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Hog Island Makes It to Third Base

When I stopped by Hog Island Italian Deli recently, I had an austere meatball-parmesan hoagie (which I mean as a compliment). Nicely textured parmesan-cheese meatballs were topped with just enough of their well-balanced East-Coast-Italian-American-style marinara sauce, plus good provolone, pecorino, and a sprinkle of oregano. This sandwich even travels well: That’s how restrained they are with their saucing. And I love those rolls they use for their hoagies. Since my last post on Hog Island, I’ve also tried their Old Italian hoagie, which was highly recommended by other ‘hounds. This was a nice combo of semi-dry capicolla, sopressata, genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, and excellent housemade roasted red peppers. Personally, my sandwich philosophy is of the “less is more” school. For that reason, my personal favorite of the cold hoagies is still the paisano (which I raved about here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/310139 ).

I also found out that the owners are going to be running the kitchen of a soon-to-open branch of the sports-bar-chain Third Base. Training is currently taking place in the kitchen of Hog Island. A glance at their practice session indicated that some new fare will be on the menu at Third Base (typical bar-fare like nachos and burgers). But customers will also be able to enjoy their delicious cheesesteaks and other hoagies. Apparently, they’re even working on cheesesteak “egg rolls.” If they use good wrappers and fry them up right, they might prove to be a no-muss way to enjoy the flavors of the Philly classic.

Third Base will be located at 1717 W. 6th Street (at MoPac). Their website claims that they’re opening in winter 2006; a myspace page claims February 2007. Through an on-line search, I saw that recommendation was pending on the approval of Third Base’s late-hours permit to serve alcohol after midnight, according to the agenda for the December 12 City Council meeting. Their myspace page also indicates that they’re still hiring staff.

I'm not a fan of chains in general, but Third Base's Hog-Island connection might be good news for ‘hounds who like to enjoy their cheesesteaks in a sports-bar atmosphere. I’m more excited about the fact that Third Base may, unlike Hog Island, have a parking lot.

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  1. Does anyone know what happened to the original responses to this thread? I seem to recall the owner responded with a friendly email. Was this considered 'spin control' or something, under the TOS?

    1. I just looked at Third Base's menu online and I don't see any of Hog Island's usual menu items.

      1. MPH,Please go to Al Johns on East Oltorf and get their "Al John" signature sub.They bake the rolls from scratch,in house.I like it with cold meat and warm bread but they will serve it as you like it.It's a classic Italian Hoagie[Ham,Salami,Cheese,Vinaigrette,Onion,Lettuce and tomato].It's my favorite sub in Austin.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scrumptiouschef

          I eat there for work often... For sandwiches 'round lunchtime, I prefer Belladonna (near El Meson), very much so.

          1. re: tom in austin

            hey tom,

            just wondering where exactly belladonna was. do they have a website/menu? prices/hours? i don't post much on the boards, but do read often. always enjoy reading mph's and your posts. i actually stopped by Abarrotes Mexicanos today for bfast tacos because i was in the area. lots of options, and proved to be tasty. keep up the good work guys

            1. re: ktown378

              Thanks, ktown378!

              Belladonna is pretty good! It is on Burleson, which is accessed from Hiway 71 / Ben White on the east side of I-35. It sort of collides with Todd in a weird way.

              Here is a link of the junction in question:
              http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&h...

              Belladona is down Burleson a way, on your left, half a mile or so before El Meson. This is the closest to a website I've found:
              http://austin.citysearch.com/profile/...

              I recommend their muffaletta; it is pretty good!

              1. re: tom in austin

                Glad to hear you liked Abarrotes Mexicanos, ktown378. It's nice to get a "still good" report, especially since many places tend to go downhill fast.

                And thanks, scrumptious and tom in austin, for the tips on where to get good subs. I'll put Al John's and Belladonna on my (long) list of new places to try.

                Brian, I'm not sure what's up with the online menu at Third Base. The only thing that interested me about this sports bar was the possibility of getting Hog Island's cheesesteaks and hoagies there. Let's hope they come through.

        2. An update:

          I called Third Base today and spoke to Steve, one of the owners of Hog Island, who just happened to be there. Brian Lindaeur's observation about the online menu was right on: Cheesesteaks and Italian hoagies are NOT available at Third Base, although, of course, you can still get them at Hog Island.

          Third Base does offer the cheesesteak egg-rolls at Third Base, which could be good.

