#276: Jersey Mike’s Subs

1:30PM, 4/15/2022 & 12PM, 5/7/2022


Jersey Mike’s is a quite large national chain. Its presence in our area is in a bit of a resurgence at the moment. I remember they first showed up many years ago with 2 or 3 locations and just a few year later had totally left the market. I was pretty bummed about it and even made a point to visit locations while traveling to get my fix. Now they are back again and in bigger numbers. We have 2 here in Roseville with one by Top Golf and the other just having opened very recently on Douglas in the Sprouts shopping center. I had not planned on doing a visit here due to the chains size but I’ve had more than a few messages inquiring about it so here we are. I stopped on a lark about a month ago and had this half written up for a rainy day. Last couple weekends have been insanely busy, so now’s the time. On Saturday while running errands I dropped in one more time so I’ve got a couple sandwiches here to show. Photos at the store were taken with my phone.

Anyway, what is Jersey Mikes and what makes them so special? It’s a sub sandwich place and what makes it special, to me anyway, is how they slice the meats and cheeses to order from big blocks right in front of you, with expert speed and efficiency. It’s a level of involvement no chain deals with (even a lot of smaller delis don’t do this, to be honest). I’m personally a fan of their cold subs, and the #8 Club Sub in particular, but I’ve also enjoyed their cheesesteaks and tuna sandwiches as well. This location is really no different than any other I’ve been to. The space is clean, modern and the staff is as friendly as all the others. It sort of reminds me of the Chick-fil-a or In’n’Out level of friendliness, but a bit more casual if that makes sense. What I mean by that is I get a strong sense that those two fast food chains put some amount of pressure on their staff to achieve that reputation. Jersey Mike’s may apply some of this pressure as well but it’s somehow comes across as a bit more natural and genuine here.

I’ve visited locations in Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and Folsom a number of times with a co-worker who doesn’t eat pork and they not only made it a point to either clean the slicer right then and there or use a different slicer in the back for his order but also remembered him on subsequent visits and started cleaning the slicer in advance. The customer service has rarely been anything less than great.

On my first visit I walked right up to the counter with no one in line ahead of me, and the whole process took less than five minutes. When there is a line it can take much longer, as with any assemble-as-you-order type place. I went with my typical Club Sub (Provolone, applewood smoked bacon, ham, Turkey & mayo)[Regular size, $9.85]. Bread options (baked fresh in the store) include White, Wheat, Rosemary Parmesan & a gluten free option. I’ve had all but the GF and they’re all good. Wheat has been my go-to for years but I’ve been going with the Rosemary Parm lately, which adds a little something extra flavor-wise. With this sandwich they alway ask if Mayo and Bacon are OK and if you want it Mike’s Way. Mikes Way includes Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Oregano & Salt. I usually ask for “a little extra mayo” but was distracted and just said extra mayo. Hatchi Matchi, they didn’t disappoint with that as you can tell from the photos, lol. It was the first time I said to myself, this is probably too much mayo.

Mike’s Way, with its vinegar & oil, can get lead to a bit of a soggy sub if you travel with it. I think it’s best to have in the store but it’s OK within 10-15 min. I’ve played with proportions over the many, many visits. Different amounts of produce, getting extra and even double meats, etc. Honestly, just getting it as it is I feel is the best. They’ve got a very solid sandwich right out of the gate.

On my 2nd visit I dropped in to grab a sub in between laundry loads. Today it was totally empty inside but the staff was still busy, working on online orders no doubt. The same bearded gentleman as last time greeted me as I stared up at the menu. I confessed that I’d probably get my usuall but it’s sort of become a ritual to look over the menu in case something new pops out at me. He took the opportunity to make a few recommendations and noted they have a bit of a secret menu, which I asked more about. One thing everyone I bring here always seems to comment on is how the numbers on the menu are sort of random. As I learned this day, the missing numbers do exist but are rotated through a specials corner of the menu, but you can order them all the time. He described the #4 (known on the website simply as “The Number Four”) (provolone, prosciuttini, and cappacuolo) and gave me a quick slice of the prosciuttini and cappacuolo to taste. I liked the peppery notes on these and decided to go for it. Mike’s Way and all that jazz. This one doesn’t have mayo. Turns out I had earned enough points from previous visits for a free regular so I was off without ever taking out my wallet.

