If you've ever spoken to me for any extended length of time, you most likely realize that I have some sort of weird obsession with Kevin Durant. Not gonna lie, that guy's a stud, no bromo. After reading Danny's post on cupcakes (see here), in which he seems to imply that KD is not currently the best player in the NBA, I was livid, and felt obliged to respond. When the debate about the 'Franchise Player' pops up, Lebron's the easy choice. He's gaudy, annoying, and yeah... he puts up big numbers, but Kevin Durant's that guy that people respect, but don't talk about as much. He does everything right, has untapped potential, keeps his mouth shut and just plays the game. In the sandwiching world... that's Jimmy John's.
For the 22 years that I've been on this earth, I had never heard about Jimmy John's, despite the fact that they have locations in a bajillion states. It wasn't until a friend of mine, who wouldn't stop praising their sandwiches, forced me to try it, and then I was absolutely hooked.
The 'Beach Club' in all its glory. For $7, it's a monstrosity of a turkey sandwich filled with guacamole, alfalfa sprouts, and all the standard fixings. While nothing about the sandwich wows you at first glance, its excellence is subtle. The bread is actually fantastically special, a french bread that's good enough to stand on its own. A firm, yet not quite crunchy, outer shell contains a matrix of fluffy innards. The only way to describe the flavor would be... delicately sweet. It's a sandwich that's fundamentally sound in all aspects.
The turkey is certainly passable, the veggies all fresh, but this is definitely a case where the overall surpasses the sum of the parts. I don't even like alfalfa sprouts or cucumbers, but in the overall equation, they were good. They made sense.
Or you can get the 'Bootlegger's Club.' A combination of roast beef with turkey and the standard lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. Like Kevin Durant, Jimmy John's isn't a one trick pony. He can shoot the lights out or penetrate like no other. A generic sandwich when it comes to fillings, but yet again it does everything correctly. It's easy to fuck up a sandwich, but to properly execute a number of different sandwiches is infinitely difficult.
Yeah it's true that Jimmy John's is a fast food establishment, but that doesn't really detract from their ability to make sandwiches. Starting with bread baked fresh daily, through wickedly well thought out flavor combinations, they're a franchise that does everything right... loads of potential, fantastic sandwiches, but not quite as well liked/known as the Subway or Quiznos of the world. Maybe it's not so flashy, but just like Kevin Durant... it's already the best in the sandwich game, I think people are just slow to accept it because there are flashier options around right now. In due time, people will realize the awesomeness of JJ's, just as they'll come to accept KD as the unanimous choice as 'The Franchise.'