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National Sandwich Month: These Shops are Doing it Right

Aug 08, 2022

This is the month for those who appreciate the delicate balance between deli meats, creamy cheese, shredded lettuce, a freshly baked baguette, and a touch of oil and vinegar. August is National Sandwich Month, and it is pretty fun to recognize the places that bring us the creations we love.

But let’s take a walk back in time, all the way back to the 18th century. Why this far? Why at all? The history of the sandwich and its creation is often owed to a man name John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich (Sandwich, Kent in Southeast England, to be more specific). It is purported that Mr. Montagu requested beef between two slices of bread as a meal during his gambling sessions. While we cannot attest to whether he was truly the first person to create this delicious combination, we do thank him because at least we have a fun name for the dish!

Subway continues to be a top dog in the sandwich business. Since the days of Jared and his famously large pants, the shop continued to increase its bottom line in 2021 and again this year, says Business Insider.  Thanks to a refreshed menu and rebranding, Subway claims to have beat its 2021 sales projections by $1.4 billion. They updated the menu with new and improved ingredients, says Insider.

What they’re calling the “Subway Series,” says Restaurant Business, includes 12 new chef-created sandwiches with premium deli meats, steak, rotisserie chicken, mozzarella cheese, avocado, new condiments, and new, fresh breads, all baked on location. Although Subway is known for its customizable sandwiches, the new, signature menu items prepared for the customer are performing very well now. This fixed menu eliminates the “decision paralysis” we’ve all experienced when peering over that glass case. One of the new sandwiches, The Great Garlic, consists of rotisserie-style chicken, crispy bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions, served toasted on Artisan Italian bread, all topped off with new creamy Roasted Garlic Aioli, says Chew Boom. Take my decisions, take my order, take my money, Subway. Thank you. According to the Restaurant Business website, 50% of customers chose the new, already built sandwiches during testing in Kansas, Florida, and Ohio.

Subway isn’t the only sandwich joint in town. Jimmy John’s has a special place in America’s heart, too. Known for its delicious deli sandwiches, it’s the “freaky fast” execution that customers have come to expect from the chain, says Food Sided. In fact, Jimmy John’s is so focused on speed that they might completely eliminate tables, chairs, and dining-in. This year, the sandwich shop rolled out its first drive-thru-only restaurant in Barlow, Florida, designed with their app and mobile orders in mind with a separate lane just for customers who know what they want before pulling up. What better way to get your Jimmy Cubano? This big customer favorite sandwich includes smoked ham, cheese, bacon, pickle, and Dijon mustard. Not a club sandwich, and not an authentic Cuban sandwich, (Did you know Jimmy John’s doesn’t do hot sandwiches?) says Urban Matter, but the shop’s best sandwich.

 

Jersey Mike's Subs

 

Last is the sandwich shop “underdog,” Jersey Mike’s Subs.  This chain has been steadily growing in the past few years, now with a brand new location in the Hudson Valley and 2,266 shops nationwide. Hot subs, cold subs, kids’ meals and catering, Jersey Mike’s has a “wide array of delicious sub sandwiches,” says Mashed. The most popular item has been subs made “Mike’s Way,” which means the customer decides on the main filling (meat and cheese), and the rest is onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spices, and a blend of olive oil and red wine vinegar that the restaurant calls “The Juice,” says Mashed. Customers come back for the subs at Jersey Mike’s for the fresh ingredients and, apparently, pretty healthy food. Jersey Mike’s was ranked the healthiest chain restaurant in the USA in 2014 by Grellin.org.

Whether it’s a cold, deli-meat-packed sub or a melty, toasted creation, these shops have got you covered. Also, good news, it may be National Sandwich Month, but there is never a bad time to get a sandwich and celebrate that decision any time you like. Happy eating.