This sandwich was delightful, lighter and less salty than the Club Sub. The vinegar, onions and oil is a big part of their cold sandwiches and was able to stand out even more with the lack of the mayo and bacon here. A hint of the pepper from the prosciuttini was present throughout. I’ll probably be coming back to this one in the future.

Anyway, obviously I’m a big fan of this gigantic chain. For those that haven’t checked it out, it’s worth a visit. Their hot sandos are good. The cold subs are where they shine, in my opinion.


#274: Rose Café & Bagel

9:20AM 4/9/2022


This morning I headed out to far West Roseville to check out this little bagel spot for breakfast. Rose Café & Bagel is tucked just into the edge of the suburban sprawl on Baseline right in-between Junction and Fiddyment. It’s not easy to miss. The several buildings in this little complex are all painted bright barn-red and across the street is a tall radio tower. According to one of the employees both the large daycare center and the Cafe have the same owner. Perhaps they own all three buildings, given their shared aesthetic.

They make all their bagels in house each day and have a variety to choose from. In addition to your typical bagels with spreads they also have breakfast bagel sandwiches and hot or cold bagel sandwiches for lunch. They also have a full menu of coffee drinks.

Now I’m a bit out of my element here. About the only time I ever eat bagels is when they are brought to work or the couple times I visited NYC. Adding to that I’m not much of a coffee drinker beyond my morning cup of basic drip coffee I make at home in the morning. I decided to grab a Mocha and one of the breakfast sandwiches.

The cafe has a nice bright interior with a medium-sized dining area. They have a nice patio that I would have used if it weren’t so gusty out. My attention was immediately drawn to the ceiling, which was laced with loads of tiny string lights. It must look very cool in the winter when less light is blasting in through the windows in the morning. Behind the counter were about 4-6 people and I was greeted as soon as I had stepped inside. I took a minute to go over the sandwiches and picked out the Southwest (Egg, Ham, Havarti Cheese, Tomato, Spinach, Avocado)[$8.95]. “Sandwiches come with a sourdough based plain bagel”. I went with the large for my Mocha [$5.50].

Just before I had left the counter a barista started working on my mocha and asked if I wanted it “kinda sweet” or “sweet”. I thought for a second and the few white mochas I’ve had from La Bou and Starbucks and how I think they are way too sweet but usually forget since I get them so infrequently and went with kinda sweet. It ended up being a pretty good choice, and I was glad he asked.

Within about five minutes he brought my drink out and the sandwich was delivered a minute or so later. I was mildly disappointed in the to-go presentation of the mocha, not very photo friendly, but oh well. Taking the lid off revealed the optional whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. The drink was hot, but not too hot to enjoy right away. It was very chocolatey and fairly sweet without being too sweet. Not too shabby, though I have little to compare it with.

My sandwich was neatly prepared and wrapped. I think they forgot the avocado, despite the obvious avocado-like green stain in the cross-section of the bagel where it was sliced. I assume that must have come from the spinach, because I remember no avocados. The sandwich was very light and simple. There was not a huge amount of any particular ingredient, so the bagel itself dominated the flavor overall. It was a good bagel though, toasted just right and soft within. I did hope for a more substantial sandwich, but having a relatively light breakfast ended up being good and gave me just the right amount of energy to go tackle all the weekend chores before noon.

