By Matt Gorlewski
Sandwiches are an integral part of a healthy American diet. So it is imperative that your average American must know where to get the best sandwich. While your sandwich options in Batavia may be limited, there is still room to criticize and dictate the best tasting sandwich in our small town. I decided to go around Batavia to scout out the best sandwich. Between Jimmy John’s, Subway, and Panera, I ranked each establishment’s sandwich, along with price point, and service. I chose the All-American plain turkey, swiss, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise sandwich as my benchmark.
Subway: Everybody and their mother knows of this sandwich behemoth. It is most popular for its (not really) 5 dollar footlongs. As soon I stepped into the restaurant and the scent of burning bread and mothballs welcomed its way into my nostrils. This was not a good start. The scent aside, I went up to the counter and watched my benchmark sandwich be made in front of my very eyes. The gentleman servicing me was friendly enough, and made me aware of all the options available to me. I got back to my car and unraveled the paper to see what this sandwich chain brought to the game. I took a bite and I immediately noticed a strong taste of the vinegarette. It was strong and rather overpowering. It was bitter, and left a odd taste in my mouth. I must also note that they did not have my consent to put this on my sandwich. Other than that, this was your very run-of-the-mill turkey sandwich. Nothing was especially popping out to me other than the stiffness of the bread they used. I wasn’t really expecting much, yet I was still let down. For a $5.21 sandwich, it was barely worth it. I am looking forward to what the other sandwich places had to offer.
Jimmy Johns: Jimmy John’s is very popular amongst Batavia students, and many cite it as their go-to sandwich shop. I personally have never really had Jimmy Johns before so this was surely going to be a new experience for me. The restaurant was noticeably tidy and clean for the most part, which is a good indicator that the rest of the place is sanitary. The service, however, was less than friendly. They all barely acknowledged my existence. I was met with blank stares from the production team and cashiers, as they unenthusiastically took my order. Ten minutes passed and still no word on my order. I guess “freaky fast” doesn’t apply when you order in store. Finally at the 15-minute mark, they carelessly threw my order onto the counter and didn’t even call it out. I had to check and see if it was mine. Unimpressed, I walked back to my car to eat and was pleasantly surprised. The French roll bread was ridiculously soft and flavorful, along with the rest of the sandwich. For around six bucks, this sandwich was pretty good. Jimmy John’s easily surpasses the quality of Subway, however, I found that the service was leagues better at Subway. I wasn’t done yet, as my last stop was Panera Bread.
Panera Bread: Panera is held in very high regard in the restaurant business. They boast fresh clean food, with absolutely no GMOs or antibiotics. However, this comes with a heftier price tag for the consumer. The first thing I noticed about Panera was the genuine warm welcome I received from the staff. Already off to a better start. The restaurant itself, however, was not all that well kept. I noticed some napkins and a little crumb farm building up on the floors. My order was taken (and fulfilled) within a very small time frame. Upon my first bite of the sandwich, I could tell that this was very high quality. Everything worked really well together, and the sandwich was packed with flavor. Even the after taste was notable, which couldn’t be said for the other two sandwich giants. The bread was phenomenal; it was very soft and tender, and built a great foundation for the other ingredients. However, this was a seven dollar sandwich and honestly, was rather small compared to the other two sandwiches I received. Panera has the best value, since the sandwich was accompanied by a side item of chips, apple or bread. In conclusion, Panera took the cake in this competition. The flavor profile of this sandwich was superior compared to the other two. I would definitely recommend it to anybody in Batavia seeking an incredible sandwich.