Order: Louisiana Lightning: No tomatoes or onions. Add sweet peppers
Location: TJ’s Hero Shop 508 E. Main St Patchogue, NY 11772
Price: Full Sub: $7.99 Half Sub $4.90
TJ’s Hero’s is located in a nondescript brick building next to a random deli on Patchogue’s East Main Street. Unless you were actively looking for it, not much about the place stands out. The sign is barely large enough to read from ten feet away and the outside looks like it hasn’t been renovated in a decade. The inside isn’t much better with faded linoleum flooring and two tables designated as the “Dining In” area. However, none of this seems relevant as soon as you taste one of their subs.
My brother has been raving about this place for years; but I like to stick close to home and go to all my favorite “tried and true” delis down the block. It took the irrepressible urging of my boyfriend and his friend one Sunday afternoon to finally get my ass off the couch and go to TJ’s Hero Shop. Known to regular customers as just “TJ’s.” A good decision it was. From the somewhat stained and washed out laminated menu on the counter I saw I had more than ten delicious options ahead of me. I was certain this was going to take a while to find the EXACT sandwich that fit my mood when Scott said “Get the Louisiana Lightning. Add peppers.” It was getting to be my turn and I knew my indecisiveness was not going to over well with the seemingly no –nonsense woman behind the counter. I started to feel anxious and knew nobody would appreciate me holding up the line so I heeded to his ever-wise advice and went with the Louisiana Lightning. Add sweet peppers. Under no circumstances should a tomato or onion touch my sandwich.
Best advice I have received this year so far. She bundled up our subs and we were on our way. My anticipation was increasing as I kept getting whiffs of the sandwiches on the fifteen minute ride home. I opened my sandwich the same way one would eagerly open a Christmas present. My first bite was euphoric. I have never done hard drugs but it was what I would imagine drug addicts must feel after being depraved of a good hit for days. I knew this was not the last time I would be eating this sandwich.
The sandwich consisted of half a sub (“hoagie” if you’re weird) loaded with Cajun chicken, sweet peppers, lettuce, and their secret “stealth sauce.” That’s right..no cheese. And you know what? I dare say cheese might have ruined the experience. As an avid cheese fan, that phrase has never been said by me. But in this case…there is an exception.
The stealth sauce is like no other. It was hot and left my chapped lips burning but it was a good burn. Sure it was a task within itself to get all these delicious things in my mouth in one shot but I tried my best and succeeded. The chicken was cooked perfect and was cut into perfectly bitable portions. The peppers were sliced just right as to not make me choke and added a crunch to the sandwich. And the sauce well…it was heavenly.
I have yet to try any other sandwich that arouses my taste buds as much as this one did. But I am most definitely on the look out! Send me some suggestions. You know this girl doesn’t like to go hungry!