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Pat Eats Garbage Food: Jimmy John's Frenchie is, eh, comme ci comme ca

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I love newspaper food pages, what with their Bolognese sauce recipes and reviews of locavore bistros. They tell us how to eat well, and that’s something of real value. Putting thought into what we put in our bodies is never a bad thing.

That said, sometimes I just wanna grab some garbage food and shove greedy handfuls of it into my dumb face. There’s not much coverage of junk food in the food pages, and this feature seeks to remedy that.

In every biweekly edition of Pat Eats Garbage Food, I’ll review a different fast food item or convenience store snack and let you know what works and what doesn’t. (You’ll note I didn’t say what’s good and what’s bad; it’s all bad. That’s the point.)

The food: This week I went and bought something called the Frenchie over at Jimmy John’s. The Frenchie — salami, capicola and provolone on a thin baguette-style roll with salted butter — is based on the classic French jambon beurre. But it’s not that.

The guy who painted that dogs-playing-poker picture could walk down the Champs Elysees in a beret, whistling an Edith Piaf tune and smoking a Gauloise, but he still wouldn’t be Matisse. This sandwich is that dogs-playing-poker guy. Also, not to make a huge deal of it, but all of the components are Italian foods. Salami, capicola, provolone. The only “French” thing is the bread, and that’s as French as Cook’s Champagne.

The damage: $5.49, which based on Monday’s exchange rate is $4.98 Euros. That seems fine.

The other damage: 760 calories, 34 grams fat (17 saturated), 115 mg cholesterol, 2,130 mg sodium, 75 grams carbs. None of that’s pretty, but good lord that sodium number is off the charts. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg a day. I ate this for lunch. I guess I can have a single saltine for dinner.

Official description: “Introducing the Frenchie. A delicious combination of all-natural salami and capicola, hand-sliced provolone and salted butter on a baguette. Inspired by France. Made by Jimmy John’s. Grab one to go for a limited time.” Why bother to refer to the provolone as “hand-sliced”? Why, Jimmy John’s? Why? Let’s ask a French Existentialist.

“Hey, Sartre, what’s with the ‘hand-sliced provolone’ thing in this sandwich description?”

“Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”

“Oh. Huh.”

My description: If you want a fast-food chain sub in this town, your options are Subway, Quiznos and Jimmy John’s. That’s an incredibly low bar for Jimmy John’s to clear, and in general it does so. This ain’t its best sandwich, though. I’m going back to the No. 5 with hot peppers.

How does it feel? Again, let’s turn to an existentialist for this one.

“Hey, Kierkegaard, can you explain for the readers what eating a Jimmy John’s Frenchie feels like?”

“What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding, what if laughter were really tears?”

“Nailed it. Thanks, Kierks.”

Will I eat it again? Nah.

Overall rating: 4 out of 10, the ennui of sandwiches.

Reach Pat Muir at

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