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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“They cheated in the last election. Better vote them out this time” (6/3)
“Anything I don’t like should be banned. Everything I like should be a human right…” (6/3)
“It’s that time of year where people will say, ‘It’s too hot for coffee‘“ (6/3)
“Cashier wanted. Must be 18 years old with 20 years experience” (6/3)
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Entry from June 09, 2009
Gondola Sandwich

Entry in progress—B.P.

The long list of the names of sandwiches served on long rolls includes blimpie, bomber, Cuban (medianoche), Dagwood, garibaldi, 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.

19(?) November 1957, Utica (NY) Daily Press, pg. 12A, col. 6 ad:
(Park & Shop Gourmet Delicatessen, opening November 20—ed.)

8 May 1958, Blytheville (AR) Courier News, “Hero Sandwich Ideal for Parties” by Cecily Brownstone (Associated Press Food Editor), pg. 12. cols. 3-4:
A MAMMOTH-SIZE sandwich has been getting around under a lot of aliases. Call it a hero, jawbreaker, grinder, submarine, wedgie, poor boy, hoagy, dagwood, zep, gondola, torpedo, gismo, or BIG SANDWICH. It all depends on where you live. But one thing is certain, this sandwich is made from an individual loaf of French or Italian bread—white or whole wheat—or a long loaf of the same, cut into shorter lengths.

Its filling is something out of this world—a mountain of savory foods to dream about. Ham, salami, bologna, head cheese are some of the meats that may be piled on top of each other, layer on layer. Tuna fish, smoked salmon, anchovies might be the layers of fish. Next comes cheese. Then vegetables—green peppers (raw or roasted), pimiento, raw onion, tomato, lettuce. Olives and pickles give everything extra savor. No law says you have to include all these; that’s the best part of these structures—you can choose your favorites for the filling.

30 January 1959, Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen, pg. 19, col. 1 ad:
(Meat Balls, Veal Peppers, Mushrooms, Roast Beef plus Angie’s famous Meat Sauce)
(Salami, Italian Ham, Roast Beef, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, Olive Oil & Vinegar plus Roasted Bell Peppers)

22 July 1965, Austin (MN) Daily Herald, pg. 16, col. 7 ad:
Now...10” Gondola Sandwich
A Meal By Itself...90c
(Klagge’s Ice Cream Store and Drive In—ed.)

16 October 1969, Valley News and Green SHeet (Van Nuys, CA), pg. 48A ad:
Submarine sandwich, assorted Italian cold cuts, cheese, on long Italian roll, lettuce and dressing.
(Spaghetti Pronto—ed.)

4 December 1975, Winona (MN) Daily News, pg. 4a, col. 2 ad:
(Brothers Pizza—ed.)

11 July 1984, Deer Park (TX) Broadcaster, pg. 8A, col. 1 ad:
Rent 4 movies over the weekend & get a free spaghetti w/meat sauce dinner, or an 8” Gondola sandwich (Po-Boy) or a whole 16” loaf homemade fresh bread (regular, garlic or cinnamon) from

8 February 1991, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, section 6, pg. 11, col. 3:
We did order Avanti’s Famous Gondola sandwich ($3.75). A half oder ($2.25) was 8 inches long served, the menu says, on “Avanti’s homemade bread, baked daily. Add 30 cents for Swiss cheese.” This sub did come on an on-premise baked roll that smelled good and yeasty and tasted frankly sweet. The sandwich was layered with ham, salami, iceberg lettuce and what looked like processed yellow cheese. Curiously, plastic containers of mustard and mayonnaise were sent along. This was a generous sandwich, no question about it, though we found it somewhat bland.

11 march 2007, Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, IL), pg. d1, col. 1:
“Part of it may be that certain foods remind them of home,” said Matt Hawkins, sports marketing director of the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I know if you’ve lived in the Bloomington-Normal (or Peoria) area for a while, when you come back, you have to have a Gondola (sandwich) because it reminds you of home.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, June 09, 2009 • Permalink