" then don't expect much from the food.