When you think about patriotic sandwiches, what immediately comes to mind? Anything? Brainstorm for a second, then hold that thought. Jimmy John’s, it turns out, has you covered: the chain has released a limited-time-only sandwich, the All-American Beefy Crunch, and it’s available now.
In case the term “all-American beefy crunch” doesn’t immediately bring a specific image to mind, it’s a roast beef sandwich with American cheese, thousand island dressing, pickles, lettuce (crunch), fresh onion (crunch), and crispy fried onion strings (crunch crunch) on Jimmy John’s signature French bread, or the bread of your choice. If those flavors sound familiar to you, that’s because it’s already known to be a pretty great combination to put on top of a burger. Obviously, the Big Mac immediately comes to mind.
But that’s the thing: This is a combination of toppings you’d ordinarily see specifically on a burger. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t recall the last time I’ve seen this type of spread on a deli meat sandwich.
I swung by the nearest Jimmy John’s location by me today and picked up one of these bad boys for lunch. The first thing I noticed is that it came pretty wet. You can see the thousand island weeping out the sides in the photo above, which is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot of dressing on this thing.
I had a sneaking suspicion that this combination of sandwich components wouldn’t work for me, and I wasn’t wrong. But it’s not because of the flavors and textures. The thousand island, which is very sweet, plays well off the pickles and onions. But what really doesn’t work is the core of the sandwich: the roast beef.
Ground beef in a burger is one thing. Burger patties are rarely seasoned with much other than salt and pepper, and they mostly let the beef flavor play front and center. Deli roast beef, on the other hand, is often aggressively flavored all the way through with herbs and spices in a seasoning solution, and Jimmy John’s beef is no exception. Those particular flavors just don’t complement the all-American toppings, not to mention that the texture of the roast beef is chewier than that of a burger.
Basically, my brain was shouting “burger” while my mouth was shouting “sandwich.” The two didn’t particularly connect in between. Both the flavor and the texture of the sliced roast beef is distracting and, in my opinion, doesn’t quite work.
The onion strings are nice and crunchy, though. Jimmy John’s limited-time offer earlier this year, the Thai Chicken Wrap, used crispy fried carrot bits to great effect. Despite all that thousand island, the strings in this sandwich stayed nice and crunchy, almost like having chips right on top of the sandwich. Plus the raw onions and the pickles added a nice fresh element to every bite.
Some of you will, I’m sure, find this sandwich perfectly enjoyable. Maybe my expectations from a burger are just overly ingrained, but there’s too much dissonance for me to want to eat another one. This cost $10.69 at my local Jimmy John’s (though we all know prices are weird right now), so I’d say if you want a Big Mac experience, get one of those instead. If you want a roast beef sandwich, get a regular one off the Jimmy John’s menu. I’m just not so sure the two can be joined into one all-American bundle like this.