Originally Published at Frederick News Post by Blair Ames
Last week I made a trip to the Jersey Shore, not to visit the cast of MTV's hit show, but rather to Jersey Mike's Subs, right here in Frederick.
Last Friday was actually my second trip to the sub shop on Spectrum Drive, across from the Francis Scott Key Mall. The store opened in October.
I arrived a little after noon on a Friday and thought the light snow falling might limit the crowd inside. The first time I stopped by Jersey Mike's, I was standing inside the doorway waiting in line.
Friday, the line was shorter, but the tables were still full and the banter carried on between the employees behind the counter and the customers. After I ordered a No. 17, Jersey Mike's famous Philly, I asked the manager, Greg Mazzuca, what the most popular sub is.
He told me it's the No. 13, the Original Italian, which had been featured on the Travel Channel's best U.S. sandwich program. Mazzuca's favorite is actually the No. 8, a club sub, with turkey, ham, provolone, bacon and mayonnaise.
He told me I should branch out, try new subs, but for the time being I was happy with a good, old-fashioned cheesesteak.
A giant cheesesteak, plus a 32 oz. beverage and chips came to about $14, which I was happy with -- because I could eat half of the sub for lunch and save the rest for dinner.
What stands out the most at Jersey Mike's is the size of the subs. Mike's doesn't skimp on the meat and extras. I haven't measured, but I'm pretty sure their giant subs are longer than the length between my elbow to my fingertips.
Packed with onions and sweet peppers on fresh, baked bread, I couldn't ask for a better lunch on a cold, snowy day.
Jersey Mike's offers 10 cold subs in a mini, regular or giant size. A mini is 4 1/2 inches, a regular 7 1/2 inches, and a giant 15 inches.
Mini prices range from $4.35 to $4.95, regular size subs between $5.45 and $6.95, and giant subs are priced between $9.95 and $11.95.
There are six subs on the hot subs menu including the Big Kahuna Cheese Steak complete with grilled onions and peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos and extra cheese.
Jersey Mike's also offers wraps and salads on the menu. To skip the line, the shop accepts takeout orders over the phone.
The atmosphere inside Mike's is unique. The employees behind the counter are easy to talk to and knowledgeable about the company's history.
Jersey Mike's used to have a 20-sandwich menu, numbered 1 to 20, but today there is a 43 and a 56 thrown in there. I was told the unpopular subs were taken off the menu and replaced. The numbers were changed to 43 -- the Cancro's old football jersey number -- and 56, to commemerate the year the first store opened, 1956.
According to their website, Jersey Mike's was founded in Point Pleasant, N.J., and today there are more than 450 stores nationwide.
A Giant #13, The Original Italian, at Jersey Mike'sPhoto by Travis S. Pratt
An employee stocks fresh sub rolls at Jersey Mike's in Frederick.Photo by Travis S. Pratt