Eating history at Manganaro’s Hero Boy in New York

When finding a restaurant in New York, it’s pretty easy to find crowded, quirky themed restaurants with high-priced menus geared toured tourists. It’s actually easy to dine with aliens, ninjas, monsters, drag queens, and just about anyone or anything else when you’re in the Big Apple. But what about when you’re looking for somewhere unique to dine that is both historical and can give you a local experience?

Manganaro’s Hero Boy in Hell’s Kitchen is the perfect budget-friendly place. The eatery has been around for more than 50 years and began as a family tradition. In 1956 a man named James Dell’Orto, who ran Manganaro’s with his mother Nina, came up with the brilliant idea to create a sandwich that could feed the 30-40 people. It was the birth of the Six Foot Hero Boy.

I stopped in Manganaro’s for dinner the other night and order the Grilled Chicken Parmigiana hero with homemade potato chips. Small subs run from $6.50-$7.75, while a large sub will give you more meat and can be purchased for $8.50-$12.00. Some of the other sub choices include Meatball Parmigiana, Grilled Vegetables and Mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, and the Mile High Special, the meatiest of them all with Prosciutto di Parma, Genoa salami, mortadella, sopresata, cooked salami, provolone, marinated peppers, lettuce, tomato, extra virgin olive oil, and imported red wine or balsamic vinegar.

While you should not come here if you’re looking for an Italian restaurant with overly pleasant waiters, crowds of people, and Tuscan-inspired music and decorations, you should come here if you want to grab a bite by yourself or with a few friends and enjoy a delicious sub made by the people who invented the 6-foot Italian-style sub.

Located at 488 Ninth Avenue near 38th.