Food on the Run: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As a 19-year-old back in 1983, Jimmy John Liautaud set out to create the world's greatest gourmet sandwich. He created and tested his sandwich ideas on family and friends and eventually opened his first Jimmy John's. This young entrepreneur with a focus on low prices, great food and delivery that started out as a hit with college students has grown to become a gourmet sandwich shop with over 1000 stores today.

JJ's seems to have a market on the sandwich shop triple threat – Fresh, Fast and Fair-priced. Jimmy John's bakes their bread in-house daily as well as slicing and preparing meat and vegetable ingredients in-house too. They also focus on wholesome ingredients such as meats without fillers and real mayonnaise and olive oil. So with all this focus on wholesome ingredients, how does it measure up nutritionally.

Portion and ingredient control will be the key to your success when enjoying sandwiches at Jimmy John's. Be sure to visit their website and use their terrific nutrition calculator that allows you easy access to accurate nutrition information as you customize your sandwich to meet your needs. Here are a few keys that will help you find success when eating at Jimmy John's.
  • Low sodium is not a focus for this chain, so caution is necessary especially when low sodium is required.
  • Sub sandwiches are the specialty and how Jimmy John made his name and are your wise nutrition choice too since club sandwiches include bacon that increases calories and saturated fat which makes club sandwiches less than ideal.
  • Selecting the 7-grain bread as a substitute for the enriched white French bread can increase your fiber intake by 5 grams. However, it will also provide 20 additional grams of carbohydrate, 5 additional grams of fat, and 100 calories to the sandwich as well. If increasing fiber is your focus, it may be a good substitution but if fat and calories is of most importance, stick with the French bread.
  • If you want to limit carbohydrates, turn your selection into a JJ Unwich. You can get the same meats and veggies in a lettuce wrap for a fresh take on a wrapped sandwich.
  • Loading up on the veggies is a great way to increase fiber and fullness with the lowest calorie, fat and sodium impact. Take advantage of the freebies like onions, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, tomato, and cucumber and ask for doubles of your favorites.
Here are some of the better sandwich choices.

#4 Turkey Tom - An 8 inch sub sandwich with turkey breast, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, and tomato without mayonnaise on French bread
Calories – 321
Fat - .83 grams
Sodium – 920 mg
Carbohydrate – 50 grams
Fiber – 1 gram
Protein – 24 grams

#8 Vegetarian - Provolone cheese, avocado spread, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce and tomato without mayonnaise on French bread
Calories – 385
Fat – 9 grams
Sodium – 699 mg
Carbohydrate – 52 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 19 grams

Hunter's Club Unwich - Roast Beef, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato without mayonnaise in a lettuce wrap instead of bread
Calories – 277
Fat – 13 grams
Sodium – 1022 grams
Carbohydrate – 4 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 37 grams

Turkey Unwich - Smoked turkey with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and onions in a lettuce wrap
Calories – 87
Fat - .9 gram
Sodium – 497 mg
Carbohydrate – 7 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 14 grams

Ham Unwich - Smoked ham, Capicola, onions, tomato, cucumber in a lettuce wrap
Calories – 140
Fat – 6 grams
Sodium – 671 mg
Carbohydrate – 7 grams
Fiber – 2 grams
Protein – 16 grams

Is Jimmy John's a sandwich option you have tried? If so what did you think? Do you think the Unwich provides a great option when eating away from home?

