The Hero Factory

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114 W. Adams Street, Phoenix
602-254-6763

Nicole Dorio, an ex-New Yorker with many years in the deli business, owns and operates this small, neat-as-a-pin shop downtown, specializing in heroes of every make and model. With help from fiancee Jay Friedman, the two of them dish out plenty of sassy commentary along with their freshly made salads, sandwiches and wraps. Served on substantial, sesame-speckled rolls, the heroes are gigantic. In fact, unless you're a big eater, one makes two meals, especially with sides involved. Nicole and Jay load these monsters with Boars Head meats and cheeses, creating both classic and crazy combinations. It's pretty hard to beat the Manhattan -- hot roast beef topped with mozzarella that melts right into the toasted garlic bread. The Factory Special is another classic, combining salami, cappicola, pepperoni and provolone with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, Italian seasonings, oil and vinegar. And while the Reuben hero may seem odd at first (given that the bread hasn't been grilled) it's so juicy and delicious you'll forgive the minor difference. Order a side of macaroni salad, grab a Dr. Brown's soda from the refrigerated case and you're set. Breakfast and lunch M-F. $