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East Coast Subs - Where to Find or How to Recreate

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Allfrog68 Feb 3, 2012 09:49 PM

I lived in NJ for a while, enough to discover all their treasures (subs, bagels, great chinese, etc.). I was reading Super Bowl food recs and got a hankering for a East Coast type sub. I remembering not being able to eat Subway for 10 years after I had relocated from NJ. I'm wondering if there is a place where you could get NJ/NY type subs in the Bay Area, preferably the East Bay. If not, how would you recreate one. I think I remember shredded lettuce and then oil and vinegar w/ salt & pepper. Where would you get the right bread and where's a good deli for meat? Help me with this craving!

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  1. rworange RE: Allfrog68 Feb 3, 2012 11:43 PM

    Grinders Submarine Sandwiches in Oakland's Montclair district is said to have East Coast type subs. it is on my to try list, so can't say The owner is suposed to be a sub nazi which is why they yelp reviews only give it 3 1/2 stars. He gets marked down for attitude
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/grinders-subm...

    I think that Rotten City Pizza does the closest to an East Coast meatball sub than anything else i've tried.

    i had a lovely sandwich in Napa at the Crossroads Chicken truck that reminded me of an East Coast sub because it was nicely toasted in their wood oven ... the ingredients though had nothing to do with the East Coast. I tried to talk him into making meatball subs because in that oven, I bet they'd be wonderful.

    But I digress. For cold cuts i'd go to an Italian deli such as Geneva or Zarri's. Roll ... can't think of a good East Coast type.

    11 Replies
    1. re: rworange
      Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 10:02 AM

      Some possibly useful topics:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/798565
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/654455
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387627

      1. re: rworange
        Ruth Lafler RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 01:13 PM

        You mean Genova in Oakland, right? They'll definitely do an Italian-style sandwich with shredded lettuce, oil and vinegar, but I'm not sure if you can get a soft roll.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          drewskiSF RE: Ruth Lafler Feb 4, 2012 03:02 PM

          I've found their sweet, wheat, and Dutch Crunch to all be soft rolls. The sweet roll is probably closest to the East Coast sub roll.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            c
            chocolatetartguy RE: Ruth Lafler Feb 21, 2012 03:33 PM

            I love Genova and they do have soft rolls, but their sandwiches are a different breed of animal from a Philadelphia hoagie. To me the big difference is that the provolone we have out here is no where near as sharp.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy
              s
              sugartoof RE: chocolatetartguy Feb 21, 2012 06:03 PM

              100% agree. I've never had that sharp hard provolone outside of Philly, and it's key to some of their best sandwiches.

              1. re: sugartoof
                c
                chocolatetartguy RE: sugartoof Feb 21, 2012 06:37 PM

                I have only tasted sharp provolone here to rival what I had in Philly once. They added a similar provolone to a sandwich (brisket?) and it came from somewhere in the Midwest (Wisconsin?).

                I'm thinking you could approach the sandwiches I had from Rocco's? at the Reading Public market with Piave though.

                1. re: chocolatetartguy
                  c
                  chocolatetartguy RE: chocolatetartguy Feb 22, 2012 11:12 AM

                  At Slow.

              2. re: chocolatetartguy
                DavidA06488 RE: chocolatetartguy Feb 22, 2012 02:43 AM

                We have both sweet and sharp provolone in our supermarkets in CT. I'm surprised they're not both available out there. It does make a difference in the sandwiches as others have said.

                1. re: DavidA06488
                  Robert Lauriston RE: DavidA06488 Feb 22, 2012 08:45 AM

                  You can get sharp Provolone around here, but most sub shop-type places have only the mild industrial stuff.

                  1. re: DavidA06488
                    s
                    sugartoof RE: DavidA06488 Feb 22, 2012 03:27 PM

                    I'm sure you can find it for sale, but when you say provolone in the Bay Area, it means slices from a round log.

                    Places like Dinic's in Philly will hand carve pieces from a hard crumbly brick, that melts into a creamy cheese, almost like something you would put into a fondue.

