Review: The Vito from Jimmy John’s

Well, it’s time to put a wrap on my first year of blogging; a year filled with interesting experiences to say the least, from being amazed that over a thousand people read my first review on the first day to being amazed that anyone read my first review because it was of a Hot Dog from Target.  I learned a lot of new words, like blogosphere and foodie.  I met a lot of people, both online, and in person; people with weird names like Marvo and people with weird interests like Mr. BaconpantsI traveled all the way to Denny’s HQ in South Carolina just to try their bacon and explored foods much closer to home by asking What the Street Eats.  What will year two of blogging bring from Murray?

Well, I’ve decided to start out the new year by getting back to the basics.  Rather than floundering all over the fast food world, looking for new adventures, I’m going to follow the oldest rule of literature: write what you know.  Most of the items I reviewed in 2011 were things I was trying for the first time or were at least new versions of old standby’s.  As much as I like to try new things, like anybody, I fall back to a predictable routine on most days.  I like to call it my rotation.  Amongst this circle of consistency is the #5 at Jimmy John’s.  Known also as, The Vito.

The Vito from Jimmy John’s:

The original Italian sub with genoa salami, provolone, capicola, onion, lettuce, tomato & a real tasty Italian vinaigrette. (Hot peppers by request)

I’m not really sure what a “Vito” is.  For all I know it’s a slur against Italians, but what I do know is that it’s my favorite sub sandwich on the market.

Why is it my favorite?  Let me count the ways:

1. Sub bread that knows what a sub sandwich bread is supposed to be.  It should have a crusty outer layer, with a soft, chewy interior.  Not this soft all the way through loaf of bread you get at Subway or some sort of deli roll they throw at you at other places. The sub bread also has a hinged side which stays together; an important component for grubbing on the go.  This is sub sandwich bread, by the book. 

2.  No mayo.  I’m not particularly averse to mayo, but it seems like most places can’t get the dosage right.  Whether on a burger or on a sub, it’s either way too much or not nearly enough.  Unless I’m at home, applying my own mayo, I tend to avoid it.  Plus, I know where my mayo’s been.  I know it hasn’t been sitting out for days on end. This particular sub works great without mayo; just a little salad oil.

3. Bread to toppings to meat ratio.  The bread, fixin’s and meat work in concert.  None is more dominant that the other.  I don’t get sick of any one element halfway through the sandwich.

4. Speed.  JJ’s advertises “Subs so Fast You’ll Freak” and they deliver (pun intended).  I don’t normally order them for delivery, so I won’t speak to any experience in that department, but my in-store experiences are always great and consistent from store to store.  Oftentimes, the person at the counter asks me what I’d like before I’m within normal talking distance.  Also, the person standing next to them, making the sandwiches is listening in and starts your sandwich before it’s even rung up.  Sometimes, if it’s not busy, the guy at the end of the assembly line will hand me my sandwich as I’m putting my change back in my wallet.

5. Hot peppers are a standard option.  The menu suggests ordering the sandwich with hot peppers.  I take this advice most of the time (some days I’m not feeling as spicy as others) and these add a nice dimension without overpowering the sub.

6. Limited decisions.  As I mentioned, I will often opt-in for hot peppers, but the rest of the sandwich is just made for you.  I don’t have to pick and choose this or that.  JJ’s figured out what goes well with this sandwich and put it on the sub.  End of story.  If I go to the flower shop, they don’t ask me to choose from 27 different flowers.  They put together some arrangements and I find one I like.  OK, there’s probably more reasons I could come up with, but this is the internet and online attention spans wain quickly.  I’ll wrap up by admitting that this sandwich does have some vulnerability.  I’ve had it be a little heavy on the onions and while the meats and cheese hold their own, they certainly aren’t top of the line.

Pros: Sub bread the way it should be. Freaky Fast. Solid, no frills sub. Hot pepper option is a nice addition.

Cons: Onions can be powerful. Not Jared-diet approved. "Meh" meats and cheese.

Taste: 8.00/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.50/10
Price: $4.65 sandwich alone, $7.80 w/Chips and Pop

Overall GrubGrade: 8.50/10

More Info: JimmyJohns.com
Nutrition Facts:
The Vito
600 calories,
28g fat
64mg cholesterol
1380mg sodium
52g carbs

38 comments on “Review: The Vito from Jimmy John’s

  1. Matt says:

    Italian Night Club >> the Vito (same thing just the INC is bigger)

  2. bob in texas says:

    this is definitely my favorite at JJs. I tell them them to go heavy on the sauce and get a bag of chips and pickled cut 4 ways and life is good.

