I was trolling around on Yelp.com for an inexpensive place to eat this week and came across good reviews for . In the spirit of this past weekend’s , I thought I would give TJ’s a try.
TJ’s is a quirky little sub shop and as soon as I entered, it really did feel like a “mom and pop” shop. On my right was a little sitting area with a comfy sofa, along with a TV and reading materials, in case one felt the urge to eat a meal in front of the TV on the couch--without messing up one's own couch.
It felt a bit as if I had entered grandma’s house for lunch, complete with houseplants scattered around the room and older framed prints on the walls. The rest of the dining area was filled with tables and booths. The entire room, for all its eccentric decor, was as meticulously clean as I would expect grandma's house to be.
Behind the counter were “mom and pop," presumably the owners, who were an adorable older couple who briskly filled orders for an apparently faithful clientele, many of whom seemed to know each other.
I ordered a large Italian sub ($5.50), a large Bonanza sub ($6.50) and a small Roast Beef, Ham & Cheese sub ($5.00). As I drove off to meet friends with lunch, the smell of the sandwiches made it almost impossible not to sneak a bite before arriving.
One of my girlfriends and I split and shared the large Italian and Bonanza subs. First off, we noticed the bread on our large subs was excellent: fresh and soft, with a flaky crust. Strangely enough, my other girlfriend who had the small sub said her bread was dry, chewy and tasted stale.
Overall, the sandwiches were tasty and filling. All of the vegetables (lettuce, onion, peppers, and tomatoes) were fresh and contributed a good crunch to the sandwiches. Taking a closer look, there were a few things that could be improved.
The Italian sub had capicolla, pepperoni, salami and cheese. Together, it made a good combination. The meats were lean, but missing a little something. The pepperoni and salami were of the softer type; I suspect they were perhaps a domestic mass-produced brand. Since my friend and I prefer the dry imported salamis, we missed the robust flavor that hard salamis typically lend to a sandwich.
The Bonanza sub with avocado, ham, turkey, roast beef, and Swiss cheese was also a tasty combination. However, the avocado was skimpy enough that I found only one slice on my half and my girlfriend found none. The roast beef, ham, and cheese sub was adequate, but unfortunately marred by the aforementioned bread fiasco.
The final verdict on these subs was that they were decent, but they did not give us any reason to go to any great lengths to pursue them again. The main reason I would return if I were in the nearby vicinity would be to support an independent shop that offers an inexpensive, filling meal. At the very least, it offers a more nutritional alternative to fast food at the same price point.
TJ’s Submarine Sandwiches
Address: 167 W. Arrow Hwy., Glendora, CA 91740
Business Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone Number: (626) 914-1013
Price Range: $3.50 - $7.00
Type of Cuisine: Sandwiches
Standout Dish: Bonanza Sandwich