Friday, May 1, 2015

What do you call your sandwich?

I crave meatball sandwiches the way most people crave pizza. In fact, whenever I find myself in a pizza restaurant, I am most likely to order their meatball sandwich. The problem is, what should I call it? Most likely it is not listed as a meatball sandwich on the menu.

Most often such a sandwich is called a submarine, or simply a sub, yet it is termed something different in different parts of the country. In the Tampa Bay Area of Florida, where I am living for at least a few more days, it can be termed something different at different restaurants on the same street. This is probably because the area has residents who came from all over the country, and in fact from all over the world.

At Sage's, a little Italian restaurant in a small shopping center in Largo, they serve the best meatball sandwich I have ever tasted. It has a perfect combination of tasty meatballs, cheese and marinara sauce on a toasted bun that practically melts in your mouth. They call it a grinder, a term most common in New England. Some meatball sandwiches tend to fall apart easily. Theirs doesn't.

Nearby at Widow Brown's, they call their sandwich a hoagie. That's a term most common in Pennsylvania.

Most chain restaurants, such as Subway, Checkers and Firehouse Subs, call these sandwiches subs.

At Cristino's, a pizza place in Clearwater where my wife and I ate lunch a week ago, they serve a delicious meatball panini. West Shore Pizza, a local chain, lists several paninis on their menu, but for whatever reason, their excellent, but messy, meatball sandwich is called simply a meatball sandwich.

There are other terms for these sandwiches, among them heros, bombers, blimps and poor boys. Whatever they're called, I usually like them.

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