Jimmy John's Veggie Sub Is More Of A Sad Wilted Lettuce Thing

No rational person expects fast food, or any restaurant meal, to look exactly like the promotional photos. There might be a passing resemblance, but they won’t look very much alike. Rachel had heard good things about sandwich chain Jimmy John’s from her friends, but they’re meat-eaters and she and her husband are vegetarians. But it’s not that hard to make a tasty sandwich without meat, right? The menu showed a nice sandwich packed with veggies and cheese, but what Rachel and Mr. Rachel got were sort of sad, mashed lettuce sandwiches.

I’ve seen Consumerist before post product photos vs. what the actual product looks like and thought I’d submit this photo of the sad Jimmy John’s sub we received last night.

My husband and I are both vegetarian and after hearing good reviews from our meat-eating friends, decided to try Jimmy John’s for the first time. Their veggie sub is advertised both online and in the store as having alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo and an avocado spread. The picture posted online is positively salivating-inducing. Sadly, the sandwich we were actually served lacked both the alfalfa sprouts and cucumbers and the lettuce was the browning, shredded iceberg variety.

My husband, who ordered his without tomatoes, basically had a cheese and shredded lettuce sandwich. It was hardly the “gourmet” sub advertised. In fact, the sandwich was so meager that it was barely more than a finger-width wide. When I called the supervisor, he said that oops, they forgot the cucumber, and that the store does not serve alfalfa sprouts. When I reminded him that alfalfa sprouts are still advertised on the ginormous menu in his store, he just repeated again that they don’t serve them.

Luckily he offered us a store credit for the sandwiches as this is definitely not a sandwich I would ever pay $4.75 each for. Needless to say, we won’t be repeat customers of Jimmy John’s unless they beef up (no pun intended) their veggie subs.

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  1. Mr. Fix-It is trapped in a collection of half-working appliances says:

    You accepted store credit for a store you don’t plan to patronize anymore?

    …Why?

    • Laura Northrup says:

      I would cash in the store credit entirely on mini bags of Doritos.

      • SillyPanda is sometimes sarcastic too says:

        Sadly, Jimmy Johns doesn’t have Doritos. They have their own Jimmy’s chips. They’re pretty delish though.

      • K says:

        Jimmy John’s doesn’t sell Doritos or any other third-party chips.

        But their chips are real good.

    • shutterbug says:

      OP here. We actually liked the bread and cheese, and the avocado spread was delicious. I would definitely patronize JJ’s again if they offered us a more substantial sandwich and, of course, included all the advertised toppings. There aren’t many veggie fast food options and we’re burned out on Subway.

      That being said, I probably won’t go back to this particular JJ’s store. The store supervisor sounded bored and uncaring when I called to complain and I had to push him just to at least get a store credit. I think he was one of the crew who made the sandwich, actually. JJ’s Facebook team has been very responsive and I’m hoping this is just an isolated case of a bad franchise.

  2. AstroPig7 says:

    Is this one of those “we’re a franchise, so corporate can’t tell us what to do” things? Why bother advertising something when you can’t come through with it?

    • Overheal says:

      Or have signage reflecting it. The Starbucks I went to today announced they can’t cook any food right now because of technical issues, so who am I to scream and shout if a panini doesn’t look like its sexed up steamy photos?

  3. msbaskx2 says:

    No rational person expects fast food, or any restaurant meal, to look exactly like the promotional photos.

    I don’t expect it to look exactly like a photo, but I expect it to be close. This is ridiculously not close.

  4. Skittl1321 says:

    I have the same problem with Jimmy Johns- their vegetarian offerings are SO lacking. However, their avocado spread is amazing.

  5. Suisei says:

    I make my own gourmet veggie subs at home: baby spinach, (sliced) cucumber, radish, tomato, sweet pickle, shredded cheese and mushroom. Maybe squash and alfalfa (bean sprouts are nasty) if they are available. But more on topic, this is why you should inspect your food before you leave the store, so they can correct it on the spot, and you leave happy and satisfied.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Bean sprouts are tasty if they are FRESH. If they’ve
      been sitting around for a while, it’s like eating snails.

      • Weekilter says:

        Well, if you go to France they’re called escargot. With a little garlic butter they’re really pretty good!

    • STXJK says:

      Jimmy John’s delivers. Typically the delivery guy (gal) is boogieing out the door before said sandwich is even unwrapped.