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I always get no mayonnaise on the sandwich, but get the reduced fat mayonnaise packets on the side. That way I control the amount of the mayo. My favorites are the veggie and the beach club....mmmmm...... Report
No JJs here but will be on the lookout for one.... Report
Went to JJ's for the first time this weekend and it was yummy! I don't like mayo, so that's good... Happy to see this article and find some of the healthy choices... I had the Beach Club and not sure how much the avocado spread added in calories. Want to try the unwich next time! Report
I love JJ's. Usually have the #4 Tom Turkey with no mayo...yum! Report
Never heard of them. Report
I LOVE Jimmy John's! I usually have the Vegetarian on Wheat. I get it without mayo, but add Dijon Mustard. I also side the sandwich with BBQ Pop Chips. I only eat half of the sandwich. It keeps nicely for lunch- day two! Report
I have both a Subway and a JJ near my house. I go to Subway to stick to my diet; I go to JJ for cravings. I always get the #1 (basically a ham and cheese), but one sandwich is over 600 calories.
I'm surprised the blog didn't mention the slims. They're basically the subs without the veggies and mayo, but they're usually around 100 calories less. Report
Wow it sounds great but I don't have one close to me...I will keep it in mind for when we go on vacation...hanks for the information. Report
I LOVE JJ! But yes, you absolutely need to make adjustments the the sandwich board for a healthier meal. The mayo will kill you! The veggies are awesome though and it's hard to get a lot of them at a normal sandwich shop. Report
Agree with Mikcher--I love JJs and have been adding them to my nutritional tracker based on the website for years. The calories counts you give are about half what they should be. Report
I love JJ's. Found out about them a few years ago, and like the sandwiches better than Subway's, though I can never quite articulate why. I usually go for roast beef, but I guess I better look into that turkey :) Report
I love the "unwich" option which isn't available at Subway. Report
I love JJ's! The nutrition calculator on their website is a huge help so that you can calculate your intake before you even leave the house. I've never tried the unwich because I love the bread too much! Report
I have heard people rave about JJ, but honestly, I don't care for it. I think their prices are certainly not "low" and the extras (like guacamole) are a rip off. Also, to me, the sandwich tastes like nothing but bread. Sorry! I'd go for a sandwich at Subway over JJ any day. Report
Oh I miss JJ. I moved to the west coast and JJ is not here:( It was my fav go to sandwich place and our post bar scene too. They were super fast and I always liked the turkey sandwich with the sprouts...yum!!! Report
Never heard of Jimmy John's before, and there are no locations in NJ. Report
Even after working there and eating it everyday (sometimes twice), I still love Jimmy John's. However, I'm pretty sure they don't have smoked turkey anywhere on the menu. It's not mentioned on the website, anyway.

Hubbie and I just love JJ's. Unfortunately we don't pick the healthiest choices, but we are OK with that. I always get the Italian Nite Club and hubbie picks either the Gargantuan or #17 (can't remember the name). The bread is fresh and so are all the other ingredients. We still like to visit the competitor now and then, but wehn we leave our local JJ's our parting remark is "see you next week". Report
Wow ... I didn't know the French bread was a better choice calorie 7-grain bread calorie and fat-wise. I'll choose different bread or an unwich next time I stop there. Good info! (Their sandwiches are really yummy!) Report
The first Jimmy John's everwas opened at EIU where I went to school, so it was a staple for me in my college days and brings back fond memories. I still love it for that reason. I have to say I stick to my favorite Pepe, but just modify my diet the rest of the day to make up for the extra calories. Yum! Report
I love the #12 Beach Club. I get it as an UNwich, no mayo. It has some DELISH gauacomole on it, but still seems steep in calories to me! They are seriously REALLY fast w/ their delivery too, I don't know how they do it! Report
The unwichs are wrapped in paper specifically to hold them together. Unfortunately it can get in the way so I just get rid of it. The unwich holds together pretty well because they use 2 lettuce leaves and wrap them one on top of the other and cover the seam of the first so that they overlap (I don't know how else to explain it). I get an unwich with no mayo or no vinagrette, it only has meat, cheese, veggies, and the lettuce wrap and isn't as messy as a sub sandwich where the shredded lettuce always falls out! Report
I've never even heard of JJs. I wish they had one here. That Unwich idea is awesome!! Report
MIKCHER - where are you seeing this is for half a sandwich? I just went out and checked and don't see that anywhere?

Thanks for the heads up - I had no idea they had "Unwichs"!

And also kudos to JJ's for putting out all their nutritional info online, many places do not! Report
I love Jimmy John's! I just ate there last week with some friends. The vegetarian without Mayo is my absolute favorite.

