100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 95: The Italian Stallion at Jimmy's

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

If a sandwich is going to be named the Italian Stallion, it’s gonna need to pack a hell of a punch. There should be a good bit of spice, for one thing, and the sandwich should be filled to bursting with good Italian cheeses and deli meats. And finally, it should be big enough to clobber somebody over the head with.

The goods from the deli counter at Jimmy’s Food Store checks all the boxes. Jimmy’s, the East Dallas institution that’s been selling groceries since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, offers some of the biggest, boldest sandwiches in the city. The Italian Stallion is the grand champion, with a truly bonkers lineup of meats —  the menu lists mortadella, capicola, soppressata, pepperoni, prosciutto and “porketta” — along with provolone, mozzarella, tomato, onion, greens and vinaigrette. Spice fans should be able to add Italian peppers and mustard, too. Ask for toasted bread.

Like a few other items on our list of 100 Favorite Dishes, the Jimmy’s Italian Stallion sounds like overkill. Sizewise, it is; a half-sandwich is a big meal, and a footlong sandwich can be lunch, dinner and breakfast the next day. But all those flavors don’t clash or produce a bizarre muddle in your mouth. The combo is pure guilty pleasure. In a city where hip new sandwich places are popping up on every street corner, Jimmy’s still sets the bar.
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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart