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Ambler Girl...what's the deal with Costa Deli?

Den Jan 15, 2008 02:03 PM

Occaisionally, I stop into Costa Deli for a take out breakfast sandwich or a hoagie but I never see anyone in the there except for the guy cooking or the other guy sweeping the floors. It really is a very old style place and unusual. I always think about taking it over and revitalizing it. How does it stay afloat?

  1. x
    xtian Jun 24, 2009 07:52 AM

    The thing about Costa's is that HAS to be the SLOWEST place on the planet. Yes, great sandwiches, milshakes, cheesesteaks... but it requires a lot of patience for the pace and inhospitable attitude behind the counter.
    But then, in this part of the country we do tend to like a little attitude with our cheesesteaks... :)
    As Redhead suggests, call ahead.

    4 Replies
    1. re: xtian
      bucksguy14 Jun 24, 2009 08:29 AM

      Is there a park close by that, if you called in an order, you'd be able to take the food and eat it before it was cold?

      1. re: bucksguy14
        j
        Jen516 Jun 24, 2009 07:35 PM

        Robbins Park is a very short distance from Costas. You could totally go there and eat! (May have to drive but it's like 2 min away)

        1. re: Jen516
          d
          Displaced California Foodie Jun 25, 2009 05:13 PM

          I would definitely call ahead-and don't look around or observe any of the employees if you need to wait.
          If you do look around, you'll walk out without your food. BLEEEECH.

          1. re: Displaced California Foodie
            r
            Red Head Jun 25, 2009 06:59 PM

            You're so right. Many of the employees look like they could have been extras in the movie "Deliverance" but if you can get passed appearances they make a great steak sandwich.

    2. bucksguy14 May 29, 2009 07:20 PM

      I remember eating at Costa when I worked in Spring House. Decent cheesesteaks and milk shakes. I recall some undercurrent of bickering among the staff. Haven't been there in a few years.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bucksguy14
        r
        Red Head May 30, 2009 10:06 AM

        Costa's really does have the best cheesesteaks in the area. The trick is to call ahead to order them and just go in to pay and pick them up. It's not a place to hang around in; it's just not that appetizing inside. It's been around since the 50's and some of the groceries on the shelves seem to have been there since opening day. It's like walking into a time machine. It doesn't seem to be busy and yet any time I've ordered sandwiches it takes about 1/2 hour for them to be ready and there's always someone else picking up food. Give it a try; it is worth a shot.

        1. re: Red Head
          a
          ambler_zach Jun 24, 2009 06:49 AM

          I live about 1/8 mile from Costas. If its your first time there you prob won't get a good impression. The locals go there for the best milkshakes around. They use Bryer's ice cream.

          1. re: ambler_zach
            bucksguy14 Jun 24, 2009 07:40 AM

            Wow, my mother may return from the grave - one of her all time favorites - B&W shake made with Breyer's! Seriously, I still recall being about 6-7 years old and going to Berry's on Jackson St. in South Philly with my mother and getting my first cheese steak and B&W shake. It's been while since I was in Costas. This might be the push I need to get back there.

      2. k
        kbryan12 May 29, 2009 09:31 AM

        Costas has the best cheese steaks and hogies in the area. It is a family run place since the 1950's. You should give it a try...

        1 Reply
        1. re: kbryan12
          watercress May 29, 2009 05:06 PM

          I'm glad to see this thread. I've been wondering about that place, trying to get up the courage to try it. Hard to tell from the outside if it's good or horrid. Seems worth a shot.

        2. AmblerGirl Jan 15, 2008 02:44 PM

          Apparantly the building was a historic inn/tavern type place way back when and was a local landmark. It is a really cool old building if you look at some of the original pictures of Ambler (yes, I am a total nerd and look at those types of things). It was converted to the nasty building that it is in the 50s/60s, I'm sure it has good bones that are just hiddden. Its funny, I live in walking distance from the place and have never eaten there (and I eat everywhere in the area). It just looks gross and never appealed to me. Some people told me they have good sandwiches, other people have told me that the owner (or maybe the owner's son) is so rude and with such a trashy mouth that they stay away. I'm sure it a place that has just been in their family for years.

          I say...... please revitalize it, it could be so cool. It has so much potential. And we really need a cool bakery, a cafe, a tapas bar (ok, maybe I'm stretching it).

          1 Reply
          1. re: AmblerGirl
            k
            KD_JW_86 Jun 28, 2009 06:43 PM

            I lived in Ambler for years - wouldn't have thought of tying Costa's until someone bought a chicken cheese steak from there and let me try some...By far Costa's has THE BEST cheese steaks in the area - we became weekly regulars- get over the ambiance of the place and just order! We're picking up a couple this week for picnic dinner before the Wissahickon Fireworks...

            Also want to comment that we have never had rude service in there - having been regulars - they were ALWAYS super friendly and chatty with us. It's all family there.

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