Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jersey’s Café

This place is interesting. It was featured awhile back on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and apparently was very overwhelmed for awhile.  When I was doing a little research beforehand about the place, nearly all the comments were about how slow it was.  I am not sure if the business has died down a bit since the show first aired, or if they have just gotten a handle on it.  It certainly isn’t fast, that’s for sure, but I thought the wait was reasonable (about 25 minutes to get our food).  Maybe that was just because I was expecting so much longer. Our server was also really nice I thought which also probably helped.
So I guess one of the things they are known for are the Philly Cheese steak style sandwiches, and they have a ton of different variations of them on the menu, but I was intrigued by other things and went a different route.  The sandwich I had was called the “Ham and Egg” ($8.99 with a side). So it was enormous for sure, that was the first thing I noticed about it.  The bread was that really thick cut soft Vienna loaf bread.  The toppings were smoked ham (really thinly sliced), bacon, egg salad, grilled onions (they call them “onion rings”), American cheese and a pepper parmesan sauce.  I really liked this sandwich a lot.  Of course ham, bacon and eggs go perfectly together, but the ham was nice and smoky, which added nice flavor.  And the onions added some texture variation and a little more bite to the rich ingredients. The bacon was crispy and tasty too.  The egg salad was how I liked it, not too fancy, just simple eggs, mayo and salt and pepper. It was really big like everything is at this place—I only ate about half.  For my side I got the mustard potato salad (they also have red skinned potato salad) because I tend to like the kick the mustard adds, but honestly, after having a bite of my friend’s red skinned salad, his was better.  It was creamy and just had more flavor to it.  The mustard salad could have stood to be a little creamier.
My friend had the Parsippany sandwich which is a cold hoagie type sandwich—the toppings were ham, pepperoni, capicola (a pork cold cut that taste similar to prosciutto), olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and a bunch of lettuce.  My bite of this was pretty tasty too—I really liked the olive tapenade with all that meat.  I didn’t really care for all the lettuce and other things piled on top—it looked like it made it hard to eat. 
All in all, my experience at Jersey’s was a good one—it does get quite crowded at lunch—we went a little early to try and avoid the crowd and did a good job.  And since it does take a little while to get your food, if you get there on the early side, you are still eating close to lunch time right?  But by the time we left, it was pretty well packed.  The menu is huge and I look forward to trying a bunch of other things on the menu there, including one of the Philly-style sandwiches (I was sort of attracted to the “Bronx Bomber.”)  Anyone been and found something they really liked? You know I want to hear all about it!
Jersey’s Café
13710 North Meridian Street
Carmel, IN  46032

Jersey's Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I ate there last winter and really liked the cheesesteak I ordered. I think it was one pf my first blog posts. Since then though I guess I've kind of forgotten about this place. I need to go back now that some of the hype has died down.

  2. Joe in Montgomery OHFebruary 2, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I probably should try this, but, in my experience, I've never been able to get a good cheesesteak beyond a 20 mile radius of Philadelphia.

    Lord knows, there's none in Cincinnati. Find a Patriot fan this week and ask them if they've had a frappe and grinder (sub and shake) and they'll start on you if they tried one. Let's stick to tenderloins guys, no one else but Indiana has those.

  3. I agree with Brent (Random Dude Who Eats Random Food), the cheese steak is very good. I've had a few varieties, each one special in it's own way.

    But the wait...that wait is horrible. The service is so slow despite having barely anyone in the restaurant.

  4. We visited this place last week for the first time.  Great complaint there at all.  We were seated immediately but it was fairly busy meaning there were few open tables at any given time.

    It took us one hour to get our food.  After 20 minutes I was thinking "wow this is taking awhile"...then I started to notice that people that were seated before us were still waiting and playing cards so I figured it might be was....60 minutes.  I really don't know what goes on back in the kitchen but there is no reason to make people wait that long.  It couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes to make both of our sandwiches.  We both got cheesesteaks and the prep didn't seem to be any different than Penn Station (grill ingredients...bake ingredients, etc.)

    Other menu items that we saw being passed around looked great.  I just can't imagine ever wanting to spend that much time trying them.

  5. yeah, this place is sort of notorious for taking a bit of time, although the last couple of times I have been, it wasn't too bad. But you have to budget at least an hour, and best to get there before noon.