It’s a Philly Thing

A happy chance encounter at Stop and Shop yesterday with another pair of Philadelphia ex-pats (who noticed my Phillies cap and, it turned out, had moved here from the same neighborhood my family did) made me nostalgic enough to start a thread for Philly-inspired recommendations, news, questions, scoffing at SOMA parking complaints, whatever.

Disclosure: I’m not a native. Just lived in Center City for 20-plus years after growing up in 3, 6, 10, 12, 17, 29 and 48 territory in Delaware.

First thing I’ll share is my wife’s spotting a Primo Hoagies in Essex Green. Didn’t know it had opened there, apparently a year ago. We’ve been getting the occasional hoagie at Wawa,* but even that low bar has been slipping, so I’m looking forward to giving this Primo’s outlet a try.

* We usually wait to get our fix from Cassapulla’s when visiting Delaware.


There was a Primo's on the Rte.22 island in Springfield for a while but closed down a couple years ago. It's a burger place now, but one of the doors still says Primo Hoagies.


And there's a Jersey Mike's down the road at Eagle Rock, no?  Was not overly impressed with the one sub I had from there.

My "secret" indulgence has always been Blimpie's, but they seem to vary greatly in quality by store these days.  There's one down the block from me that I wouldn't even go in, much less eat something prepared there.  I'm not a connoisseur of heroes, hoagies and subs, but it seems with Wawa, Subway, Blimpie's and Mike's at least the # of choices is increasing.  I'm sure you'll be chiming in with a list of new places and sandwiches to try.  I'm Most often, I'm just happy to have someone ELSE making me a sandwich.

....as long as there's a sausage parmigiana sub still to be had at Roman Gourmet.


it’s called a sub for christ sake.


Train_of_Thought said:

There was a Primo's on the Rte.22 island in Springfield for a while but closed down a couple years ago.

I missed that one. Not surprising, since my list of least favorite driving experiences ranks Route 22 right up there with the South Street ramps onto the Schuylkill’s left lanes.

Juniemoon said:

And there's a Jersey Mike's down the road at Eagle Rock, no? Was not overl

There is, but those subs, like Blimpie’s or Subway’s, are a breed apart from what denizens of the Delaware Valley are used to. In a classic Philly hoagie/Delaware sub, the cold cuts and cheese are wrapped around the lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles inside a folded-over Italian roll. (There’s also a splash of oil and maybe vinegar in there; a sprinkle of salt, pepper and oregano; also some hot or sweet peppers if desired.) Something about wrapped vs. stacked makes a difference.

If memory serves, Primo hoagies are heavier on the meat and lighter on the lettuce and tomato than normal, so they taste saltier. Their seeded rolls are also crustier than others. Not that I’m complaining.


BarneyGumble said:

it’s called a sub for christ sake.

Hello, Barn. Fancy seeing you here. Your baseball season over already?


BarneyGumble said:

it’s called a sub for christ sake.

Your real name must be Baney Grumble.


What’s so special about Philly? I dislike the place very much. 


Jaytee said:

What’s so special about Philly? I dislike the place very much. 

I’m not surprised. Thanks for visiting.


I think the Philly Pretzel Factory in Livingston shut down for a while during the pandemic, but it was open in the fall when I bought a bag to take to work during the Phillies’ run to the pennant and Series. Same as the bags and boxes that we’d take to work in Philadelphia.

Before its annual August vacation, the Union Pork Store had frozen soft pretzels for sale. They were good, brushed with butter before heating, but more like the frozen Super Pretzels you can find in the supermarket.


BarneyGumble said:

it’s called a sub for christ sake.


mrincredible said:

BarneyGumble said:

it’s called a sub for christ sake.

Worthy of note: This song was composed by my pal & schoolmate Jim Steinman...     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Steinman

-s.


I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. But don't feel bad -- after all this time in Jersey, I'm still not entirely sure what a Taylor Ham is, and if it's the same or different than a pork roll.

Anyway, I'm a fan of cities generally, very much including Philly. Can't say I know it well, but I've enjoyed it every time I've been.


PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. But don't feel bad -- after all this time in Jersey, I'm still not entirely sure what a Taylor Ham is, and if it's the same or different than a pork roll.

I prefer Canadian bacon. Not to offend anyone, it just tastes better and it’s basically the same thing. 


