Some call them sandwiches. Others call them subs. Still, others call them Grinders, Po’boys or even Heroes.
Jay Cundy calls them “hoagies”, a name used to describe his built-to-order creations, made in the spirit of Philadelphia where hoagies originated. Jay’s Original Hoagies are made in this traditional way right down to the capicola, the distinctive element for a true hoagie sandwich.
“I’ll have guests visit from Philadelphia ask me if I have a ‘real’ hoagie, then I tell them that I include capicola, house-made sweet peppers, oregano and provolone, they know that I’ve got the goods.”
Originally from Florida, Jay grew up making sandwiches in this way and when he and his family moved to Oklahoma, he continued doing what he knew and loved best, making great tasting hoagie sandwiches and keeping up with his favorite sports teams.
The sandwiches are known by various names and have slightly different ingredients, all determined by country or region. Hoagies hail from the suburbs of Philadelphia and are attributed to a shipyard known as “Hog Island”. During World War 1, Italian immigrants (nicknamed ‘hoggies’) brought their lunch sandwiches made with cold cuts, spices, oil, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers for their lunches. Over the years, the name became synonymous with the sandwiches but spelled with a twist, hoagies.
Jay’s most popular hoagie is theItalian Special which features ham, genoa, salami and of course, the all-important capicola. Guests can then add their favorite vegetables, spices and condiments.
Another popular hoagie is theMonster, a ham, turkey and roast beef creation.
For those who might enjoy a lighter hoagie, try the Chicken Salad – either as a sandwich with the house-secret bread or as a salad. Jay’s chicken salad is truly special, made from his grandmother’s recipe. Just taste it and try to figure out the secret!
Other guests’ favorites include the Aimee, a hoagie with turkey and your choice of cheese. Jay’s Favorite, a hoagie with roast beef and cheese, is also a favorite with his many loyal regulars. All sandwiches come in your choice of 4”, 6”, 8” and 12” with your option to add chips and a drink to round out your meal.
Though the sandwiches are tasty, rich in meats and spices, what this diner enjoyed was the welcome I received as a first time guest. And listening to Jay’s banter with his regulars made me a bit nostalgic for the days when my six brothers would sit around and ponder the tournament brackets for March Madness. It’s always good to find a great sandwich. But when it comes with a great vibe, it’s even more of a find.