Hero Sandwich House
We’re simple folk, here. Give us a sandwich shop with some swagger and we’ll line up for hours. Good thing one just opened up around the corner. Expect us to be dropping a LOT of lunch money at Hero Sandwich House over summer.
Hero is a cult sandwich bar out of New Zealand. Eden Terrace, Auckland, to be precise. These guys specialise in giant, foot-long subs and gnarly grilled cheese sangers—the kind that makes your eyes roll back and your tongue loll out the side of your mouth.
The store has opened in the backstreets of Cremorne, sandwiched (heh) between a couple of posh car garages straight out of Fast & The Furious. Unless you worked in one of the 73 creative agencies nearby, you’d never just stumble on it.
But that kind of suits co-founders Jackson O’Regan And Huri Neill. Hero is all about packing mucho flavour into small packages.
"The idea behind jumping from Auckland to Melbourne wasn't anything new", says Neill. "It was a goal from day one. Auckland - Melbourne - London. It was only right that MLB was on our radar for expansion, we've always come to Melbourne for inspiration and its nice to be able to bring our own unique spin back to this side of the Tasman."
The menu is built around a few stand-out sangers, plus salads and other assorted greenery (personally, we’re more interested in bread). Nick Ravlich from the Royal Mail Hotel has come on-board to help launch the new Melbourne range.
"It's been nuts," says Jackson. "We start getting busy at 12:15pm and we're completely sold out by 1:45pm. Last Friday there was a queue all down the street."
To kick things off we tried the Philly Cheesesteak, and it was magnificent—not a traditional Philly (like you might get at Sparrows). It was a little more chef’d up than that—rare sliced beef, pickled and chopped jalapenos, caramelised onion, cheddar and a little mayo. Bloody excellent for $15.
The Ralph (which has been a smash hit in Auckland) was also great—a clucky mix of Gochujang spiced chicken, pickled ginger and cucumber Raita. The bread is all Dench at the moment, and you can taste the quality. The guys are also running a variety of melts: Cheese and truffle, spicy Nduja Ruben and a Hero chicken w bacon jam. That one is, no joke, one of our Top 5 sandwiches in Melbourne.
Coffee at the moment comes from Supreme, pumped through the navy blue La Marzocco beast they’ve got perched on the counter. You can also snag some basic Phoenix organic sodas. Not a bad option now the mercury’s climbed over 20 degrees.
Hero isn’t the first sandwich bar to land in the area (Big Dog’s Deli, we still love you), but damn we’re glad to see it anyway. Melbourne can’t have too many sandwich bars. Pro tip: if you're throwing a party, these guys also do catering.
Image credit: Annika Kafcaloudis