Firehouse Subs, Quizno’s, Blimpie, Jersey Mike, and other quick casual sub and sandwich shops were hugely popular during my high school and undergrad years. I LOVED them all, especially Quizno’s; but then a very interesting thing happen to my palate. It matured. Suddenly, I loathed Quizno’s subs, in part because its bread had the same feel and texture as heated frozen pizza dough. You see, for me, the bread accounts for 60 percent of the sub’s quality. If the bread is bad, the sub is bad.
Well, I have stumbled on quite possibly the best bread used on a sub in all South Florida. Ike’s Love and Sandwiches, located at 18719 Biscayne Blvd Suite 310, Aventura, FL 33180, serves an amazing bread called Dutch Crunch and it has no local comparisons. This distinctively flavored bread is an oblong loaf bathed in a paste of rice flour and sugar before it’s baked. What comes out of the oven is a surface of crackled and speckled goodness that lands a slight crunch while biting into your fresh HOT sandwich! I hear there is a similar bread in the Netherlands coined “tiger bread,” hence the name Dutch Crunch.
The shop is owned by John Green, who, along with his son, John Miller, a defensive linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. The gentlemen obviously gave some thought to how they would package their subs because their choice of bread is game changing! The bread’s dense, doughy texture with a perfect balance of salty and sweetness makes it a formidable foundation for the contents of their sandwiches. No matter the weight, the bread can take it. Good thing, because this place has over 700 combinations for your sub eating pleasure.
The sandwiches are way too numerous for me to name a favorite, but believe it or not, it was the vegan options that were a real standout! I couldn’t believe the Italian Meatball was vegan along with the Italian trio I created. Everything about that sandwich was just plain delicious. The vegan options are some of the best in all Miami-Dade County for sure, which is awesome for me since I’m vegan three days each week. They even have a gluten free option for their incomparable Dutch Crunch sub rolls for vegans sensitive to gluten. My fully vegan friends have fallen in love with Ike’s, a concept started on the west coast where locals have deemed it the official sandwich spot of San Francisco!
Meat eaters, don’t fret. The meat quality is considerably better than their quick casual competitors along with the actual chicken served being 100 percent natural Halal. The fried chicken was so tasty that it could have it’s own spin off business serving nuggets and strips. I had such an amazing experience my first visit, I decided to create my own mammoth sandwich with fried chicken strips at the very top. This proved to be a wonderful decision, as my sandwich was all types of delicious!
The other star to these delicious sandwiches is in the “dirty secret sauce,” which I smothered over my fried chicken sub and it was amazing. The fried chicken is so crispy, flavorful, and juicy they could honestly do a side business with just the chicken.
This is not your average sub shop by any standards. Each sub is made with precision and excellence. I love tuna subs and found great joy in devouring the Dan Marino (tuna, bacon, avocado, American cheese). Even the Tom Brady was good, (vegan chicken, Italian dressing, mushrooms, avocado and cheddar).
Each sub creation is intelligently arranged, so I recommend ordering off their extensive menu before trying to create your own. Maybe the second visit, but your first, stick with one of their creations for a true entry point into the goodness of what is now my favorite sandwich shop in all of Aventura.
Give them a call at (305) 974-2404 or visit them at 18719 Biscayne Blvd Suite 310, Aventura, FL 33180.