                    1. re: sugartoof
                      c
                      chocolatetartguy RE: sugartoof Feb 22, 2012 03:55 PM

                      Yes Dinic's is exactly like I mean. After returning from my Philly trip, I tried to find a like cheese at Cheeseboard and Genova Deli and then gave up.

            2. Delucacheesemonger RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 03:04 AM

              Boccalone Salumeria in Ferry building has decent meats and bread, cheese at Cowgirl next door, vegetables on site as well. Buy a crushed hot pepper spread, lettuce tomatoes, onions, and good olive oil and you should be good to go.

              1. wolfe RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 07:47 AM

                Gambino's, Embarcadero Center.
                http://www.gambinosnysubs.com/menus/g...
                My choice #19. If I remember correctly it was fresh mozzarella.

                15 Replies
                1. re: wolfe
                  rworange RE: wolfe Feb 4, 2012 09:13 AM

                  Fresh mozzarella automatically disqualifies it. it might taste great but it is Californication.

                  1. re: rworange
                    wolfe RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 11:29 AM

                    So order it with provoloan.
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4189...

                    1. re: wolfe
                      rworange RE: wolfe Feb 4, 2012 11:34 AM

                      Nothing against mozzarella. I'm just saying you are not getting the fresh type of mozzarella in an East Coast sub.

                      1. re: rworange
                        s
                        stanbee RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 03:49 PM

                        Agrees.

                        1. re: stanbee
                          wolfe RE: stanbee Feb 4, 2012 04:00 PM

                          Boy I hope that white stuff isn't fresh mozzarella.
                          http://www.piccolospizza.net/images/s.....
                          Piccolo's Pizza and Liquors, 913 Main St, Paterson NJ 07503
                          Oh and i think those are seeds on top. Never say never.

                        2. re: rworange
                          a
                          AdamD RE: rworange Feb 22, 2012 03:38 PM

                          Being an east coaster that is not always the case. The finer Italian shops use fresh mozz on the subs or grinders if you ask for mozz. Your everyday pizza shop might not use it, but a quality Italian deli, panini, sandwich shop is. Especially a parm wedge, sub, grinder, hero whatever you call it. :)

                          But I hear what you are saying, that great sub from your local shop has thinly sliced sharp provolone.

                          1. re: AdamD
                            wolfe RE: AdamD Feb 22, 2012 03:46 PM

                            Yo Adam, thank you.
                            http://c0486872.cdn.cloudfiles.racksp...

                            1. re: AdamD
                              rworange RE: AdamD Feb 22, 2012 08:40 PM

                              My East Coast days predate the finer Italian shop trend. It was just the Italian families in town using humble ingredients and achieving grinder greatness. They served working class families and the food had better be tasty or there would be none of those hard-earned dollars spent.

                        3. re: rworange
                          s
                          sugartoof RE: rworange Feb 6, 2012 12:08 AM

                          Depends on the sandwich. Philly goes for hard sharp provolone, but in NY it's common to see fresh mozzarella. A Jersey sandwich would probably be in between those two traditions.

                          1. re: sugartoof
                            h
                            hyperbowler RE: sugartoof Feb 6, 2012 01:10 AM

                            Fresh mozzarella is popular nowadays, but it's not a common part of a hero in NY. I'd never heard of fresh mozzarella until the mid-90s. It's still common to get a caprese salad in NY that's served with Polly-o cheese.

                            1. re: hyperbowler
                              s
                              sugartoof RE: hyperbowler Feb 6, 2012 02:51 AM

                              It only became a food trend in the 90's, but Dipalo, Joe's Dairy, Russo's, Alleva, Casa Della Mozzarella, Caputo's Mastellone's, Esposito's and an endless list of others have made fresh mozzarella as long as they've been open.

                              Defonte's, and Parisi didn't just add it to sandwiches in the 90's.

                              Many places use Polly-O curds as their preference to stretch into Mozzarella balls.

                              1. re: sugartoof
                                h
                                hyperbowler RE: sugartoof Feb 6, 2012 04:01 AM

                                I'm not saying fresh mozzarella didn't exist in NYC's specialty shops and the places with more traditional Italian ingedients. The best of the best in NY might have had fresh mozzarella on their menus for decades, but this was and still is hardly the norm, especially outside NYC proper.

