A confession: I have been a big fan of Jimmy John's for several years now. It is partly to do with their presence in my hometown and that all the New Orleans locations are owned by Drew Brees, who got a taste for the sandwich shop in his hometown of Austin. When I moved here, I knew there would be a Jimmy John’s nearby.  What I didn't know was that there was only one location close in Belton and when I lived in KIlleen, the only location nearby was on post at Ft. Hood. In other words, not available to me.

Recently, JJ competitor Jersey Mike's opened up around the corner from where I live on West Adams Avenue in West Temple. It's in the same shopping center as Fuzzy's Taco Shop. Unlike Jimmy John's however, there was no drive-through. I hate to admit this, but i wrote off Jersey Mike's for that reason alone and no other. Yes, I know: I am pitiful.

This evening, I was looking for something light yet new. My entire eating schedule has been disrupted by the change in time one hour ahead. (I absolutely and unequivocally detest daylight saving time. That's another column for another day.) I thought about driving to the other side of Belton for Jimmy John's before realizing it was 5:30 and there was a sandwich place less than 60 seconds away.  I checked their prices, then checked to see if there was an app which I could order with to have my sandwich made to my exact specifications. Yes on both counts.

After enjoying a delicious roast beef sandwich, which is what I usually get at Jimmy John’s, I'm asking myself what took me so long to try out Jersey Mike's. Quite honestly, their a sandwich outdoes Jimmy John's for one big reason: their roast beef tastes fresh and not overly salted like processed luncheon meat.  Come to find out, they roast their own beef in house according to their website.

I never have a sandwich the way a restaurant specifies on the menu. Default is never my favorite option. I'm all about customization, having it my way.  I was able to remove olive oil on the sandwich, which means I made less of a mess than usual, substituting mayonnaise and adding cherry pepper spread, a relish I had never tried.  Actually, it looks like salsa, but the taste is different. The bread was fresh, the roast beef tender if a little lacking in punch. It also wasn't overly salty like a luncheon meat which is a very good thing, and, actually, one of Jimmy John's downfalls. Overall,  Jersey Mike's roast beef is one of the best sandwiches I've had in quite some time.  I can't wait to try the turkey and experiment with whole-grain bread.

I added an iced tea to the combo, and it was delicious.  Not weak, not strong, not overly sugary, not under-sweet either.   And since it was Sunday, which essentially doesn't count in Lenten sacrifices, I am just excoted to have had that tea with zero guilt whatsoever.

In a very short period of time Jersey Mike's has earned my business. It's easy for Jimmy John's if the chain wants me to reconsider: up the ante on their lunchen meat  and build a location closer to me. Otherwise, I'll hang out in Jersey.

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