  3. Chefprotoss says:

    Their roast beef is great. I forget what it is called because I loathe food names that aren’t said food (I hope the Diane in steak Diane killed herself in a horribly painful way), but JJ’s sub game is indeed strong.

    A long time ago, I left an industrial sized jar of mayo out for like 45 minutes. A server freaked out when I went to use it. I told her she was an idiot(tactfully), and she went to the owner to complain. The owner(not so tactfully) also told her she was an idiot. Mayo is like 97% oil, vinegar and salt. All three being natural preservatives. If you have any aversions to possibly spoiled food, mayo should be slightly more feared than beef jerky. Ok, more than that, but not by much.

    • Bob says:

      Yea, It takes a bit longer than 45 minutes for me to worry about it, There are plenty of other things that are far more dangerous than commercially made mayo.

    • JJ Employee says:

      Big John- Roast Beef, Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato
      Hunter’s club- 2 portions Roast Beef, Provolone, Mayo, Tomato, Lettuce
      Bootlegger- Roast Beef, Turkey, Mayo, Lettuce Tomato

      One of these

  4. COBRA says:

    I LOVE JJ. THE GARGANTUAN IS THE BEST.

  5. Clevegal42 says:

    If you like mayo on your sandwiches, maybe give it a whirl – I add mayo to the Vito and I never get too much and it is a nice complement to the oil. In an odd way it keeps it from being too greasy. The Vito is the only thing I’ve had from JJ – no sense messing with it.

    Their delivery is crazy fast – we ordered for 20 people at work once and it was there in about 15 minutes and I’m sure about 7 of that was from the drive to the building.

  6. Christopher says:

    Ever since I discovered Firehouse Subs, I haven’t gone to Jimmy Johns a single time. (or Subway for that matter). Really a league of their own, for the exact same price.

  7. Italian guy says:

    First, u never put mayo on an italian sub. Never. The fact that anyone even suggested it, you shouldn’t be allowed to eat an italian sub. Second, no salad dressing. Adding red wine vinegar and oil is completely acceptable but a pre-made salad dressing? No freakin way. Third, the meat goes on first, then the cheese, then lettuce, tomato, onions and hot peppers. And not banana peppers, its true crushed red cherry peppers. Also, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano are all standard. Thats how it’s done. No other way. Finally, that bread looks terrible. Get a real italian sandwich.

    • JJ Employee says:

      1. You don’t have to get every sandwich at Jimmy John’s with Mayo… you can order it without (it tastes good with it…)
      2. It’s not a “salad dressing” it’s a mixture of red wine vinegar and oil that our managers put together before the store opens.
      3. Who cares what order it is? The reason we put it in the order we do is to keep all the toppings from just falling off… We don’t have banana peppers… we have cherry peppers. O/V, Oregano comes standard on it, salt and pepper are a point of preference… I would not enjoy the sandwich if it came with it on it.
      4. The bread is great. Stop judging by appearances…
      5. You make me laugh… lol

  8. nuttyturnip says:

    Firehouse blows everyone out of the water on hot subs. Jimmy Johns or Jersey Mikes are the best choices for cold subs, in my experience.

  9. MrGinghamShirts says:

    The only downside to Jimmy Johns is that their salt values are way, way up there — especially if you want a pickle with your sandwich.

    That said, JJ’s is so damn solid, affordable, and filling for a mere six-inch sandwich that it pains me my new workplace isn’t closer to one. I’d like to see a review of the Gargantuan– the one sandwich I always wanted to try (but was too intimidated to go for it).

    • JJ Employee says:

      I’ve actually never had a plain Gargantuan… lol.
      The only time I had it, I ate it with every topping we have…

      They had to gut the bread in order to somewhat fit everything lol..

      List of toppings (everything…)

      Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Cucumber, Sprouts (before we stopped carrying them), Onions, Cherry Peppers, Avocado Spread, Dijon Mustard, Oregano, Oil/Vinaigrette Mixture, Provolone Cheese, Ham, Bacon, Turkey, Roast Beef, “Vito Meat” -Salami and Capicola, and Tuna.

      I can’t say that it “tasted” good… but it really didn’t taste that bad either… it just “was.”

      The tuna definitely was overpowering though. Bacon and Tuna form a very strange texture… I don’t suggest it.

      I would give the regular Gargantuan a try if it didn’t cost so much…

  10. Lindsay says:

    Salami…ick. I just hate it. Oily, fatty, greasy…gross! I’ve had JJ’s years ago. I actually like Subway bread, perhaps I need to try JJ’s agin.

