Ok, I grew up in Delaware, which, while not Philly, still had great subs. Alas, the area where I lived (and where my brother still lives) near Newark has slid somewhat from its sub pinnacle. We used to patronize Nardo's Sub King on the Kirkwood Highway, and oh, my.
When I moved to the Boston area several (cough) years ago, I was appalled by what they called a sub or a grinder. Chopped vegetables, stingy meat, blah. An outrage. Things have improved, but oh, the subs of my youth...still can get a pretty good one at Casapulla's in Elsmere.
Now that I work in Worcester, I have found a very good sub at Belsito's on Plantation Street. I am not usually a bread person, but their bread...is awesome. Crusty, chewy, yummy....not the fluffy tasteless stuff you usually get from chain shops. Belsito's is a family owned and operated place, and has a small selection of imported italian goods as well as homemade soup and a fine selection of sandwiches. I'm a turkey sub aficionado (sacrilege for some, I know, mea culpa) and theirs is fine.
Not quite what you might get around Philly...best subs I have had were a roll of meat and cheese surrounding the veggies and surrounded by bread. But Belsito's has the best subs I've had in New England. We always get Belsito's Withdrawl when they go on vacation.
305 Plantation St, Worcester, MA 01604
Yeah, I don't get this. Pretty ubiquitous in the area too.
Asked one local place why they do it instead of slicing l,t,o on their meat slicers. Said they could buy them prechopped- which was easier than slicing themeselves and having to clean the slicer. Yeah, god forbid you do something for the benefit of your customers instead of yourselves.