An Italian original from Jersey Mike's (Food Detective, with recipe) (2024)

JERSEY MIKE'S SUBS: (1) 4673 Hwy. 280, Suite 2, 980-1866; (2) 1873 Gadsden Highway, Suite 2, 661-0771; 1851 Montgomery Hwy., Suite 113, Hoover. 987-7115;

A small restaurant that opened in 1956 in Point Pleasant, N.J., has expanded, gotten a revised name, a new owner and a slew of devotees addicted to submarine sandwiches once served only seasonally along the Jersey shore.

One of the changes that came over time was a menu addition spurred by a customer named Ziggy, who always ordered the #5 Super Sub -- made with provolone, ham, prosciuttini and cappacuolo – but with his own twist. Ziggy requested that pepperoni and salami be added to his sandwich.

Whenever Ziggy arrived, the sub-makers at Jersey Mike’s busied themselves assembling what they called the Ziggy Special. In the mid-1990s, the sandwich was added to the menu board as #13.

“Ziggy’s creation has become one of our most popular subs,” reported Patrick Decker, owner of three Birmingham-area Jersey Mike's Subs.

"The meat and cheese for each #13 is sliced fresh on the spot, piled high on freshly baked bread and finished Mike's Way with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and the juice," he explained.

“Our passionate Jersey Mike’s fans crave their subs made Mike’s Way® with onions, lettuce, and tomatoes and the juice: red wine vinegar and olive oil that is blended to perfection,” he continued.

The blend “is an exquisite zing -- a splash of extra and the unexpected,” Decker said, describing the juice as “a Jersey Shore tradition.”

The most popular subs, he continued, are the #7 (turkey breast with provolone) and Ziggy’s #13 ($6.95).

The restaurants “are gearing up for our Fourth Annual Month of Giving in March, Decker said, reporting that last year, nationwide, Jersey Mike's raised $1.7 million for 86 local charities.

“This year, our Birmingham Jersey Mike's locations are raising money for The Bell Center (an early-intervention program that helps children at risk for developmental delays),” added Decker, who opened his first restaurant (on U.S. 280) in 2005. A second followed in 2007; a third, in 2010.

Jersey Mike's new mobile app for smartphones can come in handy if you’re searching for one of the 1,300-plus Jersey Mike's locations that are either open or under development. To download the app:

In Birmingham, Jersey Mike's three locations are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Is there some special dish that you’ve tasted in a Birmingham-area restaurant that you’d like to try to duplicate? Send your request to: Food Detective, The Birmingham News, P.O. Box 2553, Birmingham, AL 35202; fax Food Detective, 325-2494 or e-mail Follow her on Twitter @lynnfullman



1 15-inch x 3-inch torpedo-style Italian roll

5 thin slices provolone cheese

5 thin slices ham, cooked (boiled)

5 thin slices prosciuttini (peppered ham)

5 thin slices cappacuolo (hot ham)

6 thin slices hard salami

7 to 8 thin slices pepperoni (deli pepperoni, not pizza)

10 thinly sliced rings sweet Spanish onion

5 to 6 golf-ball size pinches of shredded iceberg lettuce

5 slices ripe tomato (about 1 medium)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil blend (We use a proprietary blend but you can mix olive and canola oils)

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Salt to taste


Cut roll in half lengthwise so there is a bottom and top (two separate pieces/not wedged). Place cheese one slice at a time covering the entire bottom piece of bread. Then add the meats one after the other in the order above. The meats should be flowered, not folded or laid flat, and should be distributed one slice at a time covering the entire bottom piece of the bread.

Layer onion rings across meat. Add 4 to 5 golf ball-size pinches of lettuce evenly covering the sandwich. Place tomato slices on top. Slowly pour vinegar evenly all over tomatoes, covering sub from end to end. Add oil in the same manner. Be sure to cover the entire sandwich. Sprinkle an even layer of oregano on top of tomatoes and give a quick sprinkle of salt to top the whole thing off. Cut into four quarters.

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An Italian original from Jersey Mike's (Food Detective, with recipe) (2024)
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