    • Chefprotoss says:

      Huh, those are all the things I like about salami…

    • RC says:

      IMHumbleO What Is Wrecking The Taste For You Is Not The Salume
      It Is The Provolone Cheese.
      Safeway, Inc.’s “The Art And Cultivation Of Cheese” ($10.95 ,
      Safeway)
      Lists Provolone Cheese As A
      ‘Semi Hard Cheese Salted And Brined’.
      Ever Mind The Salted Cheese Added To The Taste Of The
      Salted Cured Salume.
      The Cheese Is Brined Which Means Fish Oil Is Naturally Added.
      If You Add The Fish Oil Of The Cheese To The Oily Salume Than
      Add An Oily Vinegrette To It Then You Have More Oil Than You
      Want (Need) To Deal With. More Salt Plus More Oil (Anything) Equals A
      Lack Of Umami.
      Foodnetwork.com Reports A ‘Provolone’ Cheese is Best Introduced
      Into Seafood, Vegetables Not Meats.
      My Suggestion Is To Dump The Provolone Cheese Also
      To Substitute A Dry Cheese As A Substitute.
      Unfortunately No Italian Cheese Substitute Is Saltless.
      I Might Substitute Ementhaller, Yogurt, Greek Yogurt.

      • RC says:

        My Bad
        The Title Of The Book Is “The Art of Selecting & Serving CHEESE” (c 2002 Try-Foods International, Inc. Distributed At Safeway).

      • Chefprotoss says:

        @rc huh? None of that makes any sense or is remotely close to being correct. That is how provolone is made. Provolone is not brined. Provolone never comes anywhere close to fish oil. Adding fish oil to something is definately not brining. Sorry dude, but I had to point that stuff out.

        Oh and the dryer a cheese is, the saltier it is. Unlike moisture, salt does not get leeched out during the aging process. Finally, Italians love meat and cheese together. Cured meats and robust cheese have been loved for centuries.

  11. Obbop says:

    I tried Jimmy Johns BLT a couple times and it was okay and handed over quickly but why oh why does it have to be so salty?

    Unbearably so.

    To the point I shunned the BLT thereafter.

  12. Reggie says:

    Jersey Mike’s makes some fantastic subs. This however does impress me at all.

  13. Chefprotoss says:

    Thanks for the lecture, but I’ll stick to mayo.

  14. Charlotte says:

    We just got a Jimmy Johns where I live and they are wildly popular, I see their delivery cars everywhere and I order from them a lot myself, just cause they are so damn fast. I usually get the veggie club on their (amazing) wheat bread but the Vito is the next choice. They slice everything so thin but pile it on in the right amounts and it’s affordable. Go Jimmy John Go!

  15. Jon says:

    I lived not 2 blocks away from a Jimmy Johns my first year in college. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a Vito, Italian Night Club, or Gargantuan. It ended up making me sick of the place lol.

  16. Roger says:

    Completely off topic… love reading reviews on this website, but how come one of my top 1-2 items, the normal sized beef chalupa from taco bell, isn’t reviewed yet?

    • Murray says:

      Rog, I’m trying to work my way through some of my top ten and the Beef Chalupa’s are definitely in my wheelhouse. A lot of people want us to review what’s “new” and we like to have a lot of our content focus on the latest offerings. However, we also have folks like yourself who like to hear our thoughts on the old standards. Your wish is my command. Stay tuned and I’ll see if I can get to it in the next week or so. Not to give away the ending, but: I like it.

  17. mike says:

    bootlegger club, mustard instead of mayo and +sprouts. love JJ but prefer subway. Lots of veggies, turkey and mustard = great sub anywhere imo.

  18. SmoledMan says:

    Remember to eat it with the “Italian Stance” so you don’t get schmekis all over your clothes and shoes.

  19. Erik says:

    Either the only few Jimmy John’s that I’ve been to were horrible franchises or this is a paid advertisement. Or you were drunk when you ate this. I’ve only had basically mayonnaise and lettuce sandwiches from this place, with a faint hint of meat or other toppings.

    • Murray says:

      I know what you’re getting at. The other subs from JJ can be a bit mayo-lettuce (or sprout) heavy, but I assure you the Vito is nothing like the others. I’m not saying you’ll be overwhelmed by how much meat or cheese is on it, but I think it’s well proportioned.

      p.s. Is there a way to get JJ to pay me to eat their sandwiches while drunk, as you suggest? If so, I’m in.

    • JJ Employee says:

      Humorous response…

      A) Ask for EZ Mayo if you don’t like as much or ask for mayo packets
      B) Same goes for the lettuce, EZ lettuce or take it off if you’re picky about it.
      C) Try the Gargantuan if you want the taste of a lot of meat, otherwise the portions are pretty fair.

      It’s probably the franchises you’ve been to. Sorry to hear about your poor experiences.