My Hero

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Illustration of a hero sandwich and brown text on a white background.

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A deli sandwich served on a long bun with hot or cold meat and veggies, cheese, or toppings is known by several names, each with its own distinctions: submarine/sub, grinder, hoagie, and hero. In 1936, New York Herald columnist Clementine Paddleworth described thick sandwiches in New York City as "hero sandwiches" because "you had to be a hero to eat it," which is likely the origin of the moniker. A hero sandwich could be a hot or a cold sandwich, including cold cuts, meatballs, or chicken parmesan, unlike the sub, which is traditionally cold. Hoagies, or hoggies, were distinguished by their piles of meat, which are often also a trait of hero sandwiches. A grinder is a New England term for a hero sandwich, likely derived from having to grind your teeth to eat it and more commonly eaten by dockworkers where the slang term gets its origin.

My Hero Submarine Sandwich Shoppes, established in 1964, was located in Chicago on Western Avenue. Only cold sandwiches were served, and, without seating in the shop, customers took their sandwiches to go. One family owned the shop for several generations before being bought by Denise Mitchell. Denise bought the shop because her mother worked there for twenty-five years. The place held a lot of nostalgia for both Denise and the many locals who frequented the shop. My Hero Submarine Sandwich Shoppes closed in 2017.


Hero’s Submarine Sandwich Shop - CLOSED. Retrieved 20 February 2021, from

My Hero Submarine. Retrieved 20 February 2021, from…

Warshaw, B. (2019). What’s the Difference Between a Hero, Sub, Grinder, and Hoagie?. Retrieved 17 February 2021, from…

Catalog ID AD0681