Hero is the new venture of The Grain Store founder Eleena Tan.
After spending some time in New York experiencing the food scene and searching for ideas to bring back to Australia, Eleena was keen on the 'Hero' - a gigantic sub that takes its name from the fact that you need to be a hero to finish it!
Hubby graciously described it as 'gourmet subway'. Yes, the concept is a takeaway sandwich bar - but that's where the similarities end. Hero offers amazing quality (locally sourced where possible and always preservatives & additives free) gourmet sandwiches.
We were invited to their bloggers launch event a few weeks ago and got to try a variety of Heroes:
12 hours slow cooked bbq pulled pork with apple and cabbage slaw topped with corn salsa
Certainly my favourite! The pork was so tender and well seasoned. Cabbage slaw and corn salsa complemented it well without overpowering the pork's flavour.
Slow roasted beef with onion jam, honey dijon dressing, baby spinach and crispy onions rings
Loved the roasted beef sandwich. The meat was tender and flavoursome and went really well with the tangy mustard dressing. Hubby is nuts for onions rings and approved of these ones - crispy and not too oily.
Lemon and thyme roasted chicken, lettuce, hard boiled egg, crispy bacon croutons and ceasar dressing
I can't get over how tender and juicy the chicken was. This sandwich was basically a ceasar salad in a sub. Loved the flavours and the addition of heaps to crispy lettuce to counter balance the rich dressing. I devoured this Hero in a second (ok, maybe a few seconds...)
Crispy cut polenta fingers. marinated roasted eggplant and red peppers, baby spinach and herb fetta
This was my least favourite Hero. All the fillings tasted great - polenta fingers in particular were nice and fluffy - but I though the carb on carb combination of bread and polenta was a bit too much. Would have loved the ingredients in a salad though.
No matter how full we were from so many sandwiches, hubby and I always have room for dessert! Hubby loved the chocolate filled doughnut. Really fluffy and light, I think it would be the perfect pick-me-up addition to coffee for one of those days when I need a good sugar fix to get started.
Speaking of coffee, Hero is true to NY style coffee and serves only filtered coffee. Maybe not everyone's taste, but certainly something different from what you find in every other coffee outlet in Melbourne.
We loved our meal at Hero. It's a perfect for a take away lunch that is filling and healthy. The location at RMIT and near Swanston St is strategic for the Uni crowd and Eleena assures me that there are other venues in the city already under way opening later this year.
Hero is a winner. The type of place that becomes your local take away favourite.
Thanks to the Tans for the invite!