When we first stopped by Jax Smoke N’ Sandwich in December, we knew they had something special going on. Jax’s menu peaked our interest, but the quality, portions, and execution wowed us at first bite. Not ones to shy away from a good sandwich, our second visit found us chowing down on delicious grub while chatting with owner and sandwich mastermind, Dustin Meeker.
Located in a sleepy shopping strip in the Cascade area of Grand Rapids, Jax Smoke N’ Sandwich has built a loyal following against the odds. It’s easy to see why. Meeker, a true class act, executes a creative, flavorful menu that has everyone raving.
Meeker is no stranger to the restaurant business, having traveled extensively across Michigan while working for a corporate chain. Ever the family man, he grew tired of his road warrior status, opting to apply his insight to a business venture of his own. After identifying an opportunity in the area for gourmet sandwiches, the idea for Jax Smoke N’ Sandwich, named after his son, was set into motion.
Not only does Meeker use his industry knowledge to run a tight operation, he utilizes his experience growing up on a pig farm to perfectly-prepare smoked meats that adorn his menu. There is a notable slant towards barbeque and it’s the cornerstone of the restaurant’s catering operation. We love Jax’s plethora of smoked meats like pork, chicken, and beef, but appreciate the options that extend beyond a typical barbeque joint. There’s even a vegetarian sandwich on the menu: The Hippy.
Sandwiches are right in our wheelhouse, so exploring Jax’s menu during our two visits was a welcome proposition. We found twists on regional classics like a Philly Steak & Cheese, Cuban Sandwich, and a New Orleans Po’ Boy, plus lip-smacking creations of their own.
We really enjoyed The Southerner, a meat-tastic medley of smoked pork, grilled bacon, honey BBQ sauce, pickles, and apple fennel slaw. The Mano-A-Swine was a melty monster of provolone draped over smoked pork, bacon, and garlic pepper spinach. If you’re in the mood for a serious case of the meat sweats, try their new sandwich that boasts a heaping 1/2 lb. of burnt ends.
Jax doesn’t stop at over-the-top sandwiches. They dial up the decadence with their colossal BBQ Pork Machos, a mouthwatering pile of chips, Texas pit chili, pulled pork, cheese sauce, tomatoes, and more. Clear your schedule; you may need a nap afterward!
To encourage families to stop by, Jax now offers $1 kids meals on Sunday. They can always bring the smoked meats to you, offering catering for gatherings of virtually any size. Meeker stressed that their summer catering schedule is filling up fast, so avoid missing out on barbeque that will have your guests in hog heaven.
“When our customers visit, they order what they want now, then pick what they want to try next time,” noted Meeker as we wrapped up our conversation.
He must’ve read our minds, because we were already plotting what to order when we return to this scrumptious sandwich sanctuary.
Jax Smoke N’ Sandwich is located at 6755 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.