    • Kisses4Katie says:

      That sounds delicious!! I shall try to make something similar.
      Btw, I like your name. :)

    • AdamM says:

      The problem with doing it at home though is you’re undoubtedly going to spend more on the veggies and bread than you would just going to Subway or Jimmy John’s and handing them $5.

      Not sure why this is really news though. Seems like the typical franchise screw up.

  6. galaxirose says:

    OP is obviously new to Jimmy John’s. That’s just what they look like. I’ve never seen the appeal, myself.

    • STXJK says:

      And their whole wheat bread tastes like sawdust. I’m pretty convinced it IS sawdust (cellulose) with a bit of wheat mixed in.

  7. Applekid says:

    Why couldn’t Shredders from that SNL commercial skit be real??

  8. Hands says:

    I tried Jimmy Johns when they opened in my neighborhood. It wasn’t bad, just generic. No reason to go back.

    • rdm says:

      I wonder if it was an off-day. I’ve never had anything less than a great sandwich there… their bread is *great*.

  9. lindsaycb says:

    Jimmy John’s hasn’t had alfalfa sprouts on their subs in months! I keep sending them a tweet about it but no response. I’ve gone all over the state of Illinois and no sprouts north or south. What gives? Why advertise it when you can’t get it? And on top of that, you have to ASK for onions on a VEGGIE sub. It doesn’t automatically come with it? What’s up with that?!

    • elangomatt says:

      My two local Jimmy Johns (also in Illinois if it matters) keep telling me that they aren’t ever going to serve alfalfa sprouts again after the salmonella scare a while back. The tuna salad sandwiches are really just not as good without the sprouts. Good thing they still have the Italian Night Club though…

      • NotEd says:

        Many on my local grocery stores, also in Illinous, have had problems stocking sprouts of any kind. I asked once at my local Jewel and at they time they confirmed the salmonela issue, but also said they were having supply problems even prior to it. The local Walmart grocery hasn’t had any for a while either, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy Johns would just take it off the menu entirely.
        You’re right when you say the tuna sandwich wouldn’t be the same without it.
        Luckily I have Jersey Mikes all over now and I prefer their subs anyways.

        • NotEd says:

          Edit:
          -Illinois-

          I really need to ask IT to install a plug-in on my PC so I can spell check in IE.

          • elangomatt says:

            I am in IT so I just use Firefox for most things, with its included spell checker. Most everyone else is still stuck with IE though.

            I’ve never really paid attention to sprouts in my local grocery store since they aren’t typically on my shopping list. I’ll check next time I’m there though since I’m curious now. I really wish my local Kroger would carry Italian Parsley again though, wth do people even use curly parsley for?! It is hard to chop properly and tastes a bit different than flat leaf (Italian) parsley when cooked.

            • NotEd says:

              No Firefox or Chrome allowed here, not that I’ve really pushed the matter. IE is needed for official Intranet based systems.

              My wife uses sprouts in sandwiches instead of lettuce, as she general does not like iceberg lettuce. Says it tastes like crispy water or something like that. As another alternative she will also use spinach, which works pretty good on a Bacon, Spinach and tomato sandwich, when we try it.
              Sprouts always go bad too fast when we get them anyways. Waste half the container usually unless we make an effort to finish them in 3-4 days.

      • Caddyshack says:

        “never going to serve alfalfa sprouts again?

        I could never understand how companies make such committments based on fear and irrationalization because of one outbreak as though not serving sprouts is going to mitigate all risks. Typical stupid American management in today’s world.

    • micahdg says:

      Their lack of alfalfa sprouts drove us to start growing our own and make more sandwiches at home. It turned out to be quite easy :)

      We used these seeds and sprouter:
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Sprout-House-Organic-Sprouting/dp/B0052LDET6

      • NotEd says:

        The wife has already purchased the sprouter or something very like it and it still sits in the original box in our dining room.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Because they’re not going to spend $100k on new signage after they advertised NO FUCKING SPROUTS.

      It was in the news. It was in an article *on this very website*. They don’t provide them because whiny fuckers keep threatening lawsuits over sprout-related illnesses.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    My local sandwich shop puts their sandwiches together with a framing square.

  11. Arathald says:

    I used to be a vegetarian and I’ve eaten lots of JJ’s veggie subs. I’ve never seen one that looks nearly this sad, and they’re usually quite delicious. This one looks like someone let it sit around for hours after sitting on it. The OP probably just found one of the bad JJ locations.

    As for the sprouts, they stopped serving them in some (all?) locations a little while ago due to food poisoning concerns. I’m not sure why they didn’t bring them back, though. Maybe sprouts are more prone to those kinds of things?

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I’ve had sandwiches that look like this from JJs. Because I set something heavy on them, or pressed them together to keep from dropping lettuce.

      There’s no possible way that OP’s JJ produced and gave them a sandwich that looks like this.

  12. rawrali says:

    Jimmy John’s took alfalfa sprouts off their menu during the salmonella outbreak and I don’t think they’ve brought them back. Kind of like the missing chives on the cheesy potatoes at Taco Bell. *shakes fist*

  13. donjumpsuit says:

    Any attempts to crowbar the needs of a vegetarian diet into any traditional meat loving/serving food establishment should always expect the same outcome as above.

    Those with special dietary needs should seek alternatives that cater to that type of diet.

    I keep looking for Kosher Bacon, and can’t figure out why I can never find any!

    • Coffee says:

      Oh, please…it’s not hard. Last weekend, I made a delicious heirloom tomato, avocado, and bacon* sandwich for lunch, and it was delicious.

      *I count bacon as a fat-free vegetable for dietary purposes.

      • nishioka says:

        > *I count bacon as a fat-free vegetable for dietary purposes.

        That is wise.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        I heard that vegetarian bacon actually has fat in it,
        but since it’s a vegetable, it’s the good kind of fat ;-)

        • Coffee says:

          I’ve heard that vegetarian bacon is proof of the existence of God.

          If there is vegetarian bacon,
          Then there is a devil.
          If there is a devil,
          There must be a God.
          There is vegetarian bacon.
          God exists.

          QED

    • MarcelineTheVampireQueen says:

      Not true. I’m vegetarian and my favorite restaurant is actually a BBQ place. They know how to make AWESOME vegetarian food. Making a crappy, thoughtless, vegetarian dish just to have one on the menu reflects badly on a restaurant.

    • Caddyshack says:

      How about learning to cook for yourself? Once you have your kitchen set-up with everything you need it is cheaper, quicker, and healthier.

  14. Coffee says:

    I’ve heard the same thing about Jimmy John’s…that it’s definitely a step up from Subway. I’ve gone to one locally and wasn’t really impressed at all…the inside of the place looked nice, but that doesn’t make up for a turkey sandwich that was decidedly unturkeyish.

    • Chuft-Captain says:

      I’ve been going there a few years, on the flipside, and never been unhappy with the results. But then, my standard is the Gargantuan, no sauce, extra mayo, add dijon. It’s hard to fuck up a mound of deli meat and cheese on bread with some lettuce.

    • elangomatt says:

      I’ve heard others complain too when the only sandwich they’ve tried is the turkey. Maybe that isn’t the best choice from there. I am a big fan of the Italian night club which has (among other things) genoa salami and Italian capicola. I’ve always felt that I’ll just go to subway for a big sub that is pretty OK, but if I want to have a better tasting higher quality sandwich I’ll go to Jimmy Johns. There aren’t really any other sub sandwich options in my area that I know of.

    • Martha Gail says:

      That’s weird. I actually prefer Subway to Jimmy John’s, but it could be because I’m vegetarian and their veggie sandwiches really are a joke. And the bread tastes like crackers. AND I hate shredded lettuce. Whoever thought shredded lettuce would be suitable for sandwiches and burgers?

  15. Snowlilly says:
  16. StarfishDiva says:

    I HAVE to comment. Our Jimmy John’s in [REDACTED], lol, always has perfect subs. Perfect. They bring samples to our office all the time. Their veggie subs are fat, filled with cucumbers, maters, and lots of crunchy, yummy lettuce. And that awesome mayo. It’s not really a “healthy” veggie sub, per se (the mayo makes it for me, and it’s white bread. Delicious white bread. Team gluten!), but it’s always delicious. Don’t talk trash about our local Jimmy John’s, they are the epitome of fast sub perfection.
    I do swear by it, the ones in those pictures? That’s how ours look. No I don’t work for them, I’m just a professional fat person.

    • StarfishDiva says:

      And it’s not just the “promo” samples. We order from them all the time during nasty projects at work. They always have them to us in lunch traffic within 10 minutes. I do freak, they are that fast.

    • NotEd says:

      You can go professional?
      Man, I’ve been fat for years for free.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        Maybe you should enter the fat Olympics while your amateur status is still intact.

