I grew up on Mike's Subs down the "Jersey shore." This was looong before Mike's franchised and changed their name to "Jersey Mike's" (and looonger before the phrase "Jersey shore" brought to mind gorilla juice-heads from Staten Island and Queens who drink Ron-Ron juice). Mike's defined "sub" for me. Their sandwich is the barometer against which all other subs will be compared. Forever.
For the uninitiated, a Mike's sub is a sandwich of relatively generic cold cuts (ham, provolone, hot ham capicola is the standard "#2"), on a soft hero, topped with tomatoes, onions, copious amounts of shredded iceberg lettuce, salt/pepper/oregano, and a ridiculous amount of oil and vinegar. The s/p/o and olive/vinegar are key here; Mike's makes a wet sandwich.
That style isn't all Mike's, though. This style of sub is prevalent throughout New Jersey, although its execution varies from place to place.
Since leaving the Jersey shore for northern pastures, I've had many many subs at many places in North Jersey, most of which have been "off" in some way: not the right balance, too much bread, no seasoning, etc. But Sub Base, in Fair Lawn, is my current go-to place for this style of sub. They hit the marks.
Truth be told I have a sub from Sub Base several times a month for lunch, which is probably a bit excessive. While they don't necessarily put enough lettuce or oil/vinegar on their sandwiches for my taste (I ask for extra), they serve a very good sub. When I get the sub home, I generally blast it with more oil/vinegar and oregano, to get it to my exacting and uncompromising standards.
Sub Base is a little unassuming family run place on the banks of the Passaic in a run-down industrial area of Fair Lawn. If you want model your life after mine (and who among you wouldn't, I ask, rhetorically), in that area you can also go to Duffy's Tavern to shoot pool and get in fist fights, or Rivara's to play a wimpy version of Beer Pong called "Beirut." Real men use paddles.
Sub Base : 18-50 River Rd : Fair Lawn : NJ : 201.796.7272