Photo of a Classic Italian Sub sandwich, loaded with Italian meats like salami, capicola, and mortadella, garnished with provolone cheese, fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, crisp onions, and a drizzle of vinaigrette on a white background.

Buckle up as we cruise down the main street of Sandwich City, USA, where the elongated roll cradles a medley of flavors in a hearty embrace. In every nook and cranny of America, these long sandwiches go by different aliases. The variation in names reflects the rich tapestry of cultural, historical, and linguistic influences unique to each region. Whether it’s a “sub” in the sunny east or a “hoagie” in the historic heart of Philly, each name has a tale as diverse as the ingredients nestled within the bun. Let’s hit the road and explore the diverse nomenclature and the epic long sandwich creations each region proudly serves up. This way you wont be embarrassed when you ask for a hoagie in Los Angeles and they person behind the counter looks at you like you’re an idiot.

1. Sub (Widely used across the United States):

  • Origin: Coined as the “submarine sandwich” for its resemblance to a submarine, this name sails smoothly across many states.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Classic Italian Sub, a real crowd-pleaser, stacked with a medley of Italian meats like salami, capicola, and mortadella, all garnished with provolone cheese, fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, crisp onions, and a dash of vinaigrette. It’s a one-way ticket to flavorville!
  • Where to Get It: Subway, with locations all across the nation, is a go-to spot for a variety of subs to satisfy your cravings.

2. Hoagie (Philadelphia area):

  • Origin: Tracing back to the hearty sandwiches crafted by Italian immigrants at the Hog Island shipyard during World War I, the “hoagie” is Philly’s pride.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie, where thinly sliced steak, sautéed onions, and melted provolone cheese come together in a flavor jam session that’ll strum the heartstrings of your taste buds.
  • Where to Get It: Pat’s King of Steaks, a legendary spot in Philly, where the cheesesteak hoagie reigns supreme.

Photo of a Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie, featuring thinly sliced steak, sautéed onions, and melted provolone cheese, captured close-up to showcase the filling, set on a rustic wooden table.

3. Hero (New York):

  • Origin: With a name saluting its colossal size, the “hero” is New York’s tribute to the mighty long sandwich.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Meatball Hero, a flavor-packed saga of succulent meatballs enveloped in a rich marinara sauce, crowned with a melt of mozzarella, and nestled within a hero’s embrace.
  • Where to Get It: Parm, located at 248 Mulberry St, New York, NY, is praised for its memorable Meatball Hero among other Italian classics.

Photo of a Meatball Hero sandwich, highlighting large meatballs smothered in marinara sauce, topped with melted mozzarella cheese, sandwiched between a long roll, placed on a diner-style checkered tablecloth.

4. Grinder (New England):

  • Origin: The term “grinder” chews through the tradition, often associated with hot subs that make you work a bit for each flavorful bite.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Eggplant Parmesan Grinder, a fusion of breaded eggplant cutlets, classic marinara sauce, and molten mozzarella cheese that dances a tango on your palate.
  • Where to Get It: Discussions on Yelp point towards a love for eggplant parm sandwiches in Boston, though a specific venue isn’t pinpointed.
  • Here’s our best Italian Combo Grinder

Photo of an Eggplant Parmesan Grinder, with layers of breaded eggplant, marinara sauce, and bubbling mozzarella cheese, served on a plate alongside a side of marinara dipping sauce.

5. Wedge (Yonkers, New York):

  • Origin: Crafted by an Italian deli owner who saw a wedge in the sandwich’s geometric grace, this name is Yonkers’ claim to sandwich fame.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Chicken Parmesan Wedge, where breaded chicken cutlets, marinara sauce, and a generous veil of melted mozzarella come together in a culinary masterpiece that’s nothing short of a standing ovation.
  • Where to Get It: The Wedge Sandwich Shop, a popular family-owned restaurant serving downtown Yonkers with delicious sandwiches made from fresh and organic ingredients.

6. Po’ Boy (Louisiana):

  • Origin: Rooted in a 1929 streetcar strike, where a local joint served free sandwiches to the “poor boys” on strike, this name carries a tale of community and solidarity.
  • Popular Sandwich: The Shrimp Po’ Boy, a crunchy delight filled with fried shrimp, dressed with fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and a drizzle of remoulade sauce, embodies the vibrant spirit of Louisiana in every bite.
  • Where to Get It: A recommended spot is Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans, known for its Shrimp Po’ Boy.

As we roll to a stop on this epic culinary road trip, it’s clear that the long sandwich is not just a meal but a narrative of America’s diverse cultural landscape. Each region, with its unique sandwich moniker and signature filling, invites you on a flavor-packed adventure that’s as educational as it is delicious. So, rev up your appetite and set course for the uncharted territories of America’s sandwich saga!

A bunch of Grinder Sandwiches

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