Also, MIKCHER, when using the nutritional counter on the jimmy john's website, make sure you delete the mayo to get the correct nutritional information. The Veggie Sub calorie count is 587 with the mayo, but if you delete it, it turns into 385! The mayo adds A LOT of calories. Report
I eat half a California club, no mayo and it's just about perfect! Hard to resist the cookies, though... Report
I LOVE JJs! I discovered this place in college, quite by accident. Their sandwiches are delicious! If given the option, I will choose this place over Subway any time! Report
Jimmy John's is one of my favorite places to get my take out. The price and calories are nice and work in my life. I especially like the Turkey Tom, mayo on the side, no tomato and add mustard. Top it off with one of their huge pickles and I become a happy girl! Report
I think the calorie counts are wrong - according to the website, the calories stated here are for half a sandwich! Report
I have the Turkey tom or the Vito almost every Saturday after grocery shopping in town.
One of my faves, and definitely my favorite sandwich place! I've been eating there since before I started watching what I eat more closely (I miss the chips the most) but can alwas find something delicious to eat. The turkey tom and veggie unwiches top my list. Report
I have been curious about this place, perhaps I should give them a try! Report
Love JJs! Worked there during my senior year in college and during grad school. Delicious sandwiches and a fun staff. Another bonus is to get a number 1-6, because the inside of the bread is torn out and the lettuce is put in it's place. It cuts down on a lot of the bread/carbs. I'm sure this is factored in to the calculations on the website, but it's nice to know! Report
YUM! I love JJ's! My favorite is the Beach Club, but after reading this I'm giving the Vegetarian a try. :-) I didn't realize what the 'unwich' is, but will definitely be trying the Turkey version next time. :-)

To MFABER3: The food just always seems fresher to me. It's WAY faster than Subway, IMO- and the bread is not so overpowering. And the avocado spread is YUUUUUUmmy! ;-) Report
I work at a daycare...and we dont really have meal breaks, we are supposed to eat with the kids, so we order Jimmy John's quite a bit..thing is..I usually order the 7 grain bread thinking its better for me...

Boy am I wrong...with 100 extra calories, the crust is too hard anyways, so I might as well stick to the original... :) Report
I have never seen a JJ's, but if we're traveling or one opens near us, we would seriously consider eating lunch there. Sounds like a winner! Report
lettuce wrap to sub bread, what a great idea Report
There isn't one in my county in north Texas. How different is it than Subway? Report
Love the "unwich" other favorite is the California on the 7 grain bread!!! The website is GREAT to mix & match the ingredients to decide how you want to order. Report
We don't have them around here, at leas that I know of... but sounds yummy! And I always prefer it when someplace gives me the option of salad or lettuce wraps because I often feel that bread is just a waste of calories on a sandwich. I adore bread... which is why I want to enjoy it planned and by itself! Not adulterated with sandwich toppings! :) Report
I love JJ's and it's always a special treat for me because there isn't one very close to my work or home.

I always ordered the Beach Club or Bootlegger until I started tracking calories. I was worried to switch to the Turkey Tom but gave it a try and it was just as great as their higher calorie subs. I want to try a Unwich but I'm worried. I've attempted lettuce wraps at home before and they are so messy, the lettuce breaks and I end up eatingit with a fork and knife (which is okay at home, but not on the run). Has nayone tried the Unwichs? Are they messy or do they hold together pretty well? Report
I love JJ's and the only sandwich I eat there is the Turkey Tom. Its great to know my sandwich is one of the best on the menu. JJ's has saved my butt in regards to lunch on many occasions only being a block from where I work. I looked at making it "unwich" style and it'd be less than 100 calories. I might have to try it one of these days (But I really really love their bread!) Report
I wasn't too keen on the veggie sandwich until I tried it "unwich" style. Their bread overpowers the veggie sandwich, so having it on lettuce makes it like a salad you can hold. According to my reading of their calorie counter, the veggie sandwich with no mayo comes in at 130ish calories. Report
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