#foodbeast Cravings

5 Origin Stories of Your Favorite Sandwiches


You’d think every kind of sandwich was invented by a child. Not because sandwiches are child’s play (hell no), but they just seem so wondrous and hopeful. The basic concept of the sandwich joyously empowers non-cooks to be able to pull off glory and puff out their chests with pride. It’s an uncomplicated artwork you can eat. It’s by anybody for everyone. But kids didn’t invent them, at least not the famous ones, and no two origin stories are alike in the food world. So let’s do some digging and talk shop about how favorite sandwiches came to be.


1. The Club


Photo: Flickr

The story goes more or less the same here, with everyone nodding their head in agreement that it came out of a country club in the late 1800s. Beyond that, like pinpointing the actual club, hungry folks of the world part ways, though the most popular call is the Saratoga Club House, an exclusive gambling house in New York. Otherwise, the notable non-club theory is that the sandwich entered mouths as a menu addition at the Steamer Rhode Island Restaurant around the same time.


2. The Patty Melt


Said to have bounced to vibrant melty life in sunny Southern California, the origin story of the gooey hamburger-sandwich goes like this: It was a favorite of William “Tiny” Naylor. I know, you were hoping it was something more exciting, like stolen as a family recipe from some mafioso and then smuggled into cafes along the coast, but it really was that Naylor owned a chain of restaurants in the 1940s and 1950s and word got out.


3. The Dagwood


Photo: Flickr

Even if you’ve never been a regular reader of the comic Blondie, there’s a chance you’ve seen the world’s hungriest cartoon father dashing around a newspaper over the years. The long-running strip (starting in 1930) features a family with a patriarch who keeps up the habit of snagging what seems to be the entire contents of the Bumstead family refrigerator and pinning the goods together between two slices of bread. And that’s essentially what the real-life comic-inspired sandwich calls for — pretty much just any kind of leftovers, though the rule tends to be “the more, the merrier” or “the goofier, the greater.” I mean, it’s as much for dinner time as it is arts-and-crafts hour.


4. The Cuban


Though the timeframe for the sandwich’s first creation can at least be somewhat nailed down to the mid-late 1800s, the actual origin tale is a lot more slippery to catch. It’s largely believed the sandwich became a go-to lunch for the workers of Cuba’s cigar factories and sugar mills (and later Key West’s cigar factories), though who exactly created it and when remains a mystery, lost to a community of hungry employees. The cigar industry eventually made its way to Tampa in the 1880s, where the sandwich more or less scored an influence from Italian immigrants, causing it to flourish. In fact, Tampa laid notable claim to the sandwich — their incarnation at least — in 2012.


5. The Sub/Hoagie/Hero/Grinder


Here’s the thing, this exact origin story is impossible to track. Instead, the name is the changing wonder.

“The Sub(marine)” found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary sometime around the start of World War II, with the legend going that it was thanks to an Italian shopkeeper near a Navy shipyard in New London, Connecticut.

“The Hoagie” keeps up a similar story, with the Philadelphia Navy Yard once being called Hog Island. However, the better sandwich tale from the City of Brotherly Love is that a 1920s jazz musician named Al De Palma saw one of his beboppin’ buddies snacking down on the thing and laughed, “You have to be a hog to eat one of those.” When the Depression hit, music wasn’t exactly paying, so he opted to open a sandwich shop that sold “hoggies,” which later led to De Palma’s altered nickname “King of the Hoagies.”

“The Hero” has a background that’s based in a slight riff of the last one, but out of New York City, when food columnist Clementine Paddleworth reportedly remarked, “You had to be a hero to eat it.” Meanwhile, the Oxford English Dictionary actually attributes the name to armored car guards.

“The Grinder” keeps it in line and brings it all back with the shipyard backing, as it was supposedly named in New England for the dockworkers who did up the day-to-day grinding repair of the ships.

And that’s how the sage-like comfort of notable sandwiches came to be, though you have to wonder how much some kind of supernatural marvel played a role in giving these masterful geniuses the initial pop of a brilliant idea.

Fast Food

Subway Canada Gets Crackin’ With Atlantic Canada Lobster Sub


Summer is starting to heat up and seafood is on the menu, at least at Subway Canada. While Subways here in the U.S. only offer tuna or an under the sea hodge podge called “Seafood Sensation” (which might also be a flavor of cat food), Subway Canada is debuting a lobster sandwich. Boasting Atlantic Canada Lobster chunks mixed with mayo, the sandwich can be customized to a customer’s individual tastes, but for ultimate maritime deliciousness Subway recommends patrons go simple with toasted Italian bread and lettuce.

The Atlantic Canada Lobster sub is only available for a limited time. No word on if Subway plans to bring lobster to U.S. locations, but the chain was testing Kung Pao Pulled Pork in Chicago back in April.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating


Washington Man Arrested For Getting Freaky With Sub Shop Window


Have you ever arrived at your favorite sandwich shop only to find it closed for the night? Typically you’d grab at the door handle, peek through the window and maybe give it a few knocks. What you probably wouldn’t do is drop trou then start goin’ at it with the shop window, right?

Well apparently Lydell Coleman doesn’t take too kindly to restaurants being closed on him. The Washington man exposed himself to onlookers and shop employees then proceeded to hump and grind on the Sub Shop window like he was making sweet sweet love. Guess he didn’t get his foot-long so he showed off his six-inch…womp.

Security interrupted Coleman’s rendezvous causing him to fled. He was later caught and is now being held on felony indecent exposure charges. Coleman has been convicted of indecent exposure before, we’re guessing his first strike involved a burger joint. No word on whether or not the Sub Shop window will wait for Coleman.

H/T Consumerist

Fast Food

Return of the Black Angus Steak Sub at Quizno’s

Back by popular demand, Quizno’s Subs has brought back their Black Angus Steak Sub. For a limited-time only, the sub will feature thick-sliced Black Angus steak, aged cheddar, mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a combination of their signature Honey Bourbon Mustard and Zesty Grille Sauce, all between your choice of their Artisan Breads (pictured is their Rosemary Parmesan). A regular sub runs for $6.49 and has 752 calories and 24 grams of fat.


Arby’s Angus Three Cheese & Bacon Sub Sandwich

While no official word has made its way from Arby’s HQ, our friends at GrubGrade have snapped a photo of what looks to be an Angus Three Cheese & Bacon sub sandwich in rotation at a location in Utah. From the picture, we can definitely some heavy cheese action occurring, possibly provolone or Swiss cheese slices, Arby’s cheddar sauce and some other unidentifiable cheese spread. The sandwich is currently priced at $4.99 or $6.99 for a combo meal. More news on this beast when it is made available!


Carl’s Jr. Testing a "Footlong Cheeseburger"

Carl’s Jr. simply couldn’t sit still too long while KFC hopped into the sandwich game with their Double Down from days ago. It looks like they’re trying to make some waves with this new “Footlong Cheeseburger” they’re testing out at one of my local Santa Ana, CA, locations. The sandwich comes along with some chuckles, to say the least. It sells for $4 (the plain cheeseburger), and the deluxe is set at $4.50 (comes with all the fixings, lettuce, tomatoes, onions).  The combo meals are set at $6.50 for the cheeseburger version and $7.00 for the deluxe footlong.