MIDVALE If I could write about Jimmy John's as fast as the employees make, wrap and ring up four 8-inch sub sandwiches, chips, cookies and a pickle, I'd be done right about now.
We intended to sit down and eat the night we visited Jimmy John's for dinner, but the kids were cranky and had the sniffles, so as we walked in we decided to get everything to go.
And less than five minutes later, off we went, our fresh-made meal wrapped, bagged and paid for.
You could sit down and enjoy Jimmy John's small dining area, which reminded me a bit of a restaurant set in a subway tunnel with its high ceiling, shiny white-tile walls, and red-and-black metal signs with such pithy sayings as "Free smells!" and "Your mom wants you to eat at Jimmy John's!"
In reality, the shop is set behind a check-cashing place in a little corner of Midvale's busiest restaurant-and-shopping district, but the quality of its ingredients and the promptness of the service would be welcome on any big-city street corner.
The menu is nice and simple: you order by number from 8-inch subs made on rolls baked in-house. You can get 'em basic "club"-style (that's twice the meat and cheese) or "plain slim," a kid-friendly rendition with just the toppings and no lettuce or other goop. There's a vegetarian sub featuring avocado spread, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, lettuce and tomato; there's also a low-carb lettuce-wrapped option, and a massive Dagwood-type sandwich featuring five meats, provolone and a bunch of fixings.
We ordered four subs, slicing them up to share around the table. A couple of young kids could easily make a meal of the "plain slim" with applewood-smoked ham, provolone and nothing else, on a roll that was just crusty enough to be interesting but not so hard that the fillings slid out when they bit in. (We had that same French bread for all of our sandwiches, but sliced seven-grain bread also is available.)
My oldest, a tuna fan, had a couple portions of the "totally tuna" sub, featuring a tuna salad, mixed in-house that day, of tuna, celery, onions and a light sauce that really played up the fish. It was topped with sprouts; crisp, sliced cucumbers; lettuce; and tomato.
My husband's favorite was the Hunter's club, a quarter-pound of juicy, medium-rare roast beef, sliced and topped with provolone, lettuce, tomato and just a little mayo. I liked it a lot, too, but I can't resist a classic-club sandwich, and the "Club Lulu" had all the right stuff: flavorful turkey breast, salty bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and nothing else. Just as it should be.
I also had a crunchy, sour, gargantuan dill pickle.
And for dessert we enjoyed the saucer-size oatmeal-raisin cookie, chewy and rich, and a chocolate-chip cookie with chips that really were "giant," just like the menu said.
Only one thing went wrong in our short stay at Jimmy John's, and it ended up really, really right: after we got to our car, I checked the bags and realized my pickle wasn't there. When I went back inside to get it, the staff apologized, wrapped one up for me double-quick and flipped me a red-and-white token good for a free sandwich on my next visit. More restaurants should have service that good.Sandwiches $3.25-$7.25, sides and cookies 99 cents-$1.50.
Where: 913 E. Fort Union Blvd., Midvale
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-
Payment: Major credit cards accepted
Wheelchair access: Easy, if a little narrow in placesAlso: Delivery and catering available
Stacey Kratz is a freelance writer who reviews restaurants for the Deseret Morning News. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org