A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 10, 2009
Bomber Sandwich

Entry in progress—B.P.

The long list of the names of sandwiches served on long rolls includes blimpie, Cuban (medianoche), Dagwood, garibaldi, gondola, grinder, hero, hoagie, Italian, jawbreaker, muffuletta, peacemaker (La Mediatrice), pilgrim, pistolette, po’ boy (poor boy), rocket, skyscraper, spiedie, spucky (spuckie, spukie), submarine (sub), torpedo, torta (Mexican po’ boy), wedge and zeppelin (zep).

Wikipedia: Submarine sandwich
A submarine sandwich, also known as a sub, grinder, hero, hoagie, Italian sandwich, po’ boy, wedge, zep, or torpedo, is a popular Italian American sandwich that consists of an oblong roll, often of Italian or French bread, split lengthwise either into two pieces or opened in a “V” on one side, and filled with various meats, cheeses, vegetables, spices, and sauces. The sandwich has no apparent generic name, and major US cities have their own names for it. The usage of the several terms varies regionally but not in any pattern, as they have been used variously by the people and enterprises who make and sell them. The terms submarine and sub are widespread and not assignable to any certain region, though many of the localized terms are clustered in the northeast United States, where the most Italian Americans live.

11 April 1942, Daily Capital News (Jefferson City, MO), pg. 3, col. 5:
You folks might relish a victory sundae, or even go for the blackout soda advertised in the window of the South Grand boulevard drug store in St. Louis. But we’d think it over a while before putting in an order for that dive bomber sandwich.

7 March 1953, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), section 1, pg. 6, col. 2 ad:
ITALIAN BOMBER SANDWICHES
(Amato’s Restaurant—ed.)

9 July 1954, Fresno (CA) Bee, pg. 9A, col. 1 ad:
CHET’S PLACE
Home of the Bomber Sandwich

5 September 1957, Janesville (WI) Daily Gazette, pg. 4, col. 4:
For the first time in Lake Geneva, “Italian bomber” sandwiches will be introduced. Made of homemade Italian sausage and peppers grilled over an open fire, the sandwiches will be prepared and served by Tony Mancini.

4 September 1959, Oshkosh (WI) Daily Northwestern, pg. 7, col. 2 ad:
Try an Italian Bomber Sandwich
(Louie’s Pizza—ed.)

1 September 1960, Canandaigua (NY) Daily Messenger, pg. 3, col. 5 ad:
THE BOMBER SANDWICH
Salami, Ham, Provolone Cheese, Sliced Tomatoes, Shredded lettuce and Special Dressing
Served on an Italian Bread Loaf
-- A MEAL IN ITSELF—
(Arrowhead Lanes—ed.)

1964-1965 Buffalo (NY) Yellow Pages Telephone Directory, pg. 455, col. 1:
SANTA LUCIA’S RESTRNT
(...) BOMBER SANDWICHES (...)
2447 Niagara Falls Blvd.

4 August 1977, Washington (DC) Post, “Please Pass the Subs--Er, Hoagies, Er...,” pg. E10:
Submarine, he (Howard Robboy of Temple University, who wrote an American Speech article on sandwich names—ed.) found, is the most popular name for the sandwich, followed by hoagie, poor boy and grinder. In some cities they go by more than one name, such as Philadelphia, where one finds both hoagies and submarines. Other names are torpedo (Reno, San Antonio, San Diego), Italian sandwich (Louisville, Reading, Allentown), hero (New York City and Newark), rocket (Cheyenne and Cincinnati), bomber in Buffalo, mufalatta in New Orleans, Cuban sandwich in Miami, wedgie in Weschester County, N. Y. and slame in Berkeley. Norristown is the only place it is referred to as a zeppelin, and Madison the only place one finds it as a garibaldi.

27 April 1978, Christian Science Monitor, “Heroic as applied to a sandwich” by J. Lee Anderson, pg. 18:
The supersandwich, depending where in the country you happen to live, is variously known as Submarine, Torpedo. Hoagie, Poor Boy, Grinder, Rocket, Bomber, Zeppelin, and what may be most appropriate for this heroic-sized masterpiece, Hero.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, June 10, 2009 • Permalink