        • NotEd says:

          Do you have to fly to the Fat Olympics? ‘Cause they don’t like me getting on planes.

          I supposed I could drive, but then the truck will play that damned song the whole way and kids keeps running out to flag me down. Don’t they realize I’m my own best customer? I don’t have any to spare!

    • birdieblue says:

      I’ve had the same experience. I’m not vegetarian, but I often get the veggie sub at JJ, and they always pack it with veggies and the avocado spread. I also like Subway, but JJ has always been good to me.

    • rdm says:

      I agree. JJs is always really great and super fast. I drive out of my way sometimes to go to JJs. :) (And that mayo… yum)

  17. nopirates says:

    jimmy john’s sandwiches are just not that good, and the bread is bland and doughy. the only thing they have going for them is that they deliver.

  18. hdhrant says:

    Over the years I’ve had many Jimmy John’s veggie subs from 2 different locations in 2 different cities, and I’ve never had one that looked remotely like that. I would certainly understand not getting a veggie sub or any other sub from that location again, but I’d at least wait to decide to never eat at a Jimmy John’s again until after getting a proper veggie sub from another location (hopefully the store credit is transferable to other locations).

    I haven’t eaten there in a while, but if I remember I’ll go there Monday and post a picture here of the veggie sub I get.

  19. Froidinslip says:

    As a frequent orderer of these subs, it is a good idea to ask for extra veggies and to leave the bread in. The sub doesn’t cost any more and is wonderfully delicious. That being said, the quality of sub depends on the franchise.

  20. SoCalGNX says:

    Everyone knows that vegetarian diets are not nutritious. At least that is what my friend said about her lifelong vegan lifestyle and her 6’4″ tiny son who was raised that way.

  21. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    Been there twice. Skimpy subs. Overpriced. Not impressed.

  22. Sarek says:

    They just opened one of these in my area. Unless they send me coupons, I guess there’s no rush to try them out.

  23. axiomatic says:

    Oh hey…. I’ve eaten that Jimmy Johns sammy before. It’s why I don’t go there anymore as well.

  24. Shinchan - Please assume that all of my posts are sarcastic unless indicated otherwise says:

    The last time I had Jimmy Johns, it tasted kind of rapey…

  25. K says:

    I’ve patronized at least four different Jimmy John’ses in my area and I’ve never had a sub look like OP’s pic.

    If you sit on your sub, or rest your luggage on top of it, don’t expect it to still look good.

    As for the overall merits of Jimmy John’s their benefits are: they’re fast, they deliver, and they’re decent. They probably won’t blow you away with their food. Heck, while we were waiting outside in a long line to get into a theater, they delivered to us in the line. And we weren’t the only ones. None of Subway, Blimpie, Quizno’s do that. They are also real convenient for quick lunch at work. You can order online and it comes to you. And pretty quickly. Even ordering a platter of sandwiches will come quickly.

    FTR, I’m a vegetarian, and my standard is the #13 with all the freebies. If getting for the whole family, a pickle too. And I’m often tempted to get their chips even though I’m usually too full after the sandwich to open them.

    Just an honest to goodness Happy Repeat Customer.

  26. ATXag says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Jimmy John’s. To me their sandwiches are something I can make at home. All they are are cold cuts, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and bread. There’s nothing unique to them at all. I prefer Quiznos in the sub restaurant genre. Their sandwiches have some variety and their bread is good.

  27. triana says:

    I’ve gotten the same sub many times before, and it was always pretty close to the Jimmy John’s picture. They probably ordered from a location that doesn’t have much demand for that sub, so the minimum wage kid behind the counter just threw something together. It’s not the best sub in the world, but it should have been a hell of a lot better than what the OP got.

  28. jogales says:

    JJ’s employee here…The sub is so thin because making any of the subs (#1-#6) involves taking out the inside of the piece of bread, essentially leaving a hollow bread-tube. Ask us to leave the bread in and we won’t take it out.

    Jimmy John told all Jimmy John’s stores to stop carrying sprouts indefinitely, but we don’t mention it on the menu for some reason. I hate having to explain to disappointed customers that we left sprouts off their sandwich without mentioning it first. They’ll be back, but nobody seems to know when.

    Lettuce is typically sliced fresh every morning, it shouldn’t be served if it’s wilted. No excuse for doing otherwise.

  29. Kuri says:

    To think the other day I considered trying Jimmy John’s.

