Jersey Mike’s Subs
24631 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Today is the day Lunch Pig visits and reviews Jersey Mike’s. A typical small sandwich place and we were going to see what they have to offer.
The Jersey Mike’s Story from jerseymikes.com: In 1972, Peter Cancro was a high school student in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. He began working at Mike’s Subs at the age of 14. Peter loved working at Mike’s. He loved authentic submarine sandwiches. But even more, Peter loved working behind the counter, interacting and talking with the customers. He liked learning about where they were from and their summer vacation experiences. He took pride in knowing which authentic sub sandwich his loyal customer would order as they entered the store. When Peter was a senior in high school, he overheard the owner of Mike’s Subs discussing selling the business. He thought to himself, “I love the food, I love working in the store, maybe I’ll buy the shop.” Pretty ambitious for a 17 year old kid. Peter approached his football coach and said “Hey coach, Mike’s Sub shop is for sale, and I’m interested in buying it. Can you help me out?” It didn’t hurt that his football coach was also a banker. The football coach came through for Peter, and backed his loan. So, at the tender age of 17 – before he was legally able to slice a sub – Peter Cancro became the owner and proprietor of Mike’s Subs.
Our Jersey Mike’s franchise is located at the corner of Skypark and Crenshaw Blvd and shares a parking lot with Home Depot and In-N-Out Burger. The storefront is in a row of busy restaurants that include Japanese food, Yogurtland and a Chipotle. At lunch time parking is a HUGE problem. There is seating inside at a half dozen small booths and outside at a couple of metal table and chair sets. Ordering is done like a typical Subway where you get in line, place your order and pay at the end. Jersey Mike’s serves Pepsi products (ugh!). The menu is typical sandwich shop stuff with the option to have your sandwich “Mike’s Way” – meaning the works. Subs can be ordered in “mini”, “Regular” or “Giant” sizes. The Giant size looks big enough for two at at least 15 inches.
CARL: My wife Marcia brought me lunch last week from Jersey Mike’s and I was pleasantly surprised. I was a bit bored with Subway and Quiznos so something different was welcome. My first experience was so good, I’ve been back 3 times in the last week (including one time in San Diego with my son Kevin and once at this same Torrance location with my daughter Casey) to try different things. The experience is similar to most sandwich shops where you walk along the counter, place your order, pick your ingredients and pay at the end while being tempted with cookies and treats. The service is friendlier than most and one of the staff even brought our second sandwich to the table with a smile. My first sandwich was ordered “Mike’s Way” which means the works – including a generous portion of Italian style oil and vinegar dressing. If you are getting your sandwich to go (as my first Jersey Mike’s experience was) I encourage you to skip the dressing or go light as the dressing can make the bread quite soggy in a short period of time. For today however, I ordered a Regular #15 meatball sub (890 Calories) on white and it was very tasty. The bread did not seem fresh baked but was fresh enough to pack some good flavor. The meatballs themselves were unremarkable but packaged with a nice sauce and the white bread it was quite good. I don’t think I would go too far out of my way to get another meatball – I prefer the cold sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s with their powerful flavor. My sandwich was about $8 and with the 2-for-1 coupon we had the total for both of our sandwiches came to only $9. Add a couple of drinks and the total tab was a mere $12.80. Because it was good and fresh, reasonably priced, clean and comfortable, I give Jersey Mike’s a solid 4 Pigs on the Lunch Pig scale of 1-5 Pigs.
Oliver: Carl had told me about Mike’s and I being a person who grew up on sandwiches needed to see for myself what all the fuss was about. When it comes to Sub sandwiches I’m kind of a snob, just like with my Sushi. I really am not a fan of some certain well known sub sandwich places because their sandwiches lack style or anything to differentiate it from the other sandwiches on their menu-board. They taste bland, flat, like the McDonalds of Sub Sandwiches.
First thing I notice when I want in to Mike’s is the aroma, vinegar and dressing and other authentic sandwich shop smells. I can feel myself start to salivate, like a wild dog staring at plump juicy chickens behind a picket fence. I went for a regular size Pastrami Reuben. It came wrapped in foil to keep in the heat, and it was hot.
It struck me how soft the bread is, it is really soft and has a lot of flavor. They make a Pastrami Reuben exactly as it should be made, no attempts to change a classic sandwich with an over abundance of salad and generic sandwich toppings. Just Pastrami, thousand island dressing and sauerkraut. It’s not on rye, but hey, it’s California. I went with a wheat bun and like I said earlier, was great.
The tables were clean, it was just like you would expect from a small sandwich shop, it felt like it was not a franchise, which is a good thing. For not a lot of money you can get a great sandwich and a pretty nice little location, outside of the parking. I give it 4 pigs.