Cold Cuts and Hot Sandwiches: Subs, Hoagies, Grinders, Heroes

Cold Cuts and Sandwiches: Subs, Hoagies, Grinders, Heroes

The Mid-Atlantic is a fabulous place for food-specifically, the sandwich and even more specifically, those long sandwiches on a golden roll that are given so many names and equally stuffed with so many variations. Driving from New York down a coastal road through Jersey, past Delaware and into Maryland provides an amazing glimpse into some of East Coast’s most relished foodstuffs; from gas stations, to an inconspicuous deli, to a fast-food joint by the road, -you’ll find the gamut of these handful-mouthful creations. Here is a guide to some of my favorites:

The Italian Cold Cut: Prosciutto, Capicola and Genoa hams or Mortadella, thinly sliced provolone, LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) drizzled with oil and vinegar and or slathered  with mayo, sprinkled with Italian seasoning.

Great Places to try one: Vace’s, Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.,

Fiacco’s Italian Specialities:
260 Bleeker St. New York, NY

Wawa Gas Stations all over the Jersey turnpike (Summers are back and it’s Hoagiefest at Wawa!)

Hot Capicola

Hot Capicola from Quickchek, New Jersey

Here are some very important things to note about your quality sub, hoagie, grinder, hero:

  • bread is the most integral part of the sandwich. Don’t be afraid to ask where the bread is coming from and kudos if its baked in house.
  • Also, the heart and love of a these Italian and German influenced sandwiches are their uniqueness- don’t be put off by unusual food combos- heck, try stuffing your sub with french fries or better yet, go down to Philadelphia’s, food-historic South street, the home of the grinder and get fried mozzarella sticks loaded-up on your classic!
  • Watch the vinegar! on the Italian cold cut, an unmindful deli worker could put jarred jalapenos, pepper relish, and or chili relish on your sub (all vinegar based) AND they’ll still try to give you a sprinkle- no matter what bread or delicious meat you have inside, too much vinegar kills subs. period.
  • If you see cheap supermarket-style bologna, canned, or the prepackaged, individually sliced meat, don’t expect quality. If you see pale shredded lettuce, chances are the tomatoes don’t have much zest and neither will the onions- it’s a hunch but you can make that kind of typical sandwich at home.

Here are some of my other favorite sub-sandwich classics:

The Meatball Sub: Tangy and seasoned marinara drenching a few balls of roasted spiced meat, toasted with melted provolone and sprinkled with Italian seasoning (oregano, rosemary, parsley) Jerry’s Subs and Pizza.

The Hamburger Sub: Tender hamburger with melted cheddar, grilled onions, sauteed green peppers and cherry pepper relish piled into a toasted roll and dressed with mayonnaise. Try Tommy’s Sub Shop:
2900 N Philadelphia Ave, Ocean City, MD 2184

An Italian from Bagels on the Square, A New York Hero

Cold Cuts and Hot Sandwiches: Subs, Hoagies, Grinders, Heroes

Cold Cuts and Sandwiches: Subs, Hoagies, Grinders, Heroes

The Mid-Atlantic is a fabulous place for food-specifically, the sandwich and even more specifically, those long sandwiches on a golden roll that are given so many names and equally stuffed with so many variations. Driving from New York down a coastal road through Jersey, past Delaware and into Maryland provides an amazing glimpse into some of East Coast’s most relished foodstuffs; from gas stations, to an inconspicuous deli, to a fast-food joint by the road, -you’ll find the gamut of these handful-mouthful creations. Here is a guide to some of my favorites:

The Italian Cold Cut: Prosciutto, Capicola and Genoa hams or Mortadella, thinly sliced provolone, LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) drizzled with oil and vinegar and or slathered  with mayo, sprinkled with Italian seasoning.

Great Places to try one: Vace’s, Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.,

Fiacco’s Italian Specialities:
260 Bleeker St. New York, NY

Wawa Gas Stations all over the Jersey turnpike (Summers are back and it’s Hoagiefest at Wawa!)

