The Italian American sub
Call it a sub, submarine, hogie, hero, grinder, call it whatever you want to call it. When you get a good one, you know. The bread is crispy crackly on the outside, but not so much that you hurt the roof of your mouth. It’s fluffy, but squishable so that you can adjust its height to your liking. A pile, but not too big of a pile, of messy shredded lettuce is doused in an oil and vinegar concoction. Sometimes a thinly sliced tomato is included. And the meats! Different shades of pink layers speckled with red and white stacked high and topped with one single bright white layer of cheese. If you’re eating at the deli, hopefully it’s among shelves of imported Italian goods. Lady fingers, San Marzano tomatoes, and Calabrian chiles waiting to be plucked from their racks and taken home. If you’re taking it to go, the oil and vinegar start to seep through the butcher paper, and the aroma begs you to dig in. Eat me! Eat me!
Two Southern California Favs
This one is from Campini’s fine Italian Deli and Market in Temecula, Ca. As I write this post, I ate this exact one about 20 minutes ago. Yum!!!
While not necessarily a deli, I have fond memories of my dad picking me up and taking me here to get a “grinder”. He even has stories about coming here in high school. The Italian owner would let him and his friends pull beers out of the cooler as they pleased and they squared up at the end. I’m not sure if it’s still within the same family, but man, if that grinder dressing is still the same, everyone should head to Fullerton and order the Grinder. Giovanni’s Restaurant in Fullerton since 1958 and still going!