For anybody who doesn't get their fill of sub shops from Subway, Jimmy John's, Quiznos, Potbelly, Blimpie and Charley's, here comes Jersey Mike's! Squeezing into a Naperville
strip mall - the second location to open in the Chicago area (the other in Vernon Hills) - Jersey Mike's seems primed to succeed in the suburbs, where slightly inflated prices won't deter customers from higher quality ingredients.
An up-and-coming chain with headquarters in middle of New Jersey (appropriately), Mike's emphasizes Italian meats in its subs – many sandwiches feature little used meats like proscuittini and cappacuolo, topped with provolone cheese. Prices are a little steep for fast food - $4.35-$4.85 for a mini and $5.45-$6.95 for a regular – but Mike's makes up for it with fresh-baked, sweet-smelling bread and premium meats.
A few specialties, like the roast beef and provolone (made with certified Angus USDA beef) and the Philly-inspired cheese steak selections, allow Mike's to branch out from its numerous sandwich competitors. A few salads and soups make for decent cheaper and lighter options. And no sub sandwich is complete (for some unknown reason) without a gigantic selection of mini-bags of chips, notably Doritos and Sun Chips. Jersey Mike's is no exception.
Located within a stereotypical suburban strip mall, the interior of Jersey Mike's has no major distinguishing qualities. Clean, plenty of seating, and the sound of amiable rock n' roll humming through its speakers, there's nothing off-putting nor anything particularly noticeable about Mike's shop except, perhaps, the sandwiches. And maybe, for a change of pace, that's the point.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert