When you see that 6-foot hero at a family party, from which side to you choose?
The Italian side or the American?
“I like to sit at the 50-yard line and keep my options open,” said John Murray, III, owner of The Hero Joint, with locations in Patchogue and Bay Shore.
OK, so we’re assuming most people go for both.
So let’s try this:
You’re stranded on a desert island and you get to choose one for the rest of your life.
What’s it going to be? Italian or American? (Your can vote in our poll below.)
For Murray, he gave the question much thought, as he had the pleasure of sitting in front of both versions of the iconic hero: The Hero Joint’s Italian (The Bro) and American (The Meathead) in Bay Shore.
“Well, considering I would be on an island without refrigeration, I think I would go for the Italian, with the cured meats,” he said with a laugh. “But this is an epic battle.”
In fact, he added, the majority of customers go for The Bro, but they’re both his babies.
At The Hero Joint, all the food is doted over.
What makes his super-stuffed sandwiches better than the competition?
“It’s better from the bread up and packed with extra thin, premium meats. Our roast beef is red and beautiful,” Murray said. “One thing we also don’t do is stack a pile of meat and then add the toppings. The sandwiches are layered and wrapped tightly, this way all those toppings don’t spill out on you while you’re driving.
That method also ensures a perfect bite every time.
“It’s not like one bite is meat, and the next is just the lettuce, tomato, and peppers,” he said. “Or you pull a brick of meat off your sandwich with one bite, like a paperweight.”
The sandwiches are also customizable.
“We start with meat with cheese and then you pick your toppings,” Murray said.
Here are descriptions of The Bro and The Meathead, from The Hero Joint’s online menu:
Murray orders his Bro with LOVE (oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano), lettuce and cherry peppers —instead of the more traditional roasted red peppers.
“Because I like a little spice,” he said.