Since I started at the News-Post almost two years ago, there is one food item I’d been searching for and had not found until now.

A classic, corned beef sandwich.

It’s surprisingly hard to come by in these parts, and I know I’m not the only one who has searched for it.

A reader once emailed me and asked if, through my food adventures, I had encountered a worthy option. At the time, sadly, I had to tell him I had not. But that all changed this past week when I dined at Hero’s, a new New York-style restaurant that serves pizza, pasta, subs and my new go-to lunch item, a corned beef sandwich.

So what’s the hype, right? You can probably get a corned beef sandwich at any basic deli, but in my opinion, there is a correct way to serve this sandwich, and Hero’s does it just right: corned beef piled high on rye bread with a slathering of spicy mustard. It’s simple and delicious.

My only gripe was that the corned beef wasn’t sliced thick enough, but that’s a personal preference. For the most part, Hero’s slices their corned beef thicker than most delis, which I appreciate.

I know not everyone is a corned beef fan. I’m just so excited to have found a satisfactory option! I had to dedicate the opening of my review to it. Hero’s has plenty of other tasty menu items, and during a week of dining there, I enjoyed every single dish I tried.

Hero’s, located off Opossumtown Pike in the Amber Meadows Shopping Center, offers carry-out and dine-in options.

For a starter, I would go for either the calamari or the Meatballs Fa Diavolo. The calamari is one of the best I’ve ever had. Perfect, bite-size ringlets of squid are fried golden brown and served with a half lemon, marinara sauce and a spicy remoulade sauce. The breading on the calamari is a little different from what you would expect at an Italian restaurant, which is what made me enjoy it so much. Instead of the typical, black-pepper flecked, crumbly breading, Hero’s uses a concoction that reminded me of the breading on a piece of fried fish or an onion ring — finer and little more uniform.

The meatballs are a very large appetizer and, honestly, could be eaten as a meal for one. They’re juicy and moist and coated with a blanket of melted provolone and a heaping amount of chunky, garlic-heavy marinara sauce. The sauce is just perfect to mop up with some bread after the meatballs.

If you’re feeling pasta, the Cheese Ravioli Alla Rosa was one of my favorites. Big, round ravioli are stuffed with ricotta and coated in a tomato cream sauce. The dish is flecked with parsley and has a few chopped tomatoes in the sauce, making it an all-star dish. It’s perfect comfort pasta and is a great meatless-pasta option.

For a protein option, go for the Chicken Brunello pasta. First of all, this dish is large enough to serve two. And did I mention that every pasta dish also comes with a small side salad? Talk about some serious leftovers.

The Chicken Brunello is a lovely pile of penne pasta cooked al dente with big pieces of juicy chicken and sautéed mushrooms, all tossed together in tomato cream sauce. The only difference I noticed between the sauce in this dish and that of the cheese ravioli was that the Chicken Brunello sauce seemed to be a little more tomato-based, the ravioli sauce more cream-based.

Regardless though, it’s a great pasta dish that isn’t greasy, doesn’t feel too heavy, and holds a lot of basic Italian flavors.

Hero’s also has a good amount of pizza options, including a fresh white pizza with garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella and basil.

The Spicy Hero’s pizza was my No. 1 pick though. Capicola, spinach and chopped jalapenos come together on this pizza in a combination that I had never seen before but thoroughly enjoyed. It does pack some heat though, so be warned.

For lunchtime, in addition to the fantastic corned beef sandwich, Hero’s offers a variety of sandwiches and subs, both hot and cold, and each comes in a six and 12-inch option.

Two of Hero’s signature cold subs are the Milan and the Eve. Both have a combination of cold cuts and cured meats with your basic sub toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onions, etc. They are also drizzled with Hero’s house dressing, and while I normally like mayonnaise on my subs, I found the house dressing to be a lovely accompaniment and didn’t feel the need to add any extra mayo.

After all of that, if you have room for dessert, there is really only one option. The Brooklyn Chocolate Cake. This is a chocolate lover’s dream and is so rich, I promise you will have to save some for the next day. Layers of moist chocolate cake and chocolate mouse are held together by fudge-style icing and peppered with chocolate chips. If there was ever a slice of cake worth dying for, this is it.

In my book, Hero’s is a welcome addition to the Frederick food scene. Not only do they offer something for everyone at practically every meal, but they do so with quality and good taste. I will be frequenting them often, mostly for some corned beef on rye but maybe every once in a while for a slice of cake, too.

Katryna Perera is the food reporter and critic for the Frederick News-Post. A longtime “food enthusiast” she has taken cooking classes both domestically and internationally and is continuously following food trends and restaurant openings. She also briefly studied food reporting while attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Katryna Perera is the food reporter and critic for the Frederick News-Post. A longtime “food enthusiast” she has taken cooking classes both domestically and internationally and is continuously following food trends and restaurant openings. She also briefly studied food reporting while attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill; on Instagram: @kjp_eats.

Follow Katryna Perera on Twitter: @katrynajill

(6) comments

MrHitshed

Another fine review. Thanks.

Rjett

I had the best corned beef sandwich yesterday. Valley Mall Hagerstown Primanti Bros. Wow! They usually put the fries IN the sandwich but I had them on the side. Very reasonable prices and service is good. VERY tall sandwiches.

dkearns

Why is a column supposedly about corned beef sandwiches illustrated with a pizza?

Whatsup

Interesting you did not include a photo of your beloved corn beef sandwich?

DMSchobel

There is a picture of the sandwich. The fourth picture.

dlroy101

After reading this review my family tried Hero's for the first time tonight. The pizza was okay, but Rocky's NY style pizza just down the street is better. Also, the one sub we had barely contained any meat. It was basically all bread. Then the meatballs, they seemed like they were made with more breadcrumbs than actual meat. I still miss the original Lintini's that used to be located there.

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