Jaytee said:

I prefer Canadian bacon. Not to offend anyone, it just tastes better and it’s basically the same thing. 

an insult to Canada and John Taylor all at once. 


Jaytee said:

PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. But don't feel bad -- after all this time in Jersey, I'm still not entirely sure what a Taylor Ham is, and if it's the same or different than a pork roll.

I prefer Canadian bacon. Not to offend anyone, it just tastes better and it’s basically the same thing. 

not even in the same ballpark


Down at what's technically NJ, but in practice is the Pennsylvania shore this week. Plenty of Phillies and Eagles flags flying, along with a lot of collegiate flags from campuses from University City to Happy Valley.


Jaytee said:

PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. But don't feel bad -- after all this time in Jersey, I'm still not entirely sure what a Taylor Ham is, and if it's the same or different than a pork roll.

I prefer Canadian bacon. Not to offend anyone, it just tastes better and it’s basically the same thing. 

Canadian Bacon = a single pork loin, smoked and cured.

Taylor Ham & Pork Roll are both processed from multiple chunks of meat (and there is not enough ham in either to make it earn that description).


PVW said:

Down at what's technically NJ, but in practice is the Pennsylvania shore this week. Plenty of Phillies and Eagles flags flying, along with a lot of collegiate flags from campuses from University City to Happy Valley.

Which shore spot are you downa?


PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. 

All the same thing.


yahooyahoo said:

PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. 

All the same thing.

As opposed to a grinder or a wedge. 


The Old Italian hoagie at Primo’s was how we remembered it, and the Abruzzi was a good cold version of a roast pork sandwich. The prices were up there, though: $15 and $14 for the nine-inch rolls. It won’t become a habit, but here’s hoping the place sticks around for when the craving hits.


I don't understand the hatred for Philly. It's a lovely town, IMO. My only issue has been Reading Market being closed on Easter Sunday. P.S. I almost stopped reading when Rt. 22 was mentioned. 


mrincredible said:

yahooyahoo said:

PVW said:

I don't know what the difference between a hoagie, a sub, and a hero is. 

All the same thing.

As opposed to a grinder or a wedge. 

Hoagie, grinder, wedge, zeppelin, sub, hero... etc.  All the same thing.

The names are a matter of where you grew up.


jfinnegan said:

I don't understand the hatred for Philly. It's a lovely town, IMO. My only issue has been Reading Market being closed on Easter Sunday. P.S. I almost stopped reading when Rt. 22 was mentioned.

The market used to be closed every Sunday, aside from the diner, until maybe the mid-1990s. Without the Amish vendors, it still wasn’t (isn’t?) quite the same on Sundays.

Saturday mornings were our go-to time every week. Always our favorite place in Philly.


DaveSchmidt said:

PVW said:

Down at what's technically NJ, but in practice is the Pennsylvania shore this week. Plenty of Phillies and Eagles flags flying, along with a lot of collegiate flags from campuses from University City to Happy Valley.

Which shore spot are you downa?

OC. We used to go a bit farther south -- Stone Harbor -- but OC has the boardwalk, which the kids are now old enough to enjoy. I'll actually be seeing Philly itself shortly; doing an airport run for an out-of-state visitor who joined us for a bit and Philly is the closest airport (AC airport doesn't seem to have as many flights as it used to).


DaveSchmidt said:

The market used to be closed every Sunday, aside from the diner, until maybe the mid-1990s. Without the Amish vendors, it still wasn’t (isn’t?) quite the same on Sundays.

Saturday mornings were our go-to time every week. Always our favorite place in Philly.

I like going for the pancakes and then walking for a while to burn them off. I was hoping my niece would choose a school close to Philly, but she ended up at Lehigh University. 


PVW said:

OC. We used to go a bit farther south -- Stone Harbor -- but OC has the boardwalk, which the kids are now old enough to enjoy.

My parents and a group of their close friends used to spend a weekend in Stone Harbor every summer. Except it turns out it was Avalon. Right on the line, but the couple who rented the house thought Stone Harbor sounded better. Because we all know what a dump Avalon is.

I haven’t been to Ocean City since I was 5 or 6 and got only about 10 feet into a boardwalk haunted house before running back out.


jfinnegan said:

I like going for the pancakes and then walking for a while to burn them off. I was hoping my niece would choose a school close to Philly, but she ended up at Lehigh University.

I hear the Emmaus Farmers Market calling you. No pancakes that I know of, though.


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