                                1. re: hyperbowler
                                  s
                                  sugartoof RE: hyperbowler Feb 6, 2012 12:42 PM

                                  On an old school Italian sandwich like a grinder/hoagie/hero?
                                  Fresh Mozz has always been an option.

                                  1. re: sugartoof
                                    h
                                    hyperbowler RE: sugartoof Feb 6, 2012 01:52 PM

                                    Where, outside of NYC, did you get a grinder/hoagie/hero with fresh mozzarella on it before it became popular in the 90s?

                                    I checked the websites of a few places I used to get sandwiches at on Long Island. All are closed but two, and neither have fresh mozzarella in their hot or cold heroes. And that's within 50 miles of NYC. Go further away, and it's less common. You won't find it on the menu at Dibella's (founded 1918) in upstate NY, arguably the best sub I've ever eaten, and now a small chain: http://www.dibellas.com/

                                    1. re: hyperbowler
                                      s
                                      sugartoof RE: hyperbowler Feb 6, 2012 03:33 PM

                                      We're getting off topic for this forum, but New Jersey has some of the freshest mozzarella in the US, where they will roll it to order, and hand it to you before it's cooled. Despite your own personal exposure they didn't wait until the 90's to add it to sandwiches.

                                      Also, we're talking about different sandwiches.
                                      SF has some sub shops.

                      2. bbulkow RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 11:03 AM

                        I grew up in northern delaware. We had subs. My high school had a sub fundraiser - subs were the local food. The closest you'll get around here is going to an italian deli (which have been closing, but there's still some of the old ones left - Genova on Telegraph) and get oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, on an "italian" (god forbid, no mayo, mustard is suspect). Especially if they add peppers ("pickled" peppers, not green peppers). A subway sub asked for the same way is not entirely out of the question, and what I order when I'm in that mood. There used to be an italian deli near the corner of 40th and Piedmont where the guy would light up when I ordered that, and make a good one, but that deli's been gone over a decade. The bread is essentially the same as you'd use for a cheesesteak, and the old italian delis have it as the default bread. Good luck!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: bbulkow
                          rworange RE: bbulkow Feb 4, 2012 11:26 AM

                          I agree with the old style Italian deli being essential. Places likee Boccalone Salumeria might have fabulous cold cuts but the taste profile is different.

                          Now depending on where you were on the East Coast, I don't think the bread is the same here. The good places in Connecticut often had a denser crumb to hold up to the olive oil and vinegar,.

                          The bread here is made for mustard and mayo type condiments.

                          1. re: rworange
                            Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 11:36 AM

                            Boccalone's Italian sausage panino with onions and pickled peppers might hit the spot for someone craving a grinder, but I think that's a different East Coast regional tradition than the cold cuts with lettuce, oil, and vinegar. Cosentino's from Rhode Island. Pastore's also from New England.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 4, 2012 11:43 AM

                              God no ... grinder to me is Connecticut and for that region ... no.

                              A Connecticut grinder is different from a Massachusets sub.

                              The NJ version has a variation too, but I found it close to CT.

                              Boccalone' sounds good though. Will give it a try.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                MGZ RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 4, 2012 12:00 PM

                                The OP is talking about a “Jersey-style” sub, and though I’d gladly trade a few of the best of them from here at the Shore for a trip to Boccalone’s right now, rw’s correct* – that ain’t the meat your looking for on a sub. Frankly, most of the better Jersey shops use Boar’s Head which might even be available at a Safeway or other supermarket (at least they are on the East Coast).

                                bbulkow seems to have identified the correct bread – it’s a bit soft. As to toppings, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomatoes and onions, ground black pepper, thin red wine vinegar, and inexpensive olive oil are the standards. Pickled, sliced cherry peppers would have to be requested.

                                (It’s sort of funny to be longing for what I’d be eating out there and stumble upon someone there longing to eat something so easy to grab here.)

                                *rw’s also correct about the mozzarella – provolone would be the proper cheese, and not a very sharp one either.

