Shayna's Place wins Best Grinder in Rhode Island award

Venda Ravioli, Italian Corner, Riccotti's Submarine Sandwiches and Tomaselli's at Rosario voted to top five

What might be known as a sub, hoagie or po'boy in other parts of the country is known as a grinder in New England, particularly in Rhode Island, where Italian delis around the state serve their own variations of the classic. According to one story, the word "grinder" came from a slang term for Italian-American shipyard workers whose job it was to grind rivets off warships. Another story credits the name to the hard rolls one used that diners would have to grind their teeth into. The traditional Italian grinder comes with layers of Italian deli meats, cheese, veggies and a vinaigrette, but there are as many variations on the grinder as there are delis serving it.

  • Dee's Deli
    Cranston

    Head to Dee's Deli in Cranston around lunchtime, and you might find a line of hungry diners around the block waiting to sink their teeth into an awesome grinder made from fresh ingredients and delicious bread. A favorite among regulars is a classic Italian on a hard roll with a bit of rabe on top.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Goglia Market
    Bristol

    The massive grinders from Goglia Market in Bristol represent excellent value for money. Order the Italian grinder with "the works" to get it with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, sweet and hot peppers, oil and vinegar.
    Photo courtesy of Paula Silva / Rhode Island Red Food Tours

  • Rosemary & Thyme
    Newport

    One of the most popular sandwich options at Rosemary & Thyme in Newport is the Jambon Sandwich, a grinder made with Black Forest ham, herbed goat cheese spread, gruyere, house pickles, hard boiled egg, shaved red onion and romaine lettuce on an artisan baguette – a modern twist on an old classic.
    Photo courtesy of Rosemary & Thyme

  • Sandwich Junction
    Warwick

    Diners will find more than 24 different sandwiches on the menu at Sandwich Junction in Warwick, including the Tutto Italiano with prosciutto, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato and balsamic vinaigrette, and the Freight Car Combo with salami, ham, pepperoni, provolone, tomato, onion, pickle, oil and oregano.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Ocean State Sandwich Company
    Providence

    The Ultimate Grinder is a best seller at Ocean State Sandwich Company in Providence. This huge sandwich comes with layers of Genoa salami, hot capicola, soppresatta and locally made mortadella, as well as sharp provolone, red onion, tomato, lettuce, seasoned oil and vinegar, and a house-made sun dried tomato and banana pepper relish on a Buono's Bakery sub roll.
    Photo courtesy of Ocean State Sandwich Company

  • Tomaselli's at Rosario
    Providence

    The Godfather Grinder, a popular menu item at Tomaselli's at Rosario in Providence, features Italian ham, capicola, pepperoni, salami, mortadella, provolone, sweet red peppers, lettuce and tomato on a torpedo roll with house Italian dressing.

    Photo courtesy of Tomaselli's at Rosario

  • Riccotti's Submarine Sandwiches
    North Providence

    This cash-only sandwich shop in North Providence is famous for its Deluxe Italian grinder, which comes overstuffed with Italian meat, cheese, veggies and a hot pepper relish on top-quality bread.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Italian Corner
    East Providence

    The excellent grinder from Italian Corner in East Providence is made with imported Italian mortadella, served on house-made Focaccia with fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes and a house-made Salsa Verde dressing.

    Photo courtesy of Italian Corner

  • Venda Ravioli
    Providence

    Venda Ravioli, one of the best gourmet Italian stores in New England, is a popular spot for a grinder while picking up some fresh pasta or ravioli to go.
    Photo courtesy of Venda Ravioli

  • Shayna's Place
    Wickford

    The classic Italian grinder at Shayna's Place in Wickford is called the Vinny's Kitchen, named after Shayna's grandmother, Vincenzia Olerio. This traditional sandwich is made with salami, prosciutto and capicola layered on a ciabatta roll with Shayna's house balsamic vinaigrette, provolone, tomatoes, red onion and banana peppers.
    Photo courtesy of Shayna's Place

10Best and Sandwich America set out to find the best grinder in the state, and to do so, 10Best editors joined forces with local Rhode Island food writers and The Food Channel to nominate 20 worthy restaurants across the state. For the past four weeks, 10Best and USA TODAY readers have been voting for their favorites, and the results are in!

The top 10 winners in the category Best Grinder in Rhode Island are as follows:

  1. Shayna's Place - Wickford
  2. Venda Ravioli - Providence
  3. Italian Corner - East Providence
  4. Riccotti’s Submarine Sandwiches - North Providence
  5. Tomaselli’s at Rosario - Providence
  6. Ocean State Sandwich Company - Providence
  7. Sandwich Junction - Warwick
  8. Rosemary & Thyme - Newport
  9. Goglia Market - Bristol
  10. Dee's Deli - Cranston

Congratulations to these winning delis and sandwich shops!

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