Hot Capicola

Hot Capicola from Quickchek, New Jersey

Here are some very important things to note about your quality sub, hoagie, grinder, hero:

  • bread is the most integral part of the sandwich. Don’t be afraid to ask where the bread is coming from and kudos if its baked in house.
  • Also, the heart and love of a these Italian and German influenced sandwiches are their uniqueness- don’t be put off by unusual food combos- heck, try stuffing your sub with french fries or better yet, go down to Philadelphia’s, food-historic South street, the home of the grinder and get fried mozzarella sticks loaded-up on your classic!
  • Watch the vinegar! on the Italian cold cut, an unmindful deli worker could put jarred jalapenos, pepper relish, and or chili relish on your sub (all vinegar based) AND they’ll still try to give you a sprinkle- no matter what bread or delicious meat you have inside, too much vinegar kills subs. period.
  • If you see cheap supermarket-style bologna, canned, or the prepackaged, individually sliced meat, don’t expect quality. If you see pale shredded lettuce, chances are the tomatoes don’t have much zest and neither will the onions- it’s a hunch but you can make that kind of typical sandwich at home.

Here are some of my other favorite sub-sandwich classics:

The Meatball Sub: Tangy and seasoned marinara drenching a few balls of roasted spiced meat, toasted with melted provolone and sprinkled with Italian seasoning (oregano, rosemary, parsley) Jerry’s Subs and Pizza.

The Hamburger Sub: Tender hamburger with melted cheddar, grilled onions, sauteed green peppers and cherry pepper relish piled into a toasted roll and dressed with mayonnaise. Try Tommy’s Sub Shop:
2900 N Philadelphia Ave, Ocean City, MD 2184

An Italian from Bagels on the Square, A New York Hero

Bacon Cheddar Lobster Roll (Tis’ the Season!)

A Lobster Loaf Portion with Fiddleheads and a Ramekin of Cheese Sauce

A Lobster Loaf Portion with Fiddleheads and a Ramekin of Cheese Sauce

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 pound Lobster
  • Package of bacon
  • 250 grams of Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter (garlic butter works great, too)
  • 2% Milk 12-160z
  • Loaf of bread (Medium size aprox. 12inchs length, 5 inchs width.)
  • flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. Put a medium size pot a little less then half-way full of water on the stove top; temp. med.-high
  3. *Place a metal mixing bowl on top of that pot so that its bottom and sides are cradled by the pot. Make sure it is large enough to contain all the ingredients; butter, cheese, milk.
  4. Place 1/2 stick of butter into the bowl
  5. Place bacon, side by side and not overlapping on an oven tray. Place in oven.
  6. Dice cheddar- doesn’t need to be perfect; toss into the metal mixing bowl, let melt.
    Cheddar, Butter, Milk on the Double Boil

    Cheddar, Butter, Milk on the Double Boil

  7. Get cracking on the lobster. Pull the bulk of the meat out from the tail, break the claws open, and check its other spindly legs for some hidden goodness- It’s possible to get quite a bit if meat if you have patience and a good hammer. (rolling pin works, too!) At the bottom of the page is a good video from Stef Le Chef on how to remove the meat.
  8. Rinse any green or guts found on the meat then dice it to chunks.
  9. Stir the blend of butter and chedder, whisking firmly, swiftly and carefuly to achieve a good consistency. Add milk slowly, we don’t want it too soupy.
  10. Sprinkle flour to thicken; Lower the heat if it seams to be sticking or bubbling. Whisk and whisk till you have achieved a nice saucy, cheesy texture. Turn heat on low.
  11. Cut the loaf in half. Dig into the bottom portion of the loaf and form a bed for all your delicious toppings to rest in. Do this to the top piece of bread too.
  12. Is your bacon burning? No? Ok well take it out when it is crispy. Pour some bacon drippings into your cheese sauce and stir it up.
  13. Layer the bacon length wise on the bottom portion of the bread loafs cozy bed.
    The Bacon and it's Drippings

    The Bacon and it’s Drippings

    Bacon is good but don’t get overzealous as we want to taste the lobster.

  14. Top the bacon with lobster chunks.
  15. Pour the golden sauce all over the bacon and lobster. If you’d like, top with some fresh parsley.
  16. Place top on and cut portions from the loaf.
    Use a bread knife and saw without pressure, equal portions.

    Use a bread knife, saw without excessive pressure into equal portions.

