Tuesday, December 23, 2014

First visit to Jersey Mike's Subs

Anthony and I tried a new restaurant (to us) on Saturday: Jersey Mike's Subs.

They opened a new location on Grant Road west of Tanque Verde across from Target. It's next door to the new Pizza Studio location that we tried a week ago.

This location had only been open a few days when we were there. This is the second Jersey Mike's in Tucson, the other location has been open for a while in the old Ike's Coffee location on Speedway Blvd. We have never tried that one.

One criticism I have about sub shops in general: They seem remarkably similar. I realize that in most restaurant categories the point of differentiation is not far off from a competitor. Subs are all pretty similar -- bread, filling, condiments. I'm not very clear why Jersey Mike's has taken off nationally. It's not really any different than most other sub shops.

Plus, the experience we had at Jersey Mike's could only be described as chaotic.

There were a ton of employees working there (I think I counted ten). It's newly opened, so like most newly opened places they are way overstaffed while they train all the new people, and then they run through a period of attrition.

It was quite obvious that the staff was under trained at the point of our visit. They don't have a clear ordering system for the employees (or customers). The menu is kind of odd to order from (it doesn't have easy to associate numbers with the sandwiches, you can order a number 7 or 51, but there aren't that many sandwich combinations so why it's numbered that way seems to be a mystery).

Anthony ordered a California Club and I ordered a Chicken Philly sandwich. They had Anthony's ready almost immediately since it was cold cuts and mine (understandably) needed to be cooked so it took longer. But, when an employee brought out what was supposed to be my sandwich, he presented me with what I think was an Italian sub. After bringing the mistake to their attention, they apologized profusely, insisted we keep the wrongly made sub, and a few minutes later I got the Chicken Philly.

To the staff's credit, every one of them was super polite and eager to please. They just seemed to have little idea what the heck they were doing. If there was one reason I'd want to return, it was because they all were so nice.

Anthony said his sandwich was delicious, and I thought mine was okay. One thing I did like about the sandwich at Jersey Mike's was the bread. It was pretty good. And, if you like to watch TV while you eat your sub, it's one of the only sub shops I've been to in Tucson with TV's.

Comparing Jersey Mike's to my favorite sub shops in Tucson (Silver Mine Subs is one of my favorites, and Quiznos is also awesome, and I think the bread is good at Jimmy John's), I'd rate it below those.

Maybe they just don't know how to make spectacular subs in Jersey. But, Jersey has the Jersey shore... which was an awesome TV show, so I have to respect that.

Jersey Mike's is now open
at Grant and Tanque Verde

Four of the estimated ten employees
that it took to make a sandwich

Not a very large selection of stuff
to put on the subs, but they had
all of the basics

My dining companion at Jersey Mike's

Anthony's California Club
at Jersey Mike's

Here's my chicken Philly

Someone is over the Kenparazzi
and just wants to eat their damn sub!