Like I said, I’m not much of a bagel/coffee guy, so it’s hard for me to get super excited for this place. The staff was incredibly friendly and efficient and I liked the general feel for the place. I think a 3.5/5 is a reasonably fair score here. One of their lunch sandos could be something to bring me back some day. Carnitas and Caprese options both caught my eye…


AM21: The Pastrami Shop (Ft. Out of Bounds Brewing)

12PM / 2/12/2022


After an unexpected break (Moksa Brewing’s 4th anniversary weekend proved to be an expensive one) I return with a Moksa-adjacent business. This marks my first post outside of Roseville since I started back up, so this will be AM21 (“And More”). This is The Pastrami Shop which is located on Sunset Blvd in Rocklin. I first discovered it not too long after Moksa had opened in 2018. It’s a simple little shop that focuses solely on, you guessed it, pastrami. The shop is in an older strip mall and is run by the nicest couple, seemingly by themselves. I’ve never seen another worker there.

It’s been a couple years since I’ve visited. I thought today I would grab a sandwich and head down Pacific street to Out of Bounds Brewing to enjoy it with some good beer in this beautiful, unseasonably warm weather we have right now. This plan worked out well because right now they are not doing any dine-in business. Orders are taken right at the door, or you can order online. Normally the dining space is small, only enough for half a dozen small tables. When I arrived I popped the door open and the friendly owner who was behind the counter working on an order called out and let me know he’d be with me in a moment.

A peek inside from the front door

Soon he met me at the door and I placed my order for a Full Pastrami Reuben (Lean beef piled on our Italian loaf or sliced sour rye served with provolone or Swiss cheese & topped with house Russian dressing & sauerkraut. Served with pickle spears on the side)[$13.75]. Some options include choice of bread and type of cheese. I asked him what bread he recommended. “Italian Loaf” he said, without hesitation. For cheese I went with provolone. Along with it you get pickle spears, which I chose, or jalapeños.

I forgot to check the time but I think the wait was between 5-10 minutes. He waved from inside and I picked up my bag at the door and I was off to Out of Bounds.

Out of Bounds is located just off of Pacific street on a very quiet little side street. They have a nice taproom with a bunch of seating and a room that was in use by a largish group at the time, but it was otherwise pretty empty, which is often my experience. They also have a full restaurant/tap room in Foslom on Folsom Blvd near Blue Ravine. I skimmed the tap list and grabbed a pint of their Orange Creamsicle IPA (7%)[$9] and snagged one of the couple tables they have set up just outside.

I unwrapped the heavy footlong-ish length sandwich and snapped some photos. It held onto it’s warmth very well on the short trip over here. I’m not sure if they make their own rolls or not, but this Italian loaf was delicious with a nice crisp crust and soft interior, which was soaking up the flavorful Russian dressing. The pastrami isn’t quite melt-in-your-mouth tender, but combined with the dressing, creaming melted provolone and plenty of fantastic sauerkraut you sort of get that texture. This thing is packed with flavor, all of the 4 main ingredients blend incredibly well while also standing out on their own. I hardly put this down and inhaled the whole thing. I’ve never been anything less than very satisfied with the food here.

Speaking to the beer, the Orange Creamsicle IPA was perhaps not the best pairing with a rueben, but it was really tasty. It comes across as that classic sweet creamsicle summer treat, with a hint of hops on the tail end. It went down smooth. To follow that the bartender gave me a couple samples of a classic west coast double IPA and a very similar double IPA with blackberries. Both were delicious but the blackberries added a juicy, refreshing flavor that I really enjoyed so I finished off my visit with a pint of this (Juiced Blackberry DIPA, 8%)[$9].

I can’t recommend The Pastrami Shop enough. The pastrami is top tier in my opinion, the prices are fair and the service is incredibly friendly and welcoming. I spoke briefly with someone outside while waiting who shared that he had never had pastrami until someone brought Pastrami Shop sandwiches to work and he lamented that he had been missing out for about 50 years and was a big fan of this place. Out of Bounds is always a really nice chill place to grab a pint. They are underrated and also make some really fantastic bourbon barrel aged stouts (including one with a whopping 21% ABV that drinks so smoothly). Check them both out!

Pastrami Reuben on Rye from a visit back in 2018