Re: Connecticut grinders
Well, chicken parm typically means cutlets + sauce, peppers, and cheese; “chicken cutlet” here is a more neutral term that can mean either chicken parm or traditional sandwich toppings like mayo, lettuce, cheese, tomato, etc. At least, that’s how I’ve seen people use the term.
The beef cutlet is just like the chicken cutlet, only with beef. Tenderized, flattened filets that are breaded, fried, and stacked 3-4 high. I’d actually had something similar before, when I lived in Kansas City: the “Italian Steak Sandwich” (we had a [link src=http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Italian-Steak-Sandwiches-m9894-p4.aspx]thread about it), although the “breaded steak sandwich” from Chicago is maybe more famous. But whereas the CT style (and maybe elsewhere in New England? not sure) is to have stacks of cutlets, the sandwiches I had in KC all just had a single thick one.
“Combination” is usually just another way of saying “Italian combo” which means a few different cured Italian meats (salami, capicola, prosciuttini, etc.) plus cheese, lettuce, tomato, peppers, oil and vinegar, etc. Maybe they’d let you customize it differently, though.
As for the “no exceptions” note… the meatball and sausage grinders have warm fillings, but the grinders themselves aren’t toasted. The only way to get the people at Franklin to do that is if you add something they will toast, such as eggplant. So you could get a toasted eggplant and meatball grinder, but sausage and meatball, no-go. In all of CT, they’re the only grinder shop I’ve ever seen with such a restriction, and I’m wondering if it’s just due to sheer volume of customers (between Franklin, Maple, and Corner, they seem to have the most traffic). It’s still annoying though because anyplace else will toast any type of grinder you want.