New Westchester Sandwich Shops Slice Into Fast-Food Competition

We put two sandwich chains in the ring (well, our mouths) to see whether they give Subway a run for its monopoly.

For eons, it felt as if Subway was king when it came to fast-food sandwiches, but their reign over everyone’s favorite lunch-menu staple has begun to weaken. Over the past couple years, Westchester’s welcomed two new options that are already wildly popular outside of the 914.

Jersey Mike’s Subs opened in 2014 in Mount Kisco, while Jimmy John’s served its first customers on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains this past winter. Both claim to offer a better quality, better tasting sandwich than the aforementioned national behemoth, so I set out to determine which was better suited for the task.

Jersey Mike’s 

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Jersey Mike’s is about as friendly a place as you’ll find in Mount Kisco. It’s brightly lit, and the staff is energetic and excited to be at work. My sandwich-maker was eager to share what made his company stand out, detailing for me how they cook their own roast beef every morning and use quality meats and cheeses. I opted to go with the Club Supreme, featuring roast beef, turkey, Swiss, applewood-smoked bacon, and mayo. While they have a bunch of free toppings to choose from, I decided to have mine “Mike’s Way,” outfitted with onions, lettuce, oil, vinegar, and their own secret spice blend.

The verdict? Delicious. The roast beef was hugely flavorful, and everything from the lettuce to the bread was noticeably fresh. “Mike’s Way” was definitely the right choice, as the garnishes and dressings added extra texture and kick. Jersey Mike’s Club Supreme transcended the “fast food” label, and its worth returning to time and again.

Jimmy John’s 

Jimmy John’s is situated right in the heart of White Plains, where there are plenty of food choices. Known in many college towns as the standard for quick, delicious food, Jimmy John’s was heretofore relatively unknown to many area residents. Don’t be fooled by their promise of speedy delivery; the food is outrageously fresh, with John’s produce sourced locally and meat cut daily.

For my visit, I ordered the Bootleggers Club, which boasts roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. With a number of complimentary toppings to choose from, I went with onions, sprouts, and lettuce. (The sprouts are a known commodity at Jimmy John’s, and touted as essential to get the true JJ’s experience.)

It was a delectable creation, buoyed by a generous helping of me, with those popular sprouts adding a taste of spring to each bite. It’s a definite upgrade from usual fast-food fare, and the franchise also offers can’t-miss chips in varieties ranging from jalapeño and barbeque to salt-and-vinegar. 

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What ultimately stands out about Mike’s and John’s isn’t so much what separates them, but what they share in common, specifically being leaps and bounds above their “Eat Fresh”-insistent competition. 

Related: 23 Great Westchester Sandwiches

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