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I Tried the 5 Most Popular Subs at Jersey Mike's & the Best Was a Spicy Behemoth

The popular sandwich chain serves all kinds of hot and cold subs, including several fan favorites.

Right up there with barbecue and burgers, sandwiches are a seminal comfort food for Americans, and there are plenty of sandwich chains to satiate any and all cravings. Among said chains, Jersey Mike's is a brand that's winning the popularity contest right now, earning acclaim even among chefs. While it's riding high, I decided to try the most popular sandwiches at one of America's most popular sandwich chains, in order to see what all the fuss is about and if Jersey Mike's lives up to the hype.

The five most ordered sandwiches, according to a source with the chain, are Turkey and Provolone, the Club Sub, the Club Supreme, the Original Italian, and Mike's Famous Philly. Aside from the latter, all are cold subs dealing in cold cuts—to varying degrees of success. It's worth noting that all subs I sampled, aside from the Philly, were ordered "Mike's Way," with onions, lettuce, tomato, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and salt.

Here is my official taste-based ranking of the five most popular subs at Jersey Mike's, from my least favorite to the best.

Turkey and Provolone

a jersey mike turkey provolone sub cut in half on a wrapper.
Photo: Matt Kirouac, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per One Regular Sub):
Calories: 770
Fat: 41.05 g (Saturated Fat: 9.99 g)
Sodium: 1,872.97 mg
Carbs: 57.66 g (Fiber: 4.3 g, Sugar: 6.37 g)
Protein: 43.62 g

I had high hopes for the Turkey and Provolone. Although it's been literal years since I've had a sub sandwich, turkey subs used to be my go-to as a kid, so the mere notion of this was enough to conjure comforting nostalgia—all of which was pretty rapidly deflated by a wholly lackluster experience. This sub cost me $11.24.

The look: Not to be all superficial, but this was the ugliest sandwich of the bunch. The turkey blended with the bread and cheese too much, creating an eerily monochrome look that was almost opaque. Slivers of sad-looking provolone sagged over the sides of the too-thick bread, with not much else happening here to redeem it. The turkey is hard to discern from the outset, but upon splitting the sandwich in half, it reveals a healthy heap of meat. Unfortunately, the meat looks slimy.

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The taste: On the one hand, the taste very much lives up to its look. On the other hand, considering how disappointing it looked, that's not a good thing. The whole thing tastes as monotonous as it appears, with slippery and bland turkey meat blending in vaguely with tasteless cheese against an excessive amount of crusty bread that drowns it all out. When the shredded lettuce is the best part of a sandwich, you know things are awry.

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Club Supreme

a jersey mike club supreme cut in half on a wrapper.
Photo: Matt Kirouac, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per One Regular Sub):
Calories: 1,140
Fat: 76.08 g (Saturated Fat: 16.4 g)
Sodium: 1,977.51 mg
Carbs: 58.41 g (Fiber: 4.3 g, Sugar: 6.83 g)
Protein: 57.20 g

Anything with "supreme" in the name is bound to trigger alarm bells for me, and true to form, Jersey Mike's Club Supreme was the most daunting of this Fab Five. Made with roast beef, turkey, Swiss, applewood-smoked bacon, and mayo, there's a lot happening here. I've never been a fan of roast beef, so I was not looking forward to this sandwich, which cost me $12.09.

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The look: No offense to roast beef, but it does not photograph well. Especially in this case, the ribbons of cold meat looked grayish, more like overcooked burger meat. I will say, however, that the turkey looked much more appetizing here, especially when juxtaposed by a little more contrast in color and texture. Mayo was somewhat smeared along the side, which was bursting with vegetal innards, and the whole thing was quite an imposing, gluttonous behemoth.

The taste: As daunting as this thing looked and sounded like, the Club Supreme did taste better than it looked. But the calamity of ingredients doesn't really work as well as it should. The roast beef is surprisingly muted, nearly drowned out by the seasonings in the "Mike's Way" blend, and the mayo seemed excessively creamy for my liking. Do people eat roast beef with mayo? Not me. The bread, again, was unruly. But at least it was fluffier, and easier to sink into, than the Turkey and Provolone catastrophe.

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Mike's Famous Philly

a jersey mike cheeseteak sub on a paper.
Photo: Matt Kirouac, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per One Regular Sub):
Calories: 700
Fat: 30.54 g (Saturated Fat: 13.86 g)
Sodium: 1,957.68 mg
Carbs: 62.23 g (Fiber: 2.86 g, Sugar: 7.94 g)
Protein: 44.50 g

I've never been a big fan of cheesesteaks. It's honestly my least favorite way to consume beef. Admittedly, I have a lot of preconceived notions about cheesesteaks, and assumptions about them being excessively greasy, messy, and slathered in some manner of gloopy cheese. Much to my delight then, that Mike's Famous Philly—made simply with thinly sliced steak, grilled onions, peppers, and American cheese—was the biggest surprise of the taste test. This sub set me back $11.60.

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The look: First of all, the look of this sandwich is not doing itself any favors. One peek at it and I assumed it would be a disappointment, with sparse morsels of overcooked-looking meat absolutely buried in white cheese and way too much bread. Onions and peppers were nowhere to be seen.

The taste: One bite, though, and I completely changed my tune. Even though it looks kinda meh, the flavors are big and bold. Peppers and onions shine through, with a kiss of caramelized sweetness and smoke, while the meat and cheese meld together beautifully. My main concerns were that the bread was indeed overkill, and that unless you consume this immediately upon ordering, it loses luster very quickly. By the time I unwrapped this thing, it was barely lukewarm.

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Club Sub

a jersey mike club sub cut in half on a wrapper.
Photo: Matt Kirouac, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per One Regular Sub):
Calories: 1,110
Fat: 77.33 g (Saturated Fat: 16.93 g)
Sodium: 2,468.47 mg
Carbs: 59.53 g (Fiber: 4.3 g, Sugar: 8.21 g)
Protein: 47.86 g

Considering how lazily similar to both the Turkey and Provolone and the Club Supreme that this one seemed, I was blown away by how much I enjoyed Jersey's Mike's Club Sub. It's got turkey, ham, provolone, applewood-smoked bacon, and mayo, all ingredients that really don't meet muster for me, but somehow—miraculously—came together in perfect harmony for a pretty killer cold-cut sub. The Club Sub cost me $12.09.

The look: Mostly where the Club Sub falls short is in its looks. At first glance, it looks almost indistinguishable from Turkey and Provolone, and based on how much I didn't like that one, my hopes were not high. The bread, though, looked way more balanced here, and the hint of ham poking out was a welcome reprieve from the monotony.

The taste: I normally don't care for ham at all, but it did a lot of the heavy lifting here, and managed to come through strongly with every bite. The mayo was way more balanced than the Club Supreme, the turkey and provolone didn't blur together in a tasteless monochrome, and the lettuce and onions provided a pleasant crunch. Altogether, it works really well, and totally defied my expectations.

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The Original Italian

a jersey mike original italian sub cut in half on a wrapper.
Photo: Matt Kirouac, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per One Regular Sub):
Calories: 910
Fat: 54.18 g (Saturated Fat: 15.02 g)
Sodium: 2,467.79 mg
Carbs: 62.29 g (Fiber: 4.38 g, Sugar: 10.35 g)
Protein: 45.04 g

The least subtle sandwich of the bunch wound up being the very best. The Original Italian comes in like an unabashed wrecking ball, stacked with a reckless melee of cold cuts that literally spill out around the entire sandwich. Made with provolone, ham, prosciuttini (an Italian ham spiced with black pepper), cappacuolo, salami, and pepperoni, this thing is a beast. Somehow, though, it all works. The Original Italian cost me $12.09.

The look: Sheer reckless abandon is on full display here, with various cured meats pouring out over the sides of the bread. Excessive? Perhaps. Appetizing? Extremely. It's by far the most vibrant, striking sandwich of the five, right down to the juicy-looking tomato slices and crisp shredded lettuce. And even though Jersey Mike's can't seem to streamline their bread choices, this is another example of a perfect ratio.

The taste: The flavors, much like the visual, are the most pronounced here, and considering how delicious each cut was, that's a very good thing. The main thing that comes through is pepperoni, which is so strong and spicy that it threatens to drown out the rest, but everything else holds its own and provides a pleasant, pungent contrast. It's the spiciest sandwich of the bunch, too, but the heat is very pleasant and mild—and beautifully contrasted by the "Mike's Way" seasonings.

Matt Kirouac
Matt Kirouac is a travel and food writer and culinary school graduate, with a passion for national parks, all things Disney, and road trip restaurants. Read more about Matt