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Moe's Italian Sandwiches, NH

There's a Portsmouth sandwich shop, Moe's Italian Sandwiches, which has now a quite a few locations throughout the NH Seacoast region. I've tried them a couple of times, and though their sandwiches taste pretty good, they're quite skimpy. What I don't understand is why the local cult-like following?? It appears on other food related sites such as Yelp, that people who grew up with them will swear by them and people new to the area (such as myself) tend to be unimpressed. If you dismiss Moe's, it's like hating the Red Sox, being unpatriotic or something.

Any input?

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Moe's Italian Sandwiches
22 Daniel St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

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  1. Hmmmm...I have to say I'm intrigued. I don't quite get the "cooked" salami; is that opposed to cured salami? So is it homemade? I kind of like the idea of a skimpy salami sandwich. I mean, overstuffed Italian meat deli sandwiches have their place, but in Italy, a sandwich would have just enough meat on it, maybe only 2 layers of meat slices at most...same goes for the cheese. Personally, I usually take off half the meat on my sandwiches depending on how hungry I am. Are all there sandwiches skimpy, or is it just the original?

    2 Replies
    1. re: solargarlic

      Should we mention that there is a difference between an "authentic" Italian sandwich, as in the way sandwiches are prepared in Italy, and what NorthEasterners in the U.S. consider an "authentic" Italian sandwich...

      I think as solargarlic mentioned above, authentic Italian sandwiches are rather flat & skimpy on toppings, relying on very simple pleasures - a thin layer of meat and cheese and mayo in delicious bread.

      I think what the OP may be referring to when he's talking about a "real Italian sub" is actually the sandwich that was created in the US and very popular with the Italian-American working guys, - the hoagie or hero that has meat just piled on along with a bunch of toppings.

      Most folks talking about an "authentic" Italian sandwich are actually talking about the Americanized version that is quite different than an authentic Italian sandwich, the name is a little confusing in the same way as people talking about "authentic" French toast aren't actually talking about how they prepare it in France.

      So it seems a little goofy if someone goes out of their way to criticize a popular sandwich shop for not putting out authentic Italian sandwiches when what they're expecting from them is not an authentic Italian sandwich.

      But I like the best of both worlds like the OP - crusty roll and toppings heaped on. It's sophisticated Europe meets American propensity to go overboard!

      1. re: Wandering Platypus

        I agree with what you're saying here...it is ironic that we usually fight over the authentic un-authentic versions of ethnic foods. I also think that our American versions have their place too. I was really just trying to understand where Moe's came up with a skimpier version of a famous sub...perhaps it was in the beginning an exact recipe brought from Italy, just using American ingredients...rather than a completely Americanized version...the overstuffed Italian sub.

        One other question...anyone been to Nardelli's in CT? How does Moe's compare? (I happened to like my Nardelli's sub)

    2. I worked in Portsmouth a few years back and I enjoyed the Moe's Italian. We used to order out in our office a few time's a month. Best part when you open one up in the office the whole place got stunk up by the onions & salami. I always got mine with mayo.....yum. Soft bread was also good and a selling point for me. Plus on good days I would get a pick nic table at Rye beach......mmmm....so maybe the atmosphere played a role too.

      Stand a lone it is a good and unique sandwich......I think they have franchised the business so don;t know if quality has been sacrificed.

      Try Big G's in waterville maine for another great sandwich shop.....yum.

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      Big G's
      581 Benton Ave, Winslow, ME

      1. Many moons ago, I did Moe's in Concord and reallyl enjoyed them. has been a long time since I've had them, maybe they have changed. I do love a great italian sub and my fix (north of the NH border) is Pizza Express in Manch Vegas.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti

          We also have an Amato's which is pretty good:

          http://www.amatos.com/

          1. re: bewley

            There used to be an Amato's in Amherst on 101A (behind Frederick's Pastry) but they "closed" & another pizzeria / sub shop took over. Now I wonder if it was just a name change since there's a chain already using the Amato's name. These people were from New York originally, & their food was really good. Does anyone know if the "new" place is actually the same place with a new name?

            1. re: southie_chick

              No, unfortunately, it's not the same place with a new name. I loved the former restaurant, Amato's NY Deli--incredible sandwiches and awesome, thin crust pizza. The new place, Ciao's, is run by the owners of the former Amherst House of Pizza that was in the plaza across from Longhorn on 101A and burned down a few years ago.

              1. re: Tante

                Thanks for the reply - I really loved that place & would go out of my way to go there - it's one of the first places I went out to eat at when I moved to New Hampshire about 6 years ago. And, the people who owned it were wonderful. I hope all is well with that family - I miss them as much as I miss the food - especially during baseball season when you could razz them about the Yankees!

        2. Besides being delicious to the local palate and culture, it's about marketing and location. And now they are making it even easier for you to enjoy their authentic and iconic products by expanding the franchise within the Phillips 66 chain of gas stations throughout the Seacoast!

          http://www.seacoastonline.com/article...

          1 Reply
          1. re: wongadon

            <"And now they are making it even easier for you to enjoy their authentic and iconic products by expanding the franchise within the Phillips 66 chain of gas stations throughout the Seacoast!">

            And once this happens, the only thing standing between Moe's and world domination is ...