  17. Serve with dark greens, IE fiddleheads** as I used here, a ramekin of the rich cheese sauce. and a lemon wedge if you prefer.

*The trick to double boiling is that you don’t want the sauce to burn or become to hot, or likewise the oils to seperate due to an excess of temperature. When you double boil you are using indirect heat, like steam, to cook at a gentler rate. Also, if you have a real double boiler, use that.
**Fiddleheads are a late spring, seasonal fern coming from North America. They have a very light, acidic taste-similar to a cross between spinach and asparagus. To cook them just heat salted water to a boil and cook them for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Warning: There are many species of this fern and some are considered poisonous! So use only the judgement of experts when cultivating them from a wild source.

Here is the lobster prep video I promised:
stephane sauthier : 

Bacon Cheddar Lobster Roll (Tis’ the Season!)

A Lobster Loaf Portion with Fiddleheads and a Ramekin of Cheese Sauce

A Lobster Loaf Portion with Fiddleheads and a Ramekin of Cheese Sauce

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 pound Lobster
  • Package of bacon
  • 250 grams of Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter (garlic butter works great, too)
  • 2% Milk 12-160z
  • Loaf of bread (Medium size aprox. 12inchs length, 5 inchs width.)
  • flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. Put a medium size pot a little less then half-way full of water on the stove top; temp. med.-high
  3. *Place a metal mixing bowl on top of that pot so that its bottom and sides are cradled by the pot. Make sure it is large enough to contain all the ingredients; butter, cheese, milk.
  4. Place 1/2 stick of butter into the bowl
  5. Place bacon, side by side and not overlapping on an oven tray. Place in oven.
  6. Dice cheddar- doesn’t need to be perfect; toss into the metal mixing bowl, let melt.
    Cheddar, Butter, Milk on the Double Boil

    Cheddar, Butter, Milk on the Double Boil

  7. Get cracking on the lobster. Pull the bulk of the meat out from the tail, break the claws open, and check its other spindly legs for some hidden goodness- It’s possible to get quite a bit if meat if you have patience and a good hammer. (rolling pin works, too!) At the bottom of the page is a good video from Stef Le Chef on how to remove the meat.
  8. Rinse any green or guts found on the meat then dice it to chunks.
  9. Stir the blend of butter and chedder, whisking firmly, swiftly and carefuly to achieve a good consistency. Add milk slowly, we don’t want it too soupy.
  10. Sprinkle flour to thicken; Lower the heat if it seams to be sticking or bubbling. Whisk and whisk till you have achieved a nice saucy, cheesy texture. Turn heat on low.
  11. Cut the loaf in half. Dig into the bottom portion of the loaf and form a bed for all your delicious toppings to rest in. Do this to the top piece of bread too.
  12. Is your bacon burning? No? Ok well take it out when it is crispy. Pour some bacon drippings into your cheese sauce and stir it up.
  13. Layer the bacon length wise on the bottom portion of the bread loafs cozy bed.
    The Bacon and it's Drippings

    The Bacon and it’s Drippings

    Bacon is good but don’t get overzealous as we want to taste the lobster.

  14. Top the bacon with lobster chunks.
  15. Pour the golden sauce all over the bacon and lobster. If you’d like, top with some fresh parsley.
  16. Place top on and cut portions from the loaf.
    Use a bread knife and saw without pressure, equal portions.

    Use a bread knife, saw without excessive pressure into equal portions.

  17. Serve with dark greens, IE fiddleheads** as I used here, a ramekin of the rich cheese sauce. and a lemon wedge if you prefer.

*The trick to double boiling is that you don’t want the sauce to burn or become to hot, or likewise the oils to seperate due to an excess of temperature. When you double boil you are using indirect heat, like steam, to cook at a gentler rate. Also, if you have a real double boiler, use that.
**Fiddleheads are a late spring, seasonal fern coming from North America. They have a very light, acidic taste-similar to a cross between spinach and asparagus. To cook them just heat salted water to a boil and cook them for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Warning: There are many species of this fern and some are considered poisonous! So use only the judgement of experts when cultivating them from a wild source.

Here is the lobster prep video I promised:
stephane sauthier :