Saturday, March 14th, 2009

30 Rock Sandwiches Solved

Hello. Caroline here.

Last year, there was an episode of 30 Rock that got our mouths watering. It was titled “Sandwich Day” and the plot centered around the Teamsters bringing the most tantalizingly delicious subs, hoagies, grinders, heros, what-have-you, to the office, sending the writers’, actors’ and crew’s heads into a flavor-induced tailspin. In the episode’s climactic final scene, Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon chooses to devour the entire sandwich at an airport security checkpoint, rather than part with it and it’s special gravy. Watching it, you got the sense that this scenario was based on reality. The details were too perfect: Teamsters, secret outer-borough location (the Teamsters would not tell anyone where the sandwich was from, and only brought them to the office once a year) and, the dead giveaway: a dipping sauce so good you want to drink it.

We made it our mission to find out where this place was and eat all of their sandwiches.

If you troll around the interweb, you’ll read a lot of people theorizing that it’s Defonte’s in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which now has a location on Third Avenue in Manhattan. But in a happy and one might say, karmic, coincidence, I happen to have a very good friend who’s husband works on the set of 30 Rock. And because we don’t want to put the affable husband in the middle of some sort of angry Teamster sandwich, we have agreed to a veil of confidentiality, and my friend will henceforth be known as M and her husband as, The Husband.

Soon after seeing the 30 Rock episode in question, I contacted M and asked her if The Husband knew anything about this sandwich, whether it was in fact something that was shared with the cast and crew, and if so, had he tasted it and its accompanying sauce. At first, The Husband was cagey in response to our requests

18 Responses to 30 Rock Sandwiches Solved

  1. Vivian says:


    Dude. I am so there.

    Your (North) Jersey girl

  2. rsmiller510 says:

    I could taste that sandwich. I so want one, but I’m in Massachusetts. If I had read this last weekend when I was in New York, you better believe I would have taken the Path there on Sat afternoon to try one. What a great post.

    Ron Miller
    by Ron Miller blog

  3. YaYa says:

    Thank you! I loved that episode of 30 Rock, congratulations on a solid piece of research!

  4. Nick says:

    Yes! Thanks for the info. I’m moving back to Hoboken in a few months, can’t wait to try this place out. I lived in Hobo for 5 years though and never heard of Fiore’s, can it really beat Vito’s deli and their mozz?? That was the number one deli according to everyone I knew…

  5. Nick says:

    Oh my, I just checked into it further. Most reviews on yelp mark Fiore’s as superior to Vito’s. I also realized that our new place is directly in the middle between Vito’s and Fiore’s, about 4 blocks from each. The battle begins. Thanks for revealing this info, true Italian subs are my most missed food out here in California.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE FIORES!!!!! take this article down the lines are long enough.

  7. Daniel Acker says:

    You lived in Hoboken for 5 years and you never heard of Fiore’s What? I’m living in Pennsyvania and I dream about Fiore’s I miss it so much!! Hey anybody else missing Fiore’s? Google “Fiore’s” and get your fix….NOW!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I go here as often as possible – the Virigina Ham with Honey Mustard Gravy on Monday is awesome too. Not as good as the Roast Beef – but NOTHING in the world is as good as that sandwich.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Please take this down- Really the lines are already too long and they run out of food by 2pm. It is one of the perks of living here and not NYC, good food and no tourists!

  10. kat says:

    If you ever find yourself on Long Island, TJ’s Hero Shop in Mastic Beach does roast beef and gravy on a garlic toasted hero roll, with melted mozzarella. The place is a block away from my high school, and I probably ate one of these at least 3 times a week during my senior year. It is my favorite sandwich ever, and now that I live 1000 miles away, I long for it. TJ’s is the first stop I make whenever I’m home for a visit, just to have this sandwich. Last time I went for a visit, my husband made me bring back to WI for him in my carry-on.

  11. Caroline and Leslie says:

    thanks Kat for the TJ Hero recommendation–sounds like a good field trip this summer!
    and sorry for the fans of Fiore’s who are freaking over the lines–maybe they should establish a separate entrance for the newbies and tourists so you don’t have to wait so long?

  12. Brenda Campbell says:

    well… now I know where to go for a great sandwich when I am in the area. I love 30 Rock and had always wondered, and then tried to watch the show really fast to see what was in that sandwich, then gave up because I couldn’t see anything. Thanks for the story, it was awesome!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I second TJ's hero's shop recommendation. I would travel across the continental u.s to get one of those heros. They are fresh and wonderful. I've been going there for 7 years at least 1x a week, often more..and they have NEVER made a mistake on my order…ever! I've been to so many places including Fiore's, which is also damn good..but I still love my TJs. I will never move off Long Island, and they are the ONLY reason why!!! Every sandwich is good!

  14. Mike says:

    Personally, I like my Fiore's roast beef and mutz with their roasted red peppers. In my opinion, their marinated red peppers are some of the best I've had. But be warned – you must love garlic to enjoy the peppers.

  15. Robert says:

    to get gravy to go, bring your own container (plastic soup container) so you can dip your sandwich in this most excellent gravy. roast beef thursday and friday, virginia backed ham monday, corn beef tuesday, sausage wednesday and tuna friday.

  16. Anonymous says:

    lines are too long! take down plz.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Oh my goodness!! I have never laughed so hard in my life. Thank you so much for this post! Fortunately we are living right next to Hoboken for a couple weeks. We are going to have to head over.

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