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Jimmy John’s Rankings

Photo by Aly Prouty

Photo by Aly Prouty

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Campus is crawling with sandwich options. Between Cousins Subs, Jimmy John’s, Subway and the dinning halls, students can always find a sub. Jimmy John’s is a campus favorite, but whether or not they deserve that reputation is another story.

The rules:

  • To ensure consistency, each sandwich must be acquired from the on campus Jimmy Johns and must be ordered between 5:20 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.
  • Each sandwich must be ordered off the menu as is and must not be altered. 
  • Each sandwich must be ordered solo. No accompanying drink, chips or cookie.
  • To control hunger influence, the sandwich must not be the first meal of the day.

How sandwiches were graded:

  • Structural Integrity: Did the sandwich hold up throughout the eating process? Did ingredients fall off the sandwich?
  • Presentation: What was my initial reaction when unwrapping the sandwich?
  • Satisfaction: Did the sandwich fill me up, and was it worth the price I paid?
  • Taste: How did the ingredients meld together, and was the sandwich good?

Findings:
Before getting into taste, let’s talk sandwich preparation speed. Jimmy John’s slogan is “freaky fast,” so one of the goals of this experiment was to test that claim. I started my phone timer when I said what sandwich I wanted, and stopped the timer when I grabbed the sandwich off the counter. Despite some sluggish sandwiches, all in all, their efficiency was impressive.

Sandwich Time Time of Arrival Sandwich Grade
#1 Pepe 2:59.32 5:24 pm 5/10
#2 Big John

58.34

5:34 pm 4/10
#3 Totally Tuna

42.87

5:34 pm 2/10
#4 Turkey Tom 1:22.87 5:35 pm 7 /10
#5 Vito 1:04.25 5:26 pm 9/10
#6 The Veggie

47.96

5:22 pm 0/10
#7 Smoked Ham Club 3:31.36 5:05 pm 6/10
#8 Billy Club

52.06

5:30 pm 9/10
#9 Italian Night Club 1:26.67 5:33 pm 7/10
#10 Hunter’s Club 2:47.74 5:28 pm 7/10
#11 Country Club 1:15.30 5:24 pm 7/10
#12 Beach Club 1:03.09 5:30 pm 9.5/10
#13 Gourmet Veggie Club 1:53.13 5:29 pm -2/10
#14 Bootlegger Club

51.00

5:34 pm 10/10
#15 Club Tuna 1:54.80 5:30 pm 6/10
#16 Club Lulu 1:02.86 5:34 pm 8/10
#17 Ultimate Porker 41:39 5:00 pm 9/10

The average overall sandwich time was 1 minute 28 seconds. My average time of arrival was 5:26 p.m. And the overall average sandwich grade given was a 6.1/10.

The good: #14, The Bootlegger Club

There’s nothing inherently special about this sandwich. It’s simply roast beef, turkey, lettuce, tomato and mayo. But that simplicity is where it shines. JJs’ salty, briny turkey balances perfectly with the flavorful and rich roast beef. Alone, the flavors can sometimes be overpowering. In sandwich two, “Big John,” the roast beef completely takes over the sandwich, but in the Bootlegger Club, the two types of meat, paired with a nice balance of veggies, make for a sandwich that I could order every time and walk away satisfied.

The underrated: #12, The Beach Club

This sandwich isn’t talked about that often, but it might just be the best sandwich on the menu. They pair the turkey with their creamy avocado spread and a balance of cucumber, tomato, lettuce and mayo. It’s light, refreshing, and I would recommend it to anyone.

The overrated: #5, Vito, and #9, Italian Night Club

My issue with these two sandwiches is the consistency regarding the Italian vinaigrette. It’s a powerful sauce flavor-wise, and my Vito had the perfect amount, but my Italian Night Club was soaking wet to the point where I was convinced they dipped the sandwich in a vat of the sauce.

Just know there’s always risk the sandwich will be over-sauced, so tread lightly. My other issue with these two: They were a bit too bold flavor-wise to get every single time. I loved them, but I think I would quickly start to sour if I had them a few times in a row.

The bad: #6, The Veggie

Six slices of cheese. Nobody wants six slices of cheese on a sandwich, and the promised avocado spread that was there to balance it out was hardly noticeable. This was a gross lettuce and cheese sandwich. If you’re vegetarian, go somewhere else.


The inedible: #13, The Gourmet Veggie

This sandwich was horrible. I knew going in I was in for a bad time because the description said it was the same as The Veggie, but it came with double provolone, and I knew if there was one thing The Veggie didn’t need, it was more cheese.

The Gourmet Veggie came with so much cheese, it felt like I was biting into a block of Velveeta. Just six bites in, I knew where this sandwich belonged: The trash.

The Smelly: #3 Totally Tuna, and #15 Club Tuna

I love tuna. Sometimes, I’ll open a can of tuna, drain it, slap it between two pieces of wheat bread and call that lunch. However, I wasn’t a big fan of Jimmy John’s tuna. It had a lot of celery and onion in it, and not much mayo. It was a tad dry at times. But my main issue was the distinctly different and fishy smell that erupted when I unwrapped these sandwiches. The tuna completely masked the traditional, fresh French bread smell. Jimmy John’s is big on advertising their fresh smells, but next time I walk in, I won’t be getting the tuna sandwich. 

Not worth it: The left side of the menu

Get a club sandwich. They’re only $1.50 more, and they’re far superior than the traditional sub sandwiches. My main issue with the sub sandwiches was ingredient imbalance. Most were packed to the brim with lettuce, and the only compliments were a few thin slices of meat and cheese. Most of the time, I was biting into lettuce.

The club sandwiches have issues as well. Sometimes, the ingredients will start to fall off the sandwich or slide off the back and sides mid-bite, but overall, there’s a better meat-to-veggie ratio, and the mixture of the meats and introduction of bacon on some of the latter sandwiches makes it worth upgrading to a club.

Shout-out: Jimmy John’s cashier

When I was ordering the Italian Night Club, my debit card came up $1.09 short. I only had a single dollar in my wallet, and I went into a panic. They were making my sandwich, and I had no way to pay. I said, “I don’t have nine cents.” The cashier said, “Neither do I.” We had a long stare down, then he slapped down a quarter and said, “I have a quarter though.” Then, he rang me up and gave me the change despite me begging him to take it. What a hero. Regardless of sandwich times or taste, that’s why I’ll still go back to Jimmy John’s.

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