Lean slices of pepperoni, prosciuttini, and salami plus tasty provolone cheese underneath fresh tomatoes, lettuce and white onions drizzled in a dressing of vinegar, oregano, and oil would normally be a salad. But put all those on a freshly-based gigantic bun and you have a submarine sandwich. Hey, no, that’s a salad sandwich. Guess again. That’s what you call a Blimpie.
Today Blimpie sandwiches are sold not only in 600 Blimpie shops but in supermarket outlets, food carts, mobile product delivery, and vending machines. There are seven varieties of Blimpie sandwiches which have been expanded to include choices for leaner meats such as turkey and heftier cuts like roast beef. There are now “Buffalor” and “Caesar” chicken sandwiches as well.
A salad of tomatoes and lettuce on top of cold cuts was foreign to the residents of Hoboken in North Jersey until in 1964 when Angelo Bandassare, Tony Conza, and Peter DeCarlo, high school classmates at Jersey City’s St. Peter’s Prep opened their first shop in 1964 selling these “salad sandwiches.”
Instead of calling their creation a “sub” or a “hoagie,” a term relatively unknown in that part of the Garden State, they called it a “blimpie.” According to Conza a “blimp” means an airship that is shaped like a sandwich. They added the “ie” for a catchy sound. And the Blimpie was born. This year, Blimpie is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The Blimpie Menu
While others have tried to capture the Blimpie taste, none have come close. It’s still basically meat, vegetables, and bread, folks, but there are probably some “secret” ingredients that are added at the last minute to these make these Blimpie sandwiches taste so incredibly awesome. Just take a look at their menu:
Meatball Pamigiana: marinara sauce is smothered on a blend of pork and beef meatballs topped with provolone and then sprinkle with a dash of parmesan cheese.
Philly Cheese Steak: yes, this is a Philadelphia original, folks, and the Blimpie just added some twist to the traditional thin slices of beef and onions with provolone and some peppercorn dressing.
Grilled Cheddar Bacon Ranch: Blimpie takes the ranch dressing a notch higher by serving it with grilled breast of chicken, smoked and melted cheddar cheese, crisply-fried bacon, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes.
VegiMax™: created for not-meat eaters, this trademark sandwich is something even non-vegetarians will love: a vegetable patty with the creamiest Italian dressing, melted provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Aside from the Blimpie Best® there are six other Blimpie sandwiches that are equally delectable:
Turkey and Provolone Blimpie: if you’re just about done with chicken sandwiches, try this poultry version from Blimpie with provolone slices and turkey that has been oven-roasted dressed with the Blimpie Way® of oil, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. The zest in this Blimpie sandwich comes from the addition of healthy oregano.
Ham and Swiss: it may very well be like other ham and cheese sandwiches but the difference is in the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and oregano for the Blimpie Way® dressing that goes with this and the slow-cured ham and fresh Swiss cheese slices that make it lip-smacking scrumptious.
Roast Beef and Provolone: okay, so this might be mistaken for just another roast beef sandwich, but the Blimpie’s version of top-round thinly sliced beef and provolone are dressed with this darn delicious dressing called the Blimpie Way® made from tomatoes, lettuce, vinegar, onions, oregano, and oil.
The Club: a Club sandwich is a club sandwich unless it’s made by Blimpie. It’s made with oven-roasted turkey for one thing and the ham that goes with it is slow-cured. And when the whole thing is on freshly-baked bread drizzled with the renowned Blimpie Way® sauce, how can it be like other Club sandwiches?
Tuna: even tuna sandwiches are made different by Blimpie. Delicatessen-style tuna is served simply with tomatoes and lettuce on wheat bread yet it tastes unlike any other tuna sandwich you have ever tasted before. That’s 28 grams of protein right there for you.
B.L.T.: indulge once in a while and make it a Blimpie B.L.T. made of crisply-fried bacon on six inches of Italian white bread garnished with healthy lettuce and tomato slices. Hold the mayo if you want to cut down on calories but if it’s just an occasional foray into indulgence, get the mayo; it makes this Blimpie heavenly!
Buffalo Chicken Wrap: sliced buffalo-style chicken, peppery Monterey jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and olives topped with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.
Southwestern Wrap: turkey that’s been oven-roasted to perfection, crisply-fried bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes with chipotle mayo.
Chicken Caesar Wrap: grilled breast of chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, Caesar dressing, and shredded parmesan cheese.
Kids’ Meals and Salads
All these sandwiches can become “combo” meals with the addition of a drink of your choice and chips or a gourmet cookie. Kids’ meals of Turkey and Cheese, Ham and Cheese, and Tuna Blimpie sandwiches are also available with chips, a gourmet cookie and a kid’s drink or juice. And then there are the salads:
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad: grilled breast of chicken and parmesan cheese on fresh, crisp lettuce.
Ultimate Club Salad: oven-roasted turkey, smoked cheddar, crisply-fried bacon, creamy Swiss cheese, and slow-cured ham slices and tomatoes and lettuce.
Catering and Gift Cards
Blimpie’s catering service offers their tried and tested sandwiches as well as their salads and desserts for your meetings, parties, and other events where party trays and lunchboxes become fun and casual to eat from. Add your own choices to Blimpie’s existing menu or let them customize the entire thing for you.
Get more out of Blimpie, register to become a BlimpiE Club member at their website http://www.blimpie.com and get exclusive offers and the latest promos. You can also avail of the Blimpie Gift Cards, ideal for birthdays, graduations, and other occasions, redeemable at participating Blimpie locations.
I was once a big fan and consumer of Blimpie but ever since they stopped offering the Blimpie Burger and Chicken subs I have discontinued doing business with the chain and will never do so again until my sandwiches are brought back