Hoagie, Sub, Grinder or Hero????

by jerseygirl on May 9, 2008 · 15 comments

What do you call your favorite sandwich? Growing up in northern NJ, I always used the term hero. Now I live in southern NJ and it is referred to as a hoagie. I know what most people, not from the area are thinking. Come on, NJ really isn’t very big. Isn’t it the same place? Where do you live, what exit?

Well, according to my husband, NJ should be 2 separate states. Northern NJ is very fast paced and has a NYC influence. Southern NJ is slower paced and is fairly close to Philadelphia. The sports teams are different as well as the names of the sandwiches. In NYC, you get a hero while in Philadelphia, you get a hoagie. But then to complicate matters more, there are subs and grinders. Subs originated in the Boston area and grinders are popular in the New England area as well as the mid west. According to Wikipedia, there are many regional names for this type of sandwich. Because grinders are usually heated, I will use that term for the delicious sandwich I had last night.

There was a sale on chicken so I decided to purchase many packages. The store had the nice, thin sliced cutlets. I was in my glory, as I love cutlets thin, but don’t like to pound them and have raw chicken juices flying around the kitchen. As much as I like chicken , I really dislike dealing with raw chicken. The less chicken prep, the better!

The sandwiches came out wonderful and there were plenty of leftovers. You can add a variety of toppings but two of my favorites are broccoli rabe and roasted peppers. I had time yesterday to roast some colorful peppers. You could also use peppers from a jar. And you have to have melted sharp Provolone cheese. Don’t skimp on the cheese! The combination is just outstanding. Don’t be afraid to spread some roasted garlic on these sandwiches. Unfortunately, I was out but maybe next time.

I also decided to use this sandwich as an entry to The Sandwich Festival 2008. It will be fun to see different sandwiches from around the world. I am betting I will learn a few more names for sandwiches.

Italian Chicken Cutlet Grinders


for chicken cutlets:
6 large chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds thin cut chicken cutlets )
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
mixture of olive oil and canola oil for sauteing


Put the cutlets on a large plate. In a shallow bowl, mix the eggs and milk. In another shallow bowl, mix the Panko crumbs, cheese, seasoning, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then the bread crumb mixture, making sure cutlets are coated very well. In a large fry pan, heat 1/2 inch of oil on medium high and saute cutlets for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until chicken is golden brown and no longer pink on the inside. Remove and rest on paper towels.



for broccoli rabe:
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
12 oz bag broccoli rabe (I used Ready Pac, already cleaned)
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


In a large fry pan, heat olive oil on medium high and saute garlic for 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until wilted and tender. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.



To assemble sandwiches:
6 long Italian rolls, sliced and toasted
roasted peppers drizzled with olive oil
18 slices sharp Provolone cheese


On each roll, pile the chicken cutlets, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers and provolone cheese. Add a little extra juice from the peppers to the bread so sandwich is not dry. Heat in broiler on a large baking sheet until cheese is melted. Open mouth wide and Enjoy!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica May 9, 2008 at 6:53 pm

I grew up in New York where they were heroes…but here in CT they are called Grinders, which I just can’t bring myself to say, so it will always be a hero to me.

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Emiline May 9, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Interesting post! I live in the Midwest, and I wasn’t familiar with all of the sandwich terms.
The “grinder” looks tasty.

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RecipeGirl May 10, 2008 at 1:23 am

They’re Subs around here in Southern California, and they’re nothing like the wonderful hoagies and grinders that you get back east! So much better in your part of the country, for sure!

Your sandwich looks like a great choice! I love Italian Cutlet grinders 🙂

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Prudy May 10, 2008 at 10:39 am

I didn’t even know what hoagie or a grinder was until I went to college. I grew up in so Cal. My husband and I lived in upstate NY for much of our marriage and I still pine for my favorite hoagie at my back east sandwich shop. Your sandwich looks so yummy. Good luck with the contest!

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Bellini Valli May 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm

This is an amazing sandwich Jersey. I think the most popular sandwich here in the wild wild west is Beef Dip:D In Eastern Canada theyserve up a sandwich called a Westerner, but they don’t have it here…go figure:D

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Lisa May 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Thabnks for everyone’s comments. I love hearing what others call their sandwiches!

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Maheswari May 19, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Now that’s a mouthfull sandwich..looks delicious jersey Girl…

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Aggie June 19, 2008 at 6:25 pm

I grew up as a child in NY, we called them heroes or actually I think they were wedges! (and I remember this because my parents owned a pizza shop)…here in FL they are subs!

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Shannon August 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

I’m originally from CT. so it’s definitely a grinder to me 🙂 Now that I’ve lived in FL for the last 18 years, I am begrudgingly learning to say “sub”.

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Mandy March 30, 2011 at 12:53 am

In Texas I would call that a sub!

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Nutmeg Nanny March 30, 2011 at 10:09 am

I'm from Ohio so it's a submarine sandwich or "sub" for short. My boyfriend is from Connecticut so he calls them grinders.

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Kathy - Panini Happy March 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

Here in CA it's a sub, but when I lived in CT for a while I had to learn what a "grinder" was. 🙂

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Shelby April 3, 2011 at 6:47 pm

We call them subs up in NNY – however I had my first "grinder" when I was going to college in MA. I was hooked. I LOVED them. I still think about how good they were. I loved that they heated them up!

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AM Nichols April 4, 2011 at 10:28 am

Growing up on the Jersey Shore in the '70s, we always called them subs.

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Anonymous October 31, 2011 at 9:53 am

We called them subs in the area of NY I was from (heros were for hot versions like meatball, chicken parm, etc.)

Other areas of NY I worked in, we called them grinders or wedges.

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