Hoagie, grinder, Sub, Hero, Po'boy...

Are these all basically the same sandwich with different regional names, or are there differences that are mostly agreed upon?

To me, a Submarine or Sub sandwich was always Italian Cold cuts, but others make them with everything. The condiment was oil & vinegar or some such, never mayo or mustard.

Po’ Boy seems to be made with a hot meat in the center?

Grinder is not a term much used out here in CA, but I gather they are usually hot?

A New Orleans po’boy is usually seafood, but the student union cafe that worked in back in the dark ages used cold cuts. Otherwise, they’re pretty much the same thing with regional names for them.

Generally we cal the Subs. In North Jersey a Ham, Salami and Provolone sub is often called a “Number 1” because the delis list them by number and that one is almost always first.

Speaking only for myself -

Hoagie, grinder, hero, sub: different names for the same thing. The term I use and hear most often is “sub.” It’s any sandwich on a long roll, any filling, hot or cold.

It’s my understanding “hoagie” is Philadelphia area term, “grinder” is a New England term, and “hero” is a New York term.

Po’ Boy: has to be French bread, and the filling is usually, but not always, fried seafood (e.g. fried oysters, shrimp, clams).

New Orleans native chiming in:

Interestingly, this particular use of “po boy” is not used in New Orleans itself. Here in the New Orleans area, a po boy is any French bread sandwich – ham, roast beef, fried shrimp, whatever you like. I’d even say that the fried seafood po boys, locall, are somewhat derivative – say “po boy” here, and the default thought for a local is more often than not “roast beef”.

Since other areas have their own names for “long sandwiches”, though, there really was never a need for other parts of the country to adopt the general term “po boy”. However, since a “fried seafood sandwich” WAS kind of an imported delicacy in much of the U.S., it made sense for others to simply call a “fried seafood sandwich” a “po boy”, or qualify it as a “New Orleans po boy”.

A hoagie has a partially-sliced bun, like a hot dog bun. A sub has a completely sliced bun, with one piece on bottom and one on top. Fillings are more or less the same for both.

They were originally made with roast beef, which is still considered the default amongst a lot of the locals in Louisiana
ETA: Missed bordelond’s post.

Sub is the name I always heard (Ohio, Florida, California)

Po’ boy was seafood (except tuna)

I’ve never heard grinder, hero or hoagie actually used by anyone in the South. Sub sandwich is commonly used. I always associate a Po 'boy with fried shrimp or catfish.

Ignorance fought. The only ones I had there were shrimp or oyster, but perhaps that’s a tourist thing.

Not a tourist thing, but tourists are more likely to bypass roast beef for the fresh seafood they may or may not eat as often at home. That may be why you see more seafood options in the quarter. I love fried oyster Po’ Boys.

In Pittsburgh, Sub and Hoagie are the most used, and mean the same thing. I understand that Grinder and Hero are also interchangeable, but don’t think I’ve ever heard a Pittsburgher use either term.

I had no idea what a Po’ Boy was, other than a sandwich of some sort. I’ve rarely been down South and I would have guessed that it was a pork sandwich served on a Kaiser or similar bun. I’ve seen them advertised on restaurant signs but never knew exactly what they were.

Maybe a New York thing, I’ve always called it a Wedge.

Sub in upstate NY, hero in NYC/NJ area. Hoagie is a type of roll used for said sandwiches. Never hear grinder or po’boy.

I think they’re regional names for basically the same thing—throw whatever you’ve got on some good bread. That’s what elevates them from a sammich.

Growing up in southern oregon, I heard and used these terms (except for po boy which I never heard until I moved to Houston).

In my mind, they were distinguished the following ways:

Submarine Sandwich - long and shaped like a submarine with meat and cheese toppings. May also include tomato, onion, and other condiments. Synonymous with Hero.

Grinder - Lots of veggies including shredded lettuce (the shredded lettuce is basically a requirement for it to be a grinder), as well as meat and cheese and whatever. Sub shaped.

Hoagie - Spiced meats, may be toasted/have melted cheese. Minimal other condiments, if any at all. Sub shaped as well.

In Maine we call such sandwiches Italians, short for Italian sandwiches, I suppose. A regular Italian would have ham, salami, cheese, onions, peppers, oil, salt and pepper on a long white roll. Occasionally black olives and/or tomatoes would appear. You can also order a tuna Italian, a turkey Italian, etc. If you go to Maine and order an Italian, nobody is going to be confused, except perhaps the girl working the counter at Subway.

The small city in which I grew up (Bangor) was home to a sandwich shop called The Coffee Pot. It had nothing to do with coffee, but was a hole-in-the-wall institution of longstanding whose deli meat/cheese/veggie sandwich was called a Coffee Pot and god forbid you should call it anything else. The brand was so loved and identifiable that, when the owner died, two separate claimants went to court over who could use the name Coffee Pot for their derivative sandwiches. I believe one now uses **Coffee Pot **and the other (loser) uses The Original You-Know-What.

I miss that place. Their meatball sandwich was sublime.

I’m on a similar wavelength as you… I formed those definitions of sandwiches from living in Maryland and New Jersey for significant periods.

I know people from Vermont that use the grinder term, but the hoagie term being a Philly thing is a bit hazy to me.

I can’t recall if Philadelphians use the term hoagie for cheesesteaks, the Philly Cheesesteak is a sacred thing for those guys.

If it ever existed, this definition has been pretty much blown out of the language by Subway, who of course customarily serve their subs on partially sliced buns.

They do now, but they used to be famous for their peculiar wedge-shaped cut.