Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 | 2 a.m.
A story in the entertainment/food and drink section of the Aug. 12 Sun said, “Grinders brings taste of Philly” to submarine sandwiches (hoagie, gondola, po boy, hero). This is like linking big band music, jazz and swing — showing no understanding of artistry or nuances.
My earliest (1952) memories of “grinders” were twofold: downtown Boston’s market district had one (warm and strong Italian meat in a tasty Italian roll with other luscious fillings); and East Boston’s’ cold sub beginning with an Italian roll splashed with garlic-laden olive oil then filled with cold Italian diced meats, pickles and onion. Both had outstandingly satisfying flavors.
In 1959, I was introduced to the “Philly sub” in Radnor, Pa., a town and township midway into the historical and socio-cultural “mainline” region of suburban Philadelphia. Seemingly, every tavern throughout this influential region had a steamship round of beef simmering above the back bar, from which sumptuous slices were deposited into a sub-type roll and splashed with the au jus (cheese upon request).
It was a flavor unknown elsewhere — except in bowls of “beef and potatoes” throughout the district all the way to Harrisburg.