          The person whom I originally talked to at Hog Island must not have known yet what exactly would be on the menu at Third Base. I apologize if I got your hopes up. My fantasy of being able to park easily and get a hoagie to-go turns out to have just been a beautiful dream. . .

          Best,
          MPH

          6 Replies
          1. re: MPH

            I tried out Hog Island today, and chose the paisano sandwich. That was one great Italian sandwich. The roll was nice and crusty, the salami and capicolla were nicely spicy and of good quality, and the provolone was very good. The tomatoes could have been a touch riper, but at least they were not mealy and anemic. I'd encourage those who haven't tried it yet to give it a whirl. Thanks for the recs, and happy eating!

            1. re: diva360

              Okay, I am officially jumping on the Hog island bandwagon. HID gets shameless adoration on this board. Loads. I am always skeptical when people seem to think a place is so wonderful. Aside: As I mentioned in other posts, I am trying to stick to a pesco-veg. diet now. Being a veg is HARD when you love food; thus I thought the temptation of a HI cheesesteak would be too much for me, and I was positive that all their veg options were going to royally suck. So: I went there for lunch today, and I cannot believe that I acually liked their sauteed veg hoagie. I am sure those of you who are reveling in capicola heaven right now are pooh-poohing this, so you go right on ahead, but for those of us who have diet restrictions, this is an exciting thing. My sandwich took a while to prepare, but when it came out it was on their beautiful, sesame-seedy bread and brimming with beautiful thick cuts of mushroom, clear onions with browned edges, chewy, meaty artichoke ears, and peppers, topped with thinly sliced tomato, oregano and their pecorino blend. The veggies had a delicate flavor of their rosé sauce, but it wasn't a saucy mess either, and I could actually taste food, not just sauce. Initially, I thought of asking for some mayo for the sandwich, but , after a couple bites, I realized it was delicious as it was. And the bread was so tasty, with a nice chewiness. My only regret was that I ordered a side of potato salad: this was 80 cents for basically a condiment sized cup of PS which was mostly pureed potato and mustard, no real chunks of potato. Its too bad I didn't like it, because the cute boy at the counter gave me an extra cup of the stuff for free. Because I always notice things I will also say that I wish they had good kettle chips instead of Lay's and Doritos, and their chairs are kinda uncomfortable. I was wearing a dress and my legs had lines from their lawn furniture-style chairs. But, I loved my hoagie, and I look forward to trying their caprese sandwich (this was their daily special) and pasta dishes (I saw gnocchi available with or w/out chicken!) Ooh, and call me a typical american but I love that their one size of soda is, like 40 oz or something. I wonder if their cannoli is good. I left my heart in hog island.

              1. re: femmenikita

                I've now dined at Hog Island four times, which is enough to say: this place is great!

                I've yet to have a bad sandwich, and have converted my coworkers from their Subway/Quizno's/Thundercloud/Delaware ways.

                I understand they often have a gnocchi special. If they offer it next time I dine there, I'll try it; my fingers are crossed that I'll finally find great gnocchi in Austin!

                1. re: femmenikita

                  Femmenikita, you must try the caprese hoagie--if I see it's their special I get it every time. Just the right amount of soft and crunch--perfect sandwich. Also, I remember liking their cannoli-it's been over a year since I had one, when I went back to work after having a baby I would go visit her at the nearby daycare and then go buy a cannoli to drown my feelings of guilt. I am very picky about cannolis and I insist that they not be too sweet. Theirs were just right--or maybe they were just right at the time (which is why my life story is relevant to the post).

              2. re: MPH

                I ended up at Third Base last night to watch my Sox crush the Indians.

                Those cheesesteak egg-rolls are delicious. Excellent bar-grub to enjoy with pints while watching the game. They're served with pretty standard-fare ranch (okay) and blue-cheese dressing (not so good). Some hot sauce would've elevated these to higher levels, but they were so greasy tasty on their own, I was fine. I thought the buffalo chicken egg-rolls would've had that hot-sauce spice, but none to be found.

                Mini corn-dogs were merely a vehicle for mustard. I think they may be Vienna dogs, but certainly not top-shelf Vienna, and I highly doubt these were house-battered / fresh-dipped, perhaps frozen. Kinda cakey, not crisp enough on the outside for me.

                I'll probably only return for special sports occasions, but will probably eat a dozen of those cheesesteak egg-rolls.

                1. re: Nab

                  Good to know about the cheesesteak rolls. Bar food/pub grub is severely underreported here on the Austin board, imho.

                  I've been to Third Base a few times, but have only ever ordered the Frito Pie (and the chili separately)... which is pretty good.