                          2. Robert Lauriston RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 11:54 AM

                            Anybody tried Jersey's Italian combo? http://www.jerseysandwiches.com/

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              MGZ RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 4, 2012 12:08 PM

                              From the menu, I’d say that ham makes it a bit fancy. Without the roasted red peppers, however, it’s close.

                            2. wolfe RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 01:07 PM

                              Just because youse guys don't like my choice there are more sandwiches on the Gambimno's menu that seem like the OP request.

                              East Coast Style - Shredded Lettuce, Sliced Tomato, Onions,
                              Olive Oil,Vinegar, Salt & Pepper,Herbs

                              #11 The Gambino 7.25
                              Ham, Salami,Hot Coppa,Mortadella,
                              Provolone
                              #14 The Italian 7.25
                              Mortadella,Cappicola, Salami
                              Pepperoni, Provolone

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: wolfe
                                DavidA06488 RE: wolfe Feb 11, 2012 03:42 PM

                                The #14 seems like what we're used to her in CT with the East Coast fixings as well.

                              2. wolfe RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 02:48 PM

                                Allfrog is this what you want?
                                Italian prosciutto, provolone cheese, thumanns hot capicola & natural casing genoa salami
                                http://www.uwishunu.com/wp-content/up...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: wolfe
                                  rworange RE: wolfe Feb 4, 2012 03:22 PM

                                  While I can't speak for the OP, a philly sandwich is different from my experience. Sesame seeds ... no. Construction is wrong, especitally those onions.

                                  Must I explain this (g) ... sesame seeds are for hamburger buns.

                                  1. re: rworange
                                    drewskiSF RE: rworange Feb 4, 2012 03:40 PM

                                    and even fresh Mozz in Philly :)
                                    http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/09/10...

                                    1. re: rworange
                                      Delucacheesemonger RE: rworange Feb 5, 2012 10:02 AM

                                      The three leading roll makers in Philadelphia, Carangi, Sarcone, and Lanci all offer a sesame seed roll, denser and had far more chew than the typical Amoroso roll.

                                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                        rworange RE: Delucacheesemonger Feb 5, 2012 10:10 AM

                                        The OP is looking for Jersey style and like my neck of the woods I'm sure they are great but the only thing I would want sesame seeds on would be hamburger buns.

                                        I'm sure the philly sandwiches are greaat but not what one is looking for in a taste from a specific area. The comment was about the link to the photo which probably wasn't what the OP wanted.

                                        Moot point though. Don't think any local place sells that type of roll

                                  2. a
                                    Allfrog68 RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 03:51 PM

                                    Wish there was a "like" button. You all have given some awesome feedback and ideas. Thanks.

                                    1. m
                                      ML8000 RE: Allfrog68 Feb 4, 2012 03:56 PM

                                      Besides the roll, chopped lettuce, and non-fancy cold cuts...what is on the East Coast grinder? If you have a list, you can have just about any decent place make it. I'd try Little Luca in South City. Genova can probably do it as mentioned. Might try Ted's Market in SF.

                                      1. b
                                        Bigshadetree RE: Allfrog68 Feb 5, 2012 09:53 AM

                                        Never had an East Coast sub but Morucci's in Walnut Creek (1218 Boulevard Way) makes a great Italian combo - the pesto spread he uses really makes the sandwich. Reuben's and Pastrami are also very good - link below has photos of sandwich and also photos of the menu (if you have good eyes)
                                        http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/5W6k2k...

                                        1. s
                                          sugartoof RE: Allfrog68 Feb 6, 2012 12:35 AM

                                          Rather than try to find a carbon copy that's second rate (nobody here really makes the soft Italian bread with that mild flavor found on the East Coast), I would suggest finding a new sandwich on the West Coast that hits similar notes.

                                          A few that come to mind are the West Portal Sub Shop, with a very similar bread (maybe a little softer), and dressing with heated cold cuts. Some regions of the East Coast are void of a proper submarine, but there will be something familiar about these sandwiches (just hopefully not in a Subway chain store way). Still not what you're looking for, but it's an alternative.

