We were over in Arlington and stopped in at Blue Boy Sandwich Shop on Fort Caroline Road for some lunch. Blue Boy Sandwich Shop opened in the Norwood area in 1973. Over the years they opened two more locations- Downtown and Arlington. They’ve made fresh bread for their sandwiches every morning for the past 41 years.
Address: 5535 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32277
The exterior and interior of Blue Boy Sandwich Shop have definitely seen better days. I was sure from the layout and decor that the building was built by a chain restaurant, but I just couldn’t put my finger on which one. The longer I sat and ate my lunch the more it bothered me, so I texted a friend who grew up nearby. She called a few friends….it was a Ponderosa! Mystery solved.
The menu is fairly impressive with a wide array of hot and cold sandwiches and subs and breakfast options. I have an affinity for cold subs, so I went with the basic roast beef sandwich, fries, and unsweet tea. I ordered a round sandwich instead of a sub, thinking it would be just right. It turned out to be enormous! And delicious. It may have been a basic sandwich order, but it completely hit the spot. The bread, people, I cannot get over the bread. Go for the sandwiches, stay for the bread. The fries were pretty basic, straightforward, fryer fries. They needed salt and there was a salt shaker conveniently located on my table. We almost never address soft drinks here, but the tea was bad. It had that funk taste it gets after a couple days. Either the tea had been sitting out for a few days, or they just don’t clean the nozzles. Either way, yikes.
My dining partner ordered the Reuben, round instead of sub, after asking the waitress for a recommendation. On the Reuben they offer either Thousand Island dressing or deli mustard, which was a nice touch. The Reuben sandwich was even a little bit bigger than my roast beef sandwich. It came out on the same most delicious fresh baked bread. The bread wasn’t warm, but the meat, cheese, sauerkraut, and sauce were piping hot. It was not at all greasy the way Ruebens tend to be, I think partly because the bread was so substantial and didn’t fall apart. Overall the reuben at BlueBoy Sandwich Shop was a pretty average tasting rueben on above average bread. My dining partner had water, which I am happy to report had no trace of funkiness and was perfectly watery.
Our visit to Blue Boy Sandwich Shop in Arlington was satisfactory. The sandwiches were good, but the bread holding the sandwiches was even better. The physical building and property had seen better days, but that won’t deter me from stopping by for a monster sandwich again. What Blue Boy Sandwich Shop has done by baking and sending out fresh bread to their locations everyday for 41 years makes me proud to spend my money on a meal there. It is an old-fashioned approach that becomes more unique as time goes on.
You didn’t mention that they have beer and pinball. Bonus!
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Been eating there 40 years,a Jax institution. A must try if you haven’t been there.