    If they offered an italian meatball sub maybe…

  30. marcusdiddle says:

    I frequent our local Jimmy John’s quite often, sometimes 3 or more times a week for lunch. Have never had a sandwich worth complaining about. Always good food, always crazy fast, and half the cost of eating at one of the greasier fast food joints. The employees are always friendly and attentive as well. I’m constantly recommending JJ’s to friends.

  31. Weekilter says:

    This is no excuse for a krappy sandwich, but in case you were not aware all the big outfits whether it’s Mickey D’s Steak House, Burger King or Wendy’s have “food artists” arrange the food just so in order to make their product look appealing. In the real light of day what gets served to you whether it’s Jimmy John’s, Subway, Quizno, Mickey D or Burger King more often than not hardly resembles their publicity images.

  32. keneight2 says:

    I’ve never seen a Jimmy John’s sandwich look that smashed. Not that that is any excuse really for the rest of the problems with it, but I wonder if the sandwich was smashed intentionally to make the photo look as terrible as possible.

    Maybe not, but I know I’ve never had a sandwich look anything like that from JJs.

    • shutterbug says:

      OP here. I can assure you that the sandwich was not smashed by us — it truly was this sad and flat out of the wrapper. I don’t know just how large one would expect this sandwich to be when it contained only a layer of very thinly-sliced cheese, sliced tomatoes and a light sprinkling of wilted shredded lettuce.

      I just got a call from someone at JJ’s named Nick. I believe he is at the regional level because he mentioned visiting this same store last week. Nick apologized profusely for the sandwich, which he says is not indicative of what JJ’s veggie subs normally look like. He said there should have been a lot more lettuce on the sandwich, in addition to the omitted cucumbers. He also said that the clerk should have mentioned that alfalfa sprouts are unavailable. He promised to address it with the store and I’m happy with the response.

  33. nachtliche says:

    A lot of hate here for Jimmy Johns. I eat there regularly and the quality is great, leagues above subway. I’ve never had a complaint about quality or portions. The photo looks like someone clearly smashed the sandwich, which is misleading.

    • Rhazpun says:

      I like Togo’s or even better a local sandwich shop.

    • Noech says:

      Nope. Unfortunately, I can attest that the Jimmy John’s veggie sub looks exactly as smashed as indicated. I didn’t exactly have high hopes when I noticed that their idea of “vegetables” was lettuce, tomato, and avocado spread. The store near me not only didn’t have alfalfa sprouts, but also didn’t have cucumber. What’s sad is that there’s a Wawa closer to my house that can give me a veggie sub with three kinds of peppers, onions, spinach, etc. on a wheat roll (JJ’s apparently only has white rolls, or again, maybe that’s just the one near me) for less money.

  34. dks64 says:

    That really is a pathetic looking sandwich that never should have been served. I work in the food industry, I would not have given that to a customer. Sounds like a store retraining is in order.

  35. alana0j says:

    That is unfortunate! I LOVE Jimmy Johns, and am a big fan of their veggie sub. (I’m not a vegetarian but I do like this sandwich) I have NEVER had a problem with them before but perhaps I just live close to a good location.

    I do wonder why they got rid of the alfalfa sprouts though…it makes me sad :(

  36. OthelloAndreus says:

    I’ve never understood some complaints about the sandwiches made at sandwich chains. Doesn’t Jimmy John’s make your sandwich in front of you, like Subway? How can they make the sandwich incorrectly if you’re standing right there?

    I understand the complaint about the missing alfalfa sprout ingredient, though. Either they have them or they don’t

  37. Winterlord says:

    Seriously? You had to have sat on it. No way any JJ would give that to you. I call BS. You did not even try to hide that your hand is clamping down on it in the picture.
    Good luck getting your extorted free-food coupons, though!

  38. consumer12 says:

    JJ’s is more concerned about speed than quality. Ideally they would like to have both ,but more times than not quality goes on the wayside. Staff must complete a sandwich in 30 seconds or less to be in compliance. Sad what some restaurants will do to create a niche for themselves.

  39. Smiling says:

    Subway is guilty of this as well. They are so stingy with the veggies on their veggie subs. They cost the same as a standard sub, which should cover a few extra veggies to replace the meat. I have to beg for more veggies than they put on a meat sub. Then, when I order avocado, they literally want to spread 1 tsp. on it and charge two bucks. I finally found another place with a great veggie sub. It has cream cheese, and all kinds of other goodies, so Subway is off my list now unless there is no where else to eat.