Have you had a sandwich at every deli chain in Augusta? Maybe you’ve developed your own hierarchy of sandwiches (like me).
If you haven’t, I’ve constructed a definitive guide to choosing your perfect sandwich from the local chains — Blimpie, Subway, Firehouse, Which Wich, Jersey Mikes, Jimmy John’s and the recently opened Jason’s Deli.
I know, hard work, but someone’s got to do it. I prefer ham and cheese sandwiches, but I will always order a Cuban if it’s available.
Regular Size Ham and Provolone — $6.25
Jersey Mikes, my first stop, offers subs in “mini,” “regular” or “giant” sizes. The regular “American Classic” (ham and cheese) is $6.25, excluding chips and a drink. As that is one of the bottom-tier choices, prices can rise rapidly, and it’s not unheard of to end up with bill over $10.
Jersey Mikes is clean and fast, despite their inefficient method of freshly cutting meat for every individual sandwich. I would be more impressed by the hand-slicing method if the slab of ham weren’t so pink and uninviting.
I keep returning to Jersey Mikes, however, because my sandwich is always salty and the red wine vinegar isn’t artificially sweet.
6” Ham and Swiss Sub — $5.99
At Firehouse Subs, I was overwhelmed by all of the pictures and my options, so I just asked for a 6” ham and Swiss. Most 6” sandwiches are around $6, and combos float around $8-$9. They forgot my cheese, but there was a free pickle spear. I am easily impressed when I get a free pickle spear.
The ham was rather sweet (I learned later it was Honey Ham), and the casing of it definitely had a plastic feel, but the bread was warm and crusty. The toppings were also high quality. I wanted to like it more because of the Dalmatian print tables, but the meat was lacking in freshness.
I’m going to give it another chance sometime, but for the price, I would rather go to Jimmy John’s.
Cuban Sandwich and Chips — $6.79
Jason’s Deli is not exactly a sandwich shop, like the others on my list — the menu is expansive and includes soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, potatoes and vegetarian options.
I had to grab a menu and stand back from the line. After surveying my seemingly endless choices, I settled on the Cuban Press. It was served on a telera roll basted in olive oil and topped with stone-ground mustard. The sandwich was stacked high and filled with fresh-tasting toppings — definitely not the limp pickles of the other delis I visited. As a bonus, all sandwiches include the free muffin and soft-serve bar.
Jason’s Deli was crawling with people at lunchtime on Saturday, but their service was speedy and the food was fresh.
7” Cuban Sandwich — $5.75
I would be remiss if I did not say that Which Wich was my favorite of all of the chains I visited. I ordered online, and I did so on a Monday — which meant I received free chips and a drink. My 7” Cuban was $5.75.
The white bread was warm and incredibly crusty, the cheese was melted perfectly, and the tenderness of the pork surprised me. I don’t expect much when I order a Cuban from a sandwich chain. I’ve had many sandwiches with limp ham, no pork and bread that dislocated my jaw. This sandwich, however, exceeded all of my expectations, and for under $6. I will be back.
I wouldn’t mind eating inside, either — the yellow décor is cute, and the Mullins Crossing location seemed very clean.
6” Ham and Swiss Sub — $4.25
I’ll have to admit, I had no idea there were still Blimpies in Augusta. The one down the road from me must have closed six years ago. Did you know that there are more than 11 in the Augusta area?
I made my way to the one attached to the Circle K on Scott Nixon. I am not one to seek out restaurants attached to gas stations, but my experience with their ham and Swiss might lead me to. Meat-wise, it beat Firehouse (though I’m sure this was merely circumstantial), and my 6” sub was only $4.25.
The toppings looked a little sad and droopy, but the quality of the meat exceeded some of its more expensive counterparts. The bread was rather soft, but I witnessed them baking it behind the counter and that comforted me.
8” Ham and Provolone Sub — $4.95
I like to think of Jimmy John’s as the lower-priced cousin of Jersey Mike’s. The quality and taste are similar. They offer “giant” subs at reasonable prices and have a variety of fresh tasting cold cuts behind the counter.
At Jimmy John’s, however, you don’t go through the traditional sub line to customize your sandwich. There are no free pickles, which made me sad. If you’re looking for a basic, tasty sandwich, though, this is the spot.
Their service is incredibly quick. I paid for my food at 1:04; when I left, it was 1:05!
6” Ham and Provolone Sub — $3.75
Oh, Subway. When I was a kid, this was my absolute favorite restaurant. I have never left without smelling like a meatball sub, which deters me nowadays, but the low prices and consistent taste are attractive. The bread is always the same — just soft enough, and it gives the whole store that Subway smell.
The ham and cheese was comparable to Blimpie, except it had an overall sweeter taste. I didn’t take advantage of it, but there’s also an abundance of toppings, unrivaled by any of the other chains (except Which Wich).
You can also get a lot of sub for a very low price — nearly everyone is familiar with the $5 foot long.
There you have it. Whether you’re all about crusty bread or you consider yourself the lunch meat connoisseur, there’s something out there for you. I hope this guide is helpful when you’re trying to settle on a chain to visit for lunch — they all have their individuals perks!