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The Blue Boy Sandwich Shop, with threelocal shops, is responsible for serving up some of the biggest sandwiches in Northeast Florida. They’re the kind of hot and cold sandwiches that would satisfy even the brawniest of lumberjacks. Blue Boy opened its first location in 1973, quickly built a community following and expanded outward. Judging by the photos of patrons on the walls and the handwritten sign offering “JU Student Discount,” it’s clear the brand has a solid customer base and maintains its local atmosphere.

Let’s start with the bread, because every great sandwich needs a good foundation. The right kinds of bread can make or break a sandwich, and Blue Boy has some of the best. As my friend put it, the bread is like a cross between a sub roll and ciabatta. As a bonus, you can buy Blue Boy’s bread by the loaf for your sandwiches at home. One thing that makes Blue Boy’s bread above average? The staff makes huge signature loaves for the popular Party Subs, which start at $73 and can be ordered in advance. The Party Sub’s bun is 26 inches long and 18 inches wide. Yeah, that’s right, we’re talking the kind of sub that could take on LeBron James and beat him.

There are plenty of sandwiches from which to choose (including ones for breakfast) — so many, in fact, you may not be able to decide. Usually, I’m an advocate for getting and trying everything, but this is one place where it’s smarter to choose just one. Believe me, half a standard Blue Boy sandwich is equal to a regular anywhere-else sandwich, and you’ll need a take-home box.

The hot sandwiches have a plethora of awesome options; we couldn’t resist getting the No. 8 Steak ($8.25), the Reuben ($8.50) and the Western Ham & Cheese ($9.25). The No. 8 Steak is a bestseller, piled high with 8 ounces of steak, fried onions, provolone and your choice of hot peppers. The traditional Reuben ($8.50) has plenty of corned beef and a nice crown of sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and your choice of mustard or thousand-island dressing. You might think a Western Ham & Cheese is more of a breakfast sandwich — eggs, ham, provolone, fried onions, and mushrooms — but don’t fret: Eggs are an excellent choice all the time.

At the end of your meal, you pay at the counter, where you can pick up a sweet finish. So save room for a brownie ($1.66) or an oatmeal raisin cookie ($1.56), or at least get several to go, because Blue Boy’s experts make them in-house. The size of the brownies and cookies is in keeping the with the gargantuan sandwiches; they’re massive. The oatmeal raisin wasn’t a bad choice, but as a self-professed chocoholic, I insist that my brownies are super-chocolaty. Blue Boy doesn’t disappoint with its rich, moist brownie winner.

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