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Bojacs: Home of The Ham Sandwich

June 4, 2011

Ever since I moved to Alton in 2001, I’ve driven past this sign in Wood River:


And I’ve always wondered about it. Home of THE ham sandwich? Like, did they invent the ham sandwich? For ten years now, I’ve been dying to find out what this ham sandwich is all about. But, I was a bit…well…scared to venture into this bar by myself. Wouldn’t you be?

So, when Jesse, one of my co-workers who is from Wood River, offered to take me to Bojacs for lunch on Friday, I jumped at the chance. It was after all, THE ham sandwich. And, luckily, the official FBM photographer Corey Woodruff agreed to meet us there to document our ham sandwich experience. He is, I’ve learned, easily lured by the prospect of free pork in exchange for free pics (see also my wedding reception & our visit to Salume Beddu).

The inside of this tiny sports bar was not exactly what I expected. It was brightly-lit & covered in Cardinals memorabilia. But, like most little, local bars in Illinois, it was also covered in a yellowing layer of cigarette smoke that lingers long after the state’s smoking ban.


I did some research on Bojacs in the past, or–at least–I tried to. In an attempt to find out what this apparently infamous sandwich was all about, I came up with nothing. Their website (which I can’t seem to find anymore) included a menu, but there was no real description of THE ham sandwich. It simply said: “Hand sliced, piled HIGH, served cold or hot on your choice of bread.”

So, I knew what I was going to order when I walked in. I was tempted to try a sampling of other food items but was distracted by the number of apostrophe errors on the menu (you don’t need one in plural nouns, people!). Still, can’t you see the excitement & anticipation on my face?

What I pictured THE ham sandwich to be was a ton of ham served on plain ol’ white bread. And, that’s exactly what it was.


The thickly cut ham was served on white sandwich bread (no choice was given) with iceberg lettuce & slices of raw white onion. If you order it hot, the ham is seared.

I have to admit; this was a mighty tasty sandwich. The ham was thick, juicy, & fresh…just like I like my meat.

And, THE ham sandwich went really well with the lunchboxes (beer & orange juice with a shot of amaretto) that Jesse ordered for us afterwards…you know, as a digestive.

If you’d like to experience THE ham sandwich for yourself, you can find Bojacs Sports Corner at 18 South 6th Street in Wood River, Illinois. Be sure to take some cash, though, because they don’t accept credit cards.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 4:22 pm

    That looks really chewy. Did you have to make like a lion and tilt your jaw to rip the meat?

  2. June 9, 2011 12:52 pm

    THICK-CUT HAM IS FOOD OF THE GODS. Do want that sandwich nao!

  3. September 26, 2011 4:57 pm

    Well nice to see you didn’t totally rip me a new one. Yes bojacs is my place and the website is on bojacs fb and its really quite simple actually,its lol not to hard to find. The menu has been totally re done as was the entire food selection and prices. Bojacs is not a university nor a hospital,my customers aren’t to worried about spelling or punctuation. Mainly worried about good food and cold beer w good service. That’s how I make my money. Yes cash is preferred,I mean who wouldn’t! Seems to be working out great tho and thanx for the advertisement! Ps hasn’t been smoke in there in 5 years,and to totally remove any scent of smoke smell at all would be a total remodel. Bojacs is the oldest and first sports bar in wood river so you’ll have that. It’s a piece of history and will not and should not be changed

  4. October 10, 2011 7:42 am

    Dustin: Don’t get me wrong….I loved your place! In fact, I plan on coming back soon. I teach at the high school in town and a few of us are trying to pick a Friday to come in together. 🙂

  5. October 10, 2011 7:44 am

    P.S. Not sure why I couldn’t find your website! I think I was googling searching and it wasn’t coming up. Thanks for leaving the link.

  6. November 5, 2011 8:21 am

    Mmmm…that sandwich looks delicious!

  7. November 21, 2011 1:01 pm

    Love ham sandwiches, but if you want to rival that place you have to take a trip to montreal, Canada where i’ve visited quite a few times and their smoked delis rival anywhere i’ve ever been.

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