                                          Next, Little Lucca, which makes monster sized Italian style sandwiches of a different tradition. These are bread heavy, and their garlic mayo dressing compliments things nicely. Where a Jersey grinder would probably have the breading ripped out, these are almost like eating a Muffaletta. They also have the ingredients to duplicate what you want by instructions, and they shred their lettuce.

                                          Roxie Market is another good sandwich spot. The original location preferred. Of course there's Molinari, which is again, a different tradition of Italian sandwiches that would be hard to find on the East Coast. San Francisco is known for it's Salamis, and Coppas, and some other meats which aren't normally the stars of an East Coast grinder, hoagie, sandwich, etc.

                                          Skip the Boar's Head meats when possible, even though it's an East Coast company.

                                          1. s
                                            sundeck sue RE: Allfrog68 Feb 6, 2012 07:15 AM

                                            Star Meats (In Star Market on Claremont Ave. in Berkeley) has a (great) Italian sandwich (can't remember name--but it's their traditional one) that is (as best this Massachusetts-born/bred girl can recall), a faithful representation of a NJ/NY type sub.

                                            p.s. RW, again I may be mis-remembering--but at least in northern MA we also ate "grinders", not "subs"

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: sundeck sue
                                              rworange RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 08:33 AM

                                              My range was mainly Swampscott thru Framingham with most time in Boston. Never heard the word 'sub' till i moved there ... or 'tonic' (soda). There were a few years in Rockport. Maybe it is grinder in Northwest MA.

                                              Anyway .. Allfrog68 ...did you have your sub yesterday?

                                              This post sort of drove me to have a meatball sub yesterday at Genova in Napa ... nothing East coast about it but it was nice. The plan was lunch at Redd Wood, but they aren't open for lunch yet. Couldn't figure out where else to go and when I saw the Genova sign, your sub post inspired me.

                                              1. re: rworange
                                                s
                                                sundeck sue RE: rworange Feb 6, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                Haverhill (so definitely eastern) Wikipedia on the subject:

                                                "Grinder (Italian-American slang for a dock worker)—New England.[4] Called grinder because it took a lot of chewing to eat the hard crust of the bread used. In Pennsylvania, the term grinder refers to a sandwich that has been heated. In eastern Massachusetts a grinder is a toasted sub, for example the sub is toasted in a pizza oven."

                                                The toasted part is news to me.

                                                1. re: sundeck sue
                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                  http://www.jstor.org/pss/452990

                                                  http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/...

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    s
                                                    sundeck sue RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 6, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                    Interesting.....

                                                    1. re: sundeck sue
                                                      wolfe RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                      When I went to submarine school in New London Ct. the submarine was a boat and a grinder was a sandwich.

                                                  2. re: sundeck sue
                                                    BernalKC RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 04:16 PM

                                                    This Middlesex county kid says grinders are toasted in a pizza oven, for sure. Subs are not. Subs had oil and vinegar, grinders might be finished with the shredded iceberg and tomato slices after being toasted, but no oil and vinegar. Subs were more common - pretty much any deli counter made 'em. Grinders required the pizza oven. If my memory serves me, subs were more likely to have some mayo but you could order 'em with or without, while grinders were lubed by the heated cold cuts and cheese. A grinder with mayo would be too gross even for an east coast '60's palate.

                                                    I got no idea what they ate in Jersey. I'm talking Boston only.

                                                    1. re: BernalKC
                                                      z
                                                      zunzie RE: BernalKC Feb 9, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                      I'm a Middlesex county kid, grew up saying 'tonic', and I'm agreeing with Bernal KC.

                                                      And everything-- grinders or subs-- are on spuckies.

                                                    2. re: sundeck sue
                                                      jillyju RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                      A grinder was a toasted sub in Marblehead, MA too--and throughout the North Shore. One of the things missing from subs in the Bay Area for me is that in addition to the lettuce being shredded, the pickles, onions and tomatoes were all diced up, not sliced. I'm convinced that, in combination with the oil/vinegar, makes the flavor distinct. The mortadella, provolone, etc. are necessary too, of course.

