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More about Hoagies

Come on guys, saying WAWA has a good hoagie is just like saying they have good pretzels. Both are less than mediocre. And another thing, does anyone else hate the Sarcone's rolls with the sesames? And I love sesames. To me a hoagie is all about the combination of all the ingredients combined. There should be nothing overwhelming. When eating a hoagie on a Sarcones roll you are simply overwhelmed with the bread! The best hoagies around are of course made by using a great roll like Conshocken Bakery, cutting fresh produce, slicing the meats SUPER THIN (no cooked salami or water added meats) and by using extra virgin olive oil and fresh seasonings. Can't go wrong with this recipe.

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  1. They make a great Italian hoagie at Salumeria in Reading Terminal. I can't recall if they had seeds on the bread but I think not. What's great is the sauce that they put on the bread. Of course the meats and cheese are great too. It was the best Italian hoagie I have had in recent memory.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rocknroll52

      What kinda sauce is it? Garlicky? Oily? I'll have to give it a try.

      1. re: BBCaprice

        kind of like an Italian dressing but creamier

        1. re: rocknroll52

          It MAKES it. There's def. balsamic going on. And something to make it creamy. Herbs and garlic are minimal.

          1. re: hollyd

            Agreed- the sauce at Salumeria make it one of my favorite Italian hoagies in the city. I ask them to go easy on it, though, cause they'll douse the hoagie if you let them.
            No seeds on the roll, either.

    2. oh, i respectfully disagree!!! to me, there are few greater satisfactions in life than waking up early enough to snag a loaf before they are sold out.

      when i used to work way out yonder (chesterbrook) i could be found taking some hurried lunch breaks to drive the 20 minutes out to the intersection of rtes 252 and 3, where a cut above deli made some spectacular hoagies on above-mentioned bread. i agree the sesames impart a very strong flavor so i kept my hoagie (not being a native philadelphian i just had to correct myself from using "sub"!) very simple, with just tomato, fresh moz, olive oil, salt and pepper. quite possibly the most satisfying sandwich-type thing i have ever eaten, ever-so-slightly edging out the fu wah tofu hoagie. i found by not adding too many things there's a really nice, satisfying balance. tried roasted red peppers once and it was a mistake; they overwhelmed it. if anyone is close to this place, a cut above deli, i really suggest you check it out. and do so early, as the lunch lines can get loooong. take out only. great ingredients all around (though i don't eat the meats, but my former co-worker/food adventurer swore by them).

      just curious (cause i'm always on the lookout for new breads), what are your favorite hoagie rolls? the only ones i've found i love are sarcone's and whatever govinda's/john's roast pork use (which someone did post here recently, i'm just not recalling the name).

      9 Replies
      1. re: rabidog

        Don't EVER use the word "Sub" in Philly. Anyway, I see what you mean about the simple tomato and fresh mozz hoagie. That's a different animal. Very pleasing only on a great roll though. I agree that makes a good hoagie on a Sarcone's roll.

        For me I really like the Conshy roll. A lot of places use them. They are great when you re-toast them.

        1. re: BBCaprice

          heehee, i know, i've been schooled on this a few times when i first moved here, but it slips out now and again.

          what places use the conshy roll? any in the city? where IS the conshy bakery, anyway? i lived in that area for a short time when i first moved to the area, and it's not ringing a bell.

          yes - carangi's - that's the one. i still need to make it down there. excellent, excellent bread. as a side note, has anyone had the mock-chicken cheesesteak at govindas? it is pretty heavenly. i crave them in nasty cold wet weather like this for some reason. warms the soul!

          1. re: rabidog

            The Conshy Italian Bakery is on a non-descript block of Jones street between Hector and Spring Mill. It's adjacent to the restaurant formerly known as Conshy Ribhouse.

        2. re: rabidog

          I believe that John's uses Carangi's bread. If you want a very good hoagie on that bread, go to Lombardi's on Ritner St. between 12th and 13th Sts. They also use Carangi.


          Just an aside about Carangi's...not only do they have very good bread, they also make very good pizza and stromboli.

          1. re: Philly Ray

            [aside] Are they the ones that make the square tomato pie? I've had some fabulous pizza from the Conshy area, but I've never been to the place where it comes from.

            1. re: Mawrter

              They make all types of square pizza. Some with cheese and sauce, some with just tomato sauce, some white with garlic. They are not in Conshy though, they are in South Philly but just about every bread bakery in South Philly makes that type of pizza.

              1. re: Philly Ray

                There is a particular place in Conshy that I meant, but unhelpfully, I can't remember the name. Thanks anyway!

                  1. re: Den

                    Uh... maybe? That part of my brain was apparently sacrificed to age or drink. Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

        3. I've had a fair number of Wawa hoagies.
          I'd grade them all somewhere in the 'B' range; a few B minuses, a few B plusses; No As, but even more importantly, no Cs.
          There are a lot more wawas than primos!
          I look at it kind of like I used to look at starbucks espresso, before I had to stop drinking caffeine. If I'm in center city, or a neighborhood I know and/or trust, not even going to think about it. But a starbucks on the turnpike is going to beat the coffee at the truck stop. Out in the burbs, a wawa's a good thing to see. If I'm way out of my normal stomping grounds, I might trust a wawa hoagie over an iffy-looking place in a strip mall.

          never had the sarcones (gasp!).
          love the primos. I would agree that a wawa hoagie isn't in the same league.

          i like the salumeria hoagie a lot. sometimes feel like i'm being a bad philadelphian when i eat one, though, doesn't seem like a real philly hoagie.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Loblaw

            I have got to get to Salumeria now. Does anyone like Phil & Jims in Parkside, near Chester?

            1. re: BBCaprice

              I never had their hoagies, but used to go for cheesesteaks on a regular basis about 10 years ago. Great bread.

          2. For anyone to claim that a Wawa hoagie "is good" is a mighty good indication that the person needs to be exposed to real hoagie quality and substance. In a pinch, a hungry tummy can be satisfied with just about anything but when it comes to experiencing truly good food, people should avoid "quickies".

            8 Replies
            1. re: Enjoy Good Food

              Would it suffice to say that the Wawa hoagie is a good "sandwich"?

              1. re: jessicheese

                Well, I think the point is that most people on CH don't really think it's good. It's better than being hungry.

                1. re: Mawrter

                  When I lived in Cleveland for 5 years, a Wawa hoagie was a glorious thing.

                  1. re: barryg

                    you poor soul. I'm sitting here eating a turkey hoagie from Salumeria at Reading Terminal Market. It's unreal.

                      1. re: crazyspