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Good eggplant parm subs?

I know this board just had the "best chicken parm" thread, but what about the eggplant parm sub action?

My introduction to the eggplant parm sub was in 1995 at a small pizza and subs takeout place on Cambridge Street in Boston, back of Beacon Hill directly across from MGH.

The eggplant here was almost meaty -- lots of thin, battered (not breaded) layers. The sub went whole into the oven as I think it should.

This to me remains the definitive one though I have little hope of anyone remembering the place I'm talking about. I doubt it was famous and I also doubt its style would suit everyone. And it was closed by about 1997.

But still, where is the best eggplant parm sub in the Boston area?

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  1. I don't have an answer but I don't like breaded and fried eggplant, too heavy and greasy. You?

    2 Replies
    1. re: three of us

      If its made correctly its not heavy or greasy.

      1. re: LStaff

        Not heavy, not greasy, just right.

    2. Vinny's in East Somerville is excellent. Nothing compares to Hoagie Haven in Princeton (NJ, not MA), though :).

      3 Replies
      1. re: DavisSquare

        Hurrah for Hoagie Haven! Of course, I've never eaten there before 10 at night, but I'm sure it's really good during daylight hours too.

          1. Sessa's gourmet Italian shop in Davis Square (on Highland Ave.) is phenomenal. Thin sliced eggplant, breaded and fried, then topped with just the right amount of mozzarella and red sauce (they make a seriously good gravy.) The bread is classic Italian loaf, chewy interior, slight crusty exterior. Last time I had it, a large went for $7 and change.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Bob MacAdoo

              I'd second the vote for Sessa's. As you say, seriously good, and also seriously messy. :)

              1. re: houlette

                Indeed - several napkins required :)

                1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                  OP here reporting on eggplant sub investigations of the past week.

                  I hit Sessa's on Saturday and got the small.

                  I have to say, I have never tasted better. This sub is exceptional, phenomenal, brilliant, wicked, and other superlatives. And the sauce is the best of the three I have sampled this week.

                  Yesterday, I visited Victor's in Ball Square for the first time. Again, exceptional, but there was perhaps too little sauce, and it wasn't quite as tasty as Sessa's sauce. Provolone slices served as the cheese. New to me, but actually very nice. Soft, reasonably fresh, chewy bread, as at Sessa's. I'm having to reassess my view that the real parm sub is toasted. For the eggplant itself, I'm not sure I could choose between Victor's or Sessa's. In both cases it was above the bar of existing expectation.

                  Today, a trip to Vinny's Superette. I admit that this time I went for the chicken parm. I need to be careful here. I was a little surprised as all the press made me think that Vinny's was going to blow me away. It didn't quite blow me away. The chicken was prepared in advance: not surprising, but I have read of places which prepare fresh. Good quality chicken and thick. My opinion of the sauce was neutral, let's say.

                  I loved the feel of the place, though, and I will definitely come back to sample their eggplant parm. Plus, drag the missus out to eat there at night, where, I think, I will probably die of excitement judging by the reports.

                  1. re: chickendhansak

                    Very glad to hear the rave about Sessa's. I cannot get enough of their eggplant parm. Since my wife absolutely adores their version, I'm often 'required' to make the trip to Davis for this delicacy. In fact, after reading your inspiring post, I may inquire as to whether I'm 'required' to go tomorrow at lunch!

                    1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                      And thank you for the recommendation! May your reward for this good deed be a trip tomorrow at lunch.

                    2. re: chickendhansak

                      YAY! Thanks for reporting back ... I have to try Sessa's eggplant parm. My favorite in the area is at Victors, and their chicken parm is particularly good -- needs a little salt. I think Vinny's superette is just a basic sub shop by day,so don't be surprised you weren't blown away. It's Vinny's at night that is a real "event" and really quite delicious, particularly the antipasti as many have reported.

                      1. re: chickendhansak

                        After reading this review I went to Sessa's today and got a large eggplant sub ($7.25). The sub roll was nice and fresh but the eggplant was too salty. I'm not sure if the sauce was salty or the eggplant itself. It made the whole sub salty. I also noticed that the eggplant was pre-made and in a dish. The woman cut some pieces and put sauce on top and warmed it up in the microwave. If they used less salt then the sub would have been much better IMHO. I should have tried an Italian sub.

                        1. re: buffet king

                          Having just tried some of the dish eggplant on its own today, I agree it is very salty, but I think the bread must have cut the saltiness just right for me, because I didn't notice it being salty last weekend. I am pretty sure it is the eggplant and not the sauce. But, I still think it is excellent.

                        2. re: chickendhansak

                          I tried Sessa's eggplant parm today based on these reports. I loved it. It WAS salty -- not sure if that's the parm they use, the extra parm they sprinkled over top, or what, but I like salt so I enjoyed it very much.

                          A small was $6.50 and it was a 6-napkin affair.

                          1. re: yumyum

                            Glad to hear the good word. Hope you took time to check out Sessa's imported goods too. Nice selection of Italian delicacies.

                  2. i had a pretty tasty one from russo's a little while back. i think their bread is from b&r.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dchow

                      We were at shopping at Russo's lunchtime a few weeks ago and enjoyed their eggplant sub too.

                    2. Not a sub, but Domenic's in Waltham has a great eggplant panini.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ali G

                        I tried one yesterday for lunch. Good flavor, and the panini bread they make is perfect for an eggplant parm sandwich, but I thought they were really stingy with the eggplant parm. which was maybe a quarter of an inch thick that covered only 75% of the bread.