The RJG first ran into the name Jersey Mike's from an obscure lonely Dallas location not far from where I grew up in Northwest Dallas, in the Tom Thumb shopping center on Forest Lane near Marsh. It was a favorite place to have lunch with Dad. In those days lunch with Dad meant we had a choice of going to a sub sandwich place - or - going to a sub sandwich place. "I have an idea, Dad - let's go to sub place!", "OK - either Great Outdoors or Jersey Mike's" he'd generously offer as my two choices. And so we did just that on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure it was in the 1987-1989 timeframe, as Mr. RJG was just getting his career started. They closed not long after they opened and I never heard the name again for many years. In fact, I thought they were a little independent at the time. They didn't have locations in Colorado through 2002 (they do now), and I didn't hear the name again until we moved back in 2003 and they had opened their "first ever DFW location" on Greenville Avenue. Apparently the Dallas Warning News also forgot about the NW Dallas location. Am I the only one who remembers it? Maybe it was all a dream - seems to be the thing to do in Dallas (esoteric TV reference).
I'm guessing not long after, they opened the 2nd DFW location in Las Colinas (on MacArthur just north of 114), which was perfect as I had one of 'dem nice offices in one of 'dem big buildings in Las Colinas. So it became a regular once a week routine, reminding me fondly of my much missed Dad. The RJG no longer works for Big Software Company You've Actually Heard Of, and now works for Big Telecom Company Everyone Has Heard Of. Except now I work exclusively from home here in NE Tarrant, so going to Las Colinas is pretty rare anymore.
As an aside, Mrs. RJG says that Jersey Mike's is her favorite sub sandwich place as well (note that down ladies, as Mrs. RJG has decidedly feminine tastes).
The problem with any corporate chain, is that you can't count on one location being as great as another, but I can say the Las Colinas and Southlake locations are uniformly good. The managers are usually there, and they do a great job of cutting the meat at the slicer, and assembling with the usual fresh toppings. One thing the RJG likes about Jersey Mike's is the heavy use of Italian meats (Cappacuolo, Proscuittini along with the usuals like salami and pepperoni) thus separating them from the national competition.
March 2010 update: I wanted to call out what I said here from the original post, as it was definitely prophetic: "As I said in the C and A Italian Family Deli post, finding a good sandwich in NE Tarrant is pretty tough, so if I was RegularJoeFranchise, I'd give serious thought to opening one in Southlake, Keller, Colleyville or North Richland Hills." And indeed it came to pass that Jersey Mike's opened in Southlake not long after.
January 2013 update: Jersey Mike's no longer offer Tasty Kake's. Apparently the owner of Tasty Kake's will only deliver to large concerns (like grocery stores) rather than individual restaurants. That's a bummer! But the good news is you can now get them at Kroger, so it definitely takes away the need to have them at Jersey Mike's.
January 2014 update: Jersey Mike's continues to be the RJG's #1 go-to place for submarine sandwiches. Inexplicably they opened another location only a couple of miles east, also in Southlake and on Southlake boulevard! They could have opened in Keller, NRH, or Grapevine! It seems they are eating their young this way. Oh well, I hope they know what they're doing. I'm sticking with the location listed at the bottom, as that one was is still closer to Casa RJG.
Last update: June 20, 2015