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Searching for great subs in Cambridge/Somerville

Lately I've been craving a really good Italian-style sub. Around Columbus Ohio, where I grew up, there's several pizza/sub places that deliver hot sub sandwiches on crusty toasted bread, overstuffed with meat and veggies, topped with provolone and enough oil & vinegar (or Italian dressing) to dribble off the end when you bite in.

Anyone know where I can find a good example of this in the area?

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  1. Vinny's in Somerville (on Broadway, near Sullivan Station) gets my vote.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LeoLioness

      Vinny's looks good, except that it seems that they only do cold Italian subs, not hot & toasted ones.

      1. re: Boston_Otter

        I don't think I've ever had a hot Italian sub, actually. Toasted bread, yes. Toasted sub? No.

        1. re: Boston_Otter

          If you ask nicely, they might toast it for you.

          White Sport (used to be in Union Square, and until recently Magoun Square -- is it still there?) had really good cold ones and I imagine they would have toasted them.
          Dave's fresh pasta has killer sandwiches and would probably put one together for you. How about Angelina's in Teele Square? The trouble is that I don't really like subs. Maybe I just haven't had a great one.

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          Teele Square Cafe
          Somerville, MA, Somerville, MA

          White Sport Restaurant
          506 Medford St, Somerville, MA 02145

      2. Relatively recent thread - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621030

        I like Bob's on Main Street in Medford - the Imported Italian, but it is not served hot.

        I like La Ronga on Somerville Ave. for a really good and cheap sub - you can talk them into putting the bread with meat and cheese in the pizza oven for a spell, then to finish with the cold toppings. But they look at you kinda funny when you ask for it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Bob's makes a great authentic italian which if i am correct is not what op wants. Most of the italians in that thread are too authentic as well.

          One big tip off to a good toasted "italian" is if the place uses shredded lettuce.

          1. re: joth68

            Exactly -- the sub I'm talking about is to "traditional Italian" as General Tso is to Chinese food. I've had excellent authentic Italian subs at Sessa's (their prosciutto + provolone is great), but I'm curious to see if the midwest-style "Italian" sub is done anywhere in the area.

            1. re: Boston_Otter

              Funny...to me, what you are looking for is "authentic" everywhere OTHER than New England. Any "authentic" Italian sub I've had in NYC's gravity was like the one you described, and down the east coast.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                Yep, in Columbus (or anywhere else), if I ordered what I described, it'd be a genuine, authentic Italian sub. Around here, a cold, thin hoagy roll filled with prosciutto and capicola is more the order of business.

              2. re: Boston_Otter

                The hint about Greek sub shops for a toasted italian cold cut sub (as opposed to imported italian which we have discussed in the past). For an Italian sub shop which does a fair amount of toasting Armando's does a decent job. Their bread isn't crusty nor can I think of many possibilities for that, although the Snack Bar in East Cambridge might be a bit more (its Portuguese owned, but pizza/sub wise essentially a greek shop) and I usually get other things, but Skampa up the road has a few more options and does a fair amount of toasted subs too.

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                Skampa
                424 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

          2. In my experience, greek pizza places tend to specialize in the in the toasted "italian" sub that you want. Not exactly in your neighborhood but Nicks in Medford and Big A in Malden are my current favorite.

            4 Replies
            1. re: joth68

              Reminds me of the first time I ordered an italian sub after moving here from NY, not realizing that Greeks ran the pizza joints around here.

              "I'll have an Italian hero with everything"

              "We have lamb, beef, or chicken."

              "Huh? I want an Italian"

              "I don't know what that is"

              "You don't know what an Italian hero is?"

              "No, we only have lamb, beef, or chicken."

              Then I figured out he thought I was saying gyro, not hero.

              "Oh, I'll have an Italian sub with everything."

              "toasted?"

              "huh?"

              "do you want it toasted?"

              "what?"

              "do - you - want - it - toasted - in - the - ov-en?"

              "Ohhhhh....ummm no, why would I want it toasted?"

              We both looked at each other like we were from different planets.

                1. re: LStaff

                  hahaa sooo true. I had a similar experience when I moved here.

                  But the toasted italian-sub-from-a-greek-owned-pizza-place is pretty good.---the toasting takes the edge off the lower quality "cold" cuts.

                2. re: joth68

                  I have to agree. This type of Italian sub is readily available, at practically every sub shop/house of pizza. Not so great and not particularly Italian cold cuts and cheese in a sub roll, into the oven on request, finished with fresh stuff of your choosing, including lettuce, oil and vinegar etc. - your choice. I thought it was a local standard.

                3. I like the italian sub at Cinderella's in Central.

                  1. I think Aram's pizza/sub shop on the corner of Prospect St. and Cambridge St. in Inman Sq could give you what you're looking for. I used to get a toasted veggie sub from them all the time and it was basically an "Italian" sub without the meat and it was really tasty. Alot of people I know think this place is awful, but I always thought their toasted subs were good "sub shop fare". Nothing remotely gourmet about them, but it doesn't sound like you're looking for that anyway.

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                    Aram's Cafe'
                    85 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA 02478

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nachovegas

                      Arams #1 is closed.

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                      Aram's Cafe'
                      85 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA 02478