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Jan 2, 2010 10:20 PM

ISO - Toasty Meatball Sub / Grinder / Hoagie

OK, here's my plea:
When I'm stateside, I love the MANY places one can get a great toasted meatball grinder / hoagy / sub.

The sandwiches I crave are made with nice soft home-made meatballs, fresh marinara sauce and mozz, all toasted-up so the bread is crunchy and delicious.

Bonus points if the sandwich is made on hot garlic bread that is first toasted, then the meatballs and cheese are added, and the whole thing goes back into the pizza oven, or under the broiler so the cheese gets golden brown and bubbly on top.

Now I love me a California Sandwich meatball on a kaiser, but the toasty-garlicky submarine grinder style still wins for me.

Surely there must be some good meatball subs here in TO... right?

Please share your faves.

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    1. re: Crispy skin

      Those sandwiches -- they are good?

      I've always been tempted to try one of them, like the chicken parm. sandwich, but I never see anyone order them

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. oh and just to add, both Panini's and Parmigiana sandwiches in Woodbridge have a meatball sandwich... but I've never tried it. I'd wager both of them are good though

        1. My experience with Pizza Nova's sandwiches is that, like most Pizza Nova items, it's quite good for a pre-fab chain version, but a little short.

          Hmmm... I haven't made it up to Panini's or Parmigiana's - are they hot-table type places, or might they have a garlic-bread style toasted bun?

          ...I'm hoping for the real-deal-oversize-nonna-in-the-kitchen-handmade-toasty-garlicky-crusty-cheezy-goodness. :-)

          11 Replies
          1. re: TorontoTips

            You might try Nino D'Aversa Bakery at Toro Rd and Keele. I'm just passing along rep because I haven't tried them myself (not my area) but supposedly they're quite good. Typical Italian sandwich joint. Been there for years.

            Anyone else tried them?

            1. re: Dimwit

              I've been to Nino's many times.

              Open 24 hours, they are a great late-night choice for pizza or an espresso and some cookies.

              They do a quality wood-oven pizza, great breads, gelato, etc and they sell a quality meatball and veal sandwich from the hot table when available, but not the toasty-garlicky hoagie version I crave.

              My search continues :-)

                1. re: duckdown

                  Yes indeedy - I've had pizza post-party at Nino's a few times. :-)

                  Just bumping this thread, cuz I'm still in search of the meatball-on-toasty-garlic-bread hoagy of my dreams!

                  One can't drive to Buffalo every weekend! (although the cheezy buffalo-style pizza, hoagies and wings make it tempting!)

                  1. re: TorontoTips

                    Where do you go for your hoagies in Buffalo, I would love to know.

                    1. re: bogie

                      Somebody already mentioned this earlier, but I'm going to confirm this. I searched high and low for this very same sandwich. Now, I love California chicken cutlet sandwich, but for a nice toasted meatball sandwich, you won't believe this, Pizza Nova is amazing. I was looking for this exact same sandwich for so long, couldn't really find it. One day I walked into Pizza Nova, saw the picture and said "what the heck" let me try it. I couldn't believe how on the Mark it was. It was great!!! Give it a shot.

                      1. re: bogie

                        I'll have to try Pizza Nova... but the chain-thing scares me :-)
                        In Buffalo,

                        1. re: TorontoTips

                          Are you just being a tease TorontoTips or did you lose your connection before typing the place in Buffalo? :P

                          Wow, meatball sandwich on toasty garlic bread... that does sound good, and I agree, for a chain, Pizza Nova is the best - I have had their garlic bread which was good, the thought of meatballs and toppings as well sounds even better!

                          The only other place I can think of for meatball sandwich is Angelo's Hot Table in East York, I don't think it comes on garlic bread but maybe they could do it custom for you? You could always call them and ask. I have read mixed reviews on this board... have never had a chance to go there when they are open but they are mentioned in this thread:


                          Angelo's Hot Table
                          20 Bermondsey Rd, Toronto, ON M4B1Z5, CA

                          1. re: TorontoTips

                            I've had the Pizza Nova version, as far as chain made food goes, it is great, not near enough sauce, but I liked it.

                            Gino's Pizza used to make a good one when they had a store on the Danforth, but now that place has looked horrible any time I have walked in.

                            As for Buffalo, you cannot go wrong there, likely my favorite would be Buzzy's on Niagara Falls Blvd

                            1. re: bbbradk

                              Opps, sorry about that :-)

                              As mentioned, there are loads of great places in Buffalo, (LaNova Pizza for example - who also have amazing Pizza) and all over the US in fact! (I also love DeLosa's in Madeira beach, FLA) That's why it mystifies me that we can't do a decent one in Toronto!

                              C'mon Toronto pizza joints, surely someone can toast up some garlic bread, drop home-made meatballs, sauce and cheese on top, and slide it back into the pizza oven for some toasty-melty goodness! :-)

                              1. re: bbbradk

                                I used to grab Gino's version in a pinch. On an attempt at the Church location a few months back I was told it had been removed from the menu.

                2. Those of us old enough to remember "Mother's Subs" (on College, around the corner from the El Mocambo) remember how good their hot subs (meatball, or veal) were - great meats, tasty sauce, lots of cheese, and hot, crusty, flaky bread. The gold standard in my memory.

                  But I agree that New York State seems to have a local pizza/sub joint in every city that offers a decent version (and some are really great). From Ray's Famous in Manhattan, to some place in Endicott (Holiday Valley skiing), I have enjoyed many south of the border. Here in the Great White North - not so much.

                  The old Dante's had a good enough take, but you really needed to eat it with a knife and fork, which doesn't quite fit the mold.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FrankD

                    Sadly, Dante's has chewy veal, sour staff, and prices that are just a slap in the face.