it’s jimmy john’s gourmet sandwiches! GOURMET! and they offer free smells! well that’s nice. good for them. good for all of us.
jimmy john’s is a little chain of sandwich shops spanning across the country in over 1000 locations… so i guess it’s not really little at all. but its not huge! it’s not “the man”. it’s like… on the brink maybe. like those jedis who kind of dabble in the dark side cause it makes ’em better fighters. but they still fight for good and are on the light side. and stuff.
wow that got away from me a bit. so jimmy john’s is a restaurant with speed and a sense of humor. and sandwiches. so they got that covered. they’re typically set up like a subway, with seating around a counter at which you order and they make your sandwiches. this particular jimmy john’s is in a small plaza across fowler from the university mall. the staff is friendly, and frankly, perhaps a bit too cool for sub shop employees. but that kind of goes with their shtick. there seems to be a relaxed, laid back kind of attitude to jimmy john’s, and that sense of humor found on their website and their neon signs appears to be present in their employees too. so that totally sets you up to be amazed when the sandwich comes out before you ordered it.
i got a combo with the vito (an italian sub… their sandwiches all have wacky names, like “the ultimate porker”). the combo, like at most sub places, comes with a drink and a bag of chips or a cookie. they make their own potato chips and their own cookies too, so either way you’re going to win. and less than a minute after i ordered, my sandwich was ready – i didn’t even have time to fill my drink all the way.
this is the vito. their sandwiches come on an eight inch homemade french bread roll, and are packed with delicious fresh ingredients. by the way, the fresh ingredients are jimmy john’s claim to fame. they use really good meats and slice them fresh, and the same goes for their vegetables. and the cheese too! the vito comes with salami and capicola, provolone, onion lettuce and tomato, dressed with an italian vinaigrette. you can also get hot peppers on them, which i most certainly did. the meat was delicious… real deli flavor. and the cheese was really good too. the vegetables were nice and fresh, but really nothing special. the peppers were definitely a nice touch, and the vinaigrette was really good. the bread was perfect.
the chips were nothing to scoff at either. i picked jalapeño, naturally. they are also homemade, and a quick look over the ingredients reveals that they are, in fact, pretty much just potatoes and salt. they are super crunchy and the perfect amount of salty. they had a light jalapeño bite to them, but nothing so hot as to require a drink; it was almost more of a suggestion of the pepper than the full on flavor, which worked really well. i rationed these out so i could snack on them all day.
jimmy john’s is definitely a nice alternative to any ordinary sandwich shop. their prices are comparable, but the product is definitely superior to any subway or quiznos or blimpies (do those exist anymore?? remember blimpies?). i’d have to say it’s not quite as good as the nearby lenny’s or jersey mike’s, but its personality and speed are reason enough to give it a visit every now and then. or get it from home! they deliver.
UPDATE: they just opened up another jimmy john’s location this tuesday, in new tampa. it is near the muvico and lee roy selmon’s, at 17521 preserve walk lane.