Making the Grade: Jersey Mike’s Subs

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PHOTOs BY MIKE WALLACE

By Stacey Patton Wallace

According to the internet (Again, I have to admit that researching with technology is faster than with books; however, I really hope that none of my 3,000 to 4000+ former students will never read that statement.), the sandwich wasn’t invented by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, but he may have popularized it.

  Around 1762, the Earl was gambling; he didn’t want his game interrupted and so asked for “his meat to be served between two slices of bread.” The story went on to say that this could “have been rumor or adverse propaganda put about by his rivals.” However, the name stuck when people may have begun ordering “the same as Sandwich.”

  As a result, people all over the world consume a variety of sandwiches every day. I often packed them for lunch as a teacher, then favoring turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomato on wheat bread.

  What’s your favorite sandwich? I have eaten a lot of wonderful sandwiches here in Lee County. However, my FAVORITE sandwich in our area is without a doubt at Jersey Mike’s Subs at 2336 Tiger Town Parkway in Opelika.

  I absolutely LOVE the Mike’s Chicken Philly, which should be the prototype for sandwiches everywhere. Jersey Mike’s wonderful employees (more about them later) grill my chicken with onions, peppers and white American cheese. This delectable concoction is then placed on white bread; I have them add lettuce and tomato. Too. delicious. to. describe.

  Mike prefers Mike’s Famous Philly. It is identical to mine except it has grilled steak instead of chicken. Mike wanted me to add that we traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a few years ago and ate a genuine Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. To him, Jersey Mike’s Famous Philly tastes just as good as the one in Philadelphia, where the sandwich originated. Enough said.

  Jersey Mike’s also offers a large variety of other hot subs, some of which include: Grilled Portabella Mushroom & Swiss, Big Kahuna Cheese Steak and the Bacon Ranch Chicken Cheese Steak. If you prefer a cold sub, Jersey Mike’s also has a great selection, some of which include:

Ham and Provolone, the Original Italian, Club Sub, BLT and the Stickball Special. A variety of chips, drinks and desserts are also available. When my A1C sufficiently drops, I want to try a Tastykake, which is described as an “iconic Northeast baked dessert, assorted flavors.” They look delicious to this girl from the Southeast.

  I also have to mention the sweet employees Mike and I have met at Jersey Mike’s Subs. All of them are kind, hard working and helpful. For instance, on one evening, as Mike and I were waiting on our orders, a very young man who worked at another nearby business in Tiger Town came in to place an order. However, he didn’t have enough money for what he wanted, so he turned to leave.

  “What do you want on it?” asked Rob, one of those terrific employees at Jersey Mike’s Subs.

“But I don’t have enough …” the young man said. “What do you want on it?” Rob asked again. The young man then told him what he wanted.

  Rob’s act of kindness made Mike and me smile. In return, Rob requested something from the young man’s business, and he went to get it. Kindness never goes out of style.

  As I’ve said before, parents and grandparents of Lee County, you should be proud of the many wonderful young people whom you are raising. Mike and I have observed many of them since we were blessed to move here in 2015. They warm our retired teachers’ hearts.

  Unfortunately, too often the nightly news focuses on young people who commit crimes and ignore the vast majority who are terrific.  A hearty thank you goes to Rob, Travis and Christian from Jersey Mike’s Subs for making us proud and for making our day.

  Jersey Mike’s Subs in Tiger Town is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Run, do not walk, to get the best sandwich in Lee County.

  Jersey Mike’s Subs makes the grade with an A+ from this retired English teacher. Remember, “Pooh-sized” people NEVER lie about food. Enjoy!

  Stacey Patton Wallace, who retired from teaching language arts for 30 years, is a professional diner. Her column, “Making the Grade,” will appear each week in the Observer. Stacey may be reached at retiredlangartsteacher2020@gmail.com

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