                                                  3. re: sundeck sue
                                                    s
                                                    sugartoof RE: sundeck sue Feb 6, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                    It may also be possible the OP was merely looking for a sub, like one of these: http://www.jerseymikes.com/menu/
                                                    and maybe we got carried away thinking of more common representations of East Coast sandwiches.

                                                    1. re: sugartoof
                                                      c
                                                      Constant Velocity RE: sugartoof Feb 7, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                      There's a Jersey Mike's in Burbank that I've been to more often than I'm comfortable admitting, given the culinary riches of LA. Theirs is exactly what this former Monmouth County denizen considers a typical NJ sub. I always get the roast beef, no cheese, with hot and sweet peppers, oil and vinegar, and mayo, god help me.

                                                      1. re: Constant Velocity
                                                        s
                                                        sugartoof RE: Constant Velocity Feb 7, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                        Sounds addictive.

                                                    2. re: sundeck sue
                                                      c
                                                      chocolatetartguy RE: sundeck sue Feb 21, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                      I was in there Saturday and their Italian Combo looked promising. Only problem was that they only make sandwiches from 11-2. I'll be going back to give it a try though.

                                                      1. re: chocolatetartguy
                                                        drewskiSF RE: chocolatetartguy Feb 21, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                        They cure their own meats and have 4-5 variants on an Italian. I usually get the one with fresh mozzarella . . . I think it's the Goodfella

                                                    3. c
                                                      chuckl RE: Allfrog68 Feb 6, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                      check out the new sandwich shop in Pacifica, right on the highway where Col Sanders was. I think it's called Boston Subs or something like that. I believe they have their rolls flown out daily from Philly. Homemade chowder also

                                                      22 Replies
                                                      1. re: chuckl
                                                        drewskiSF RE: chuckl Feb 6, 2012 02:09 PM

                                                        Boston Bill's? looks like just Cheese steaks?

                                                        http://www.bostonbills.org/

                                                        1. re: chuckl
                                                          pamf RE: chuckl Feb 6, 2012 02:33 PM

                                                          It's called Boston Bill's. They have cheesesteaks, but no other types of sandwiches.

                                                          http://www.bostonbills.org/menu

                                                          I have only tried them once, not long after they opened in December. It was an OK cheesesteak, but there are better in the Bay Area.

                                                          I need to go back again and see if they have improved a bit. I like to support our local businesses and heaven knows we need more variety out here on the Coastside.

                                                          1. re: pamf
                                                            rworange RE: pamf Feb 6, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                            Reading yelp, it seems they may have improved a bit. Please report back if you try them again because nothing I'm reading so far makes me want to stop if i'm down that way.

                                                            Why call it Boston Bill's when cheeseteaks have zero to do with Boston. if you are serving clam chowder, they don't serve it in a bread bowl as one yelper reported. And don't call California "Cali", Bill.
                                                            Someone on yelp said they had Maryland crabcakes once.

                                                            1. re: rworange
                                                              drewskiSF RE: rworange Feb 6, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                              and they serve the "Original Philly Cheese Steak" at Boston Bill's

                                                              from the Fenway picture on the website, i'm guessing Bill is from Boston.

                                                              1. re: drewskiSF
                                                                rworange RE: drewskiSF Feb 6, 2012 06:08 PM

                                                                From all the places his restaurant represents ... i would guess ... Bill just passed through. The report on yelp about the clam chowder said it was thick enough to stand a spoon up in, lacked clam flavor and was served in a bread bowl. I don't care how many photos of Fenway you have, that makes me suspicious of Boston claims.

                                                                That being said, i hope some chowhound bites the bullet and tries the chowder. For me, it just doesn't seem worth the chance but I could be wrong.

                                                                Actually I looked around the website for some sort of background and why the Boston in the name. Couldn't find anything.

                                                                1. re: rworange
                                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Feb 6, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                                  The owner is named Bill, he's from Boston, and he loves cheesesteaks.

                                                                  http://pacifica.patch.com/articles/bo...

                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                    z
                                                                    zunzie RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2012 08:21 AM

                                                                    I hope he calls them a steak and cheese, because nobody from Boston ever called them a cheesesteak.

                                                                    1. re: zunzie
                                                                      drewskiSF RE: zunzie Feb 11, 2012 09:32 AM

                                                                      oddly enough, at Boston Bill's the menu sports the "Original Philly Cheese Steak"

                                                                      1. re: drewskiSF
                                                                        Robert Lauriston RE: drewskiSF Feb 11, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                        He said in that article I linked to that he opened the place because he was unhappy that there was nowhere to get cheesesteaks in Pacifica.

                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                          drewskiSF RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                          i read that the other day. doesn't change my opinion that it's odd that the signature dish of a place called Boston Bill's is the Original Philly Cheese Steak.

                                                                          1. re: drewskiSF
                                                                            DavidA06488 RE: drewskiSF Feb 11, 2012 03:56 PM

                                                                            When I was in college outside of Philly, the best cheesesteaks were from a place called Stackie's in Chester. White American cheese, shaved steak, grilled onions, and hot and/or sweet peppers grilled. All on a seame seeded hoagie roll. Do they know a cheesesteak in California?

                                                                            1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                              Robert Lauriston RE: DavidA06488 Feb 12, 2012 10:30 AM

                                                                              The small local Cheesesteak Shop chain brings in rolls, peppers, and Tastykakes from Philadelphia.

                                                                              http://www.cheesesteakshop.com/Cheese...

                                                                            2. re: drewskiSF
                                                                              Robert Lauriston RE: drewskiSF Feb 12, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                              The full text of the sign is Boston Bill's Cheese Steaks Chowder House.

                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                DavidA06488 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 12, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                I still dream of the Stackie's cheese steaks even now an unmentionable number of years later. I loved them better than any I got from Philly proper. They supposedly were closed down years later because they were alleged to be using horse meat. If that was horsemeat, I'll take some. Glad there are Philly cheese steaks in the Bay area.

                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                  drewskiSF RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 12, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                                                  I saw that too and I don't think it makes it any less odd :)

                                                                                  You need to accept that not everyone will see things like you do. That a Boston themed spot specializing in a Philly Cheese Steak makes perfect sense.

                                                                                  1. re: drewskiSF
                                                                                    DavidA06488 RE: drewskiSF Feb 12, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                                    If they're good, they're good. I looked at the on-line menue, and the cheese staeks look right on. I'd have one with everything, sauteed onions, hots and sweets - the perfect sandwich.

                                                                                    1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                                      drewskiSF RE: DavidA06488 Feb 12, 2012 12:21 PM

                                                                                      agreed

                                                                                      1. re: DavidA06488
                                                                                        pamf RE: DavidA06488 Feb 12, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                        As I posted earlier, I tried them not long after they opened in December and was less than impressed. I will give them another try soon (got sidetracked over to Colombo's this week) and see if they have improved.

                                                                                        The sandwich was dry and the filling was a bit skimpy. The chowder was OK, but needed to reheated when I got it home.

                                                                                        The link that Robert posted above to the Cheesesteak Shop on Divisadero, is a much better option in SF. I think Phat Philly's in the Mission is pretty good too.

                                                                                        I will give Boston Bill another chance, though, since I live only about 5 minutes away. I would like to see this local start-up succeed

                                                                        2. re: rworange
                                                                          s
                                                                          sugartoof RE: rworange Feb 6, 2012 09:44 PM

                                                                          I've actually had great chowder in a bread bowl while visiting Boston.

                                                                      2. re: rworange
                                                                        pamf RE: rworange Feb 7, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                        Well this got me thinking about sandwiches and I remembered that Pacifica does have an Italian deli that has been here forever. Colombo's in the Pacific Manor shopping center.

                                                                        I stopped by at lunch today. They have an extensive list of special sandwiches, both hot and cold. They have the Italian subs with a mix of cold cuts, oil and vinegar dressing and all the rest. I had a meatball sub (subliminal influence from RWOrange). I will be back soon with reinforcements to try some of the others.

                                                                        The sandwiches are huge. Very tasty meatballs, good sauce and plenty of cheese. The rolls they use are soft and bready, like some posters have mentioned. Sandwiches are in the $6 - $10 range.

                                                                        It's easy to overlook this place, you could easily walk by without realizing what it is. Mostly take-out but they do have a couple of tables in the front of the store. It's located in the Pacific Manor strip mall, in between the Safeway and Tam's Chinese restaurant.

                                                                        Not only are the sandwiches great but the store also has lots of imported Italian goodies: cheese, sausages, grocery items, frozen raviolis, wine, and a good looking deli case.

                                                                        1. re: pamf
                                                                          c
                                                                          chuckl RE: pamf Feb 7, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                          Colombo's is a very good, family owned and operated deli and a Pacifica institution. I believe the dad bakes the bread himself

                                                                          1. re: chuckl
                                                                            pamf RE: chuckl Feb 12, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                            Went back to Colombo's on Saturday and got three more sandwiches (for 3 people, but still had leftovers). I had the Chicken Parmesan (Saturdays only), which was pretty similar to the meatball sub I had earlier. Same sauce and cheese, I think these saucy, hot sandwiches overwhelm the soft bread and end up too mushy when not eaten immediately. I think I prefer their cold sandwiches for that reason. We also tried the "Tuscan" turkey, which had thinly sliced turkey breast with an herb coating, sharp cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and, oil and vinegar dressing. I think this was my favorite, a very well-balanced sandwich. The third selection was a "Neapolitan", also cold, with Italian meats and cheese. I didn't get a taste, but it was very well reviewed by it's owner.

                                                                            Also, spent more time browsing around the store. It's small, but the items are obviously carefully selected. If you are in the city and have access to Italian stores there, it might not be a big deal, but it is a great resource locally.

                                                                  2. t
                                                                    thurgie RE: Allfrog68 Feb 9, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                    Plymouth County native here. I would second the recommendation for the Submarine Center in West Portal. It has the closest thing to the sub I grew up with on Boston's South Shore. They make it right up at the counter so you can dictate what you do and don't want in order to approximate your NJ sub. They put a nice italian dressing on it. Tell them to hold the mayo.
                                                                    My relatives always buy a sub there for the plane ride back East.
                                                                    The shop is right at the mouth of the MUNI tunnel if you're coming from the East Bay. West Portal has a cute little shopping district with an independent book store and movie theatre. Take a field trip!

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: thurgie
                                                                      s
                                                                      sugartoof RE: thurgie Feb 9, 2012 12:10 PM

                                                                      SF has a wealth of similar sub places in AK Subs, Marina Submarine, Yellow Submarine, Gambino Subs...none of which I can vouch for like Submarine Center, but they're out there, and it seems every neighborhood has one!

                                                                      1. re: sugartoof
                                                                        Cynsa RE: sugartoof Feb 11, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                        www.submarinecenter.com
                                                                        Hours:
                                                                        Mon-Sat 10 am - 7:30 pm
                                                                        Sun 11 am - 5 pm

                                                                        -----
                                                                        The Submarine Center
                                                                        820 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94127

                                                                      2. re: thurgie
                                                                        rworange RE: thurgie Feb 9, 2012 12:14 PM

                                                                        Totally agree that Submarine Center is one of the closest to Maas subs

                                                                      3. b
                                                                        BobSacamano RE: Allfrog68 Feb 21, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                        Jersey Joe's in San Carlos has "Hoagies". The Italian Combo was pretty damn good. Bread could be better, but all of the requirements were there. If I recall correctly it had coppa, genoa, and dry salami, shredded lettuce, provolone, onions (almost too many), O+V, S+P. It was on the large side also, which was fine by me. Jersey Joe's also does Cheesesteaks, however I haven't tried one.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Jersey Joe's Hoagies
                                                                        21 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070

                                                                        1. a
                                                                          AdamD RE: Allfrog68 Feb 22, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                                          Again, being on the east coast I am lucky to have plenty of options.
                                                                          Right now, my favorite is the eggplant combo at A&S in Mt. Kisco, NY.
                                                                          Fried eggplant, broccoli rabe, fresh mozz, and roasted red peppers (I sub out the sun dried tomatoes for the peppers) with a balsamic dressing on a seeded (they ask if you prefer seeded or unseeded) Arthur Avenue sub roll.

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