Kaiser rolls here in the Chicago area are far from what I am remembering but that might be what they are called out east,. Here kaisers generally have a soft crust - including the Gonella and Turano's Gordeaux suggested although I'll give them another try.
+1 to The Professor - the search does continue. I shop mostly the independent groceries including the ethnic ones. Don't have a good deli close by at all which is where I have the most hope of finding them.
As a transplanted New Yorker there a few things I miss often. One of them is the hard rolls. I don't know the name of the style so that makes them hard to search out.
They have a fine white interior and a very crispy exterior. They are ... or at least were ... the standard hard roll on Long Island. The closest I've found is the Telera rolls at Ultra foods but that is not very close at all. These are misnamed anyway .since, I think, Telera are supposed to be soft all through.
Does anyone know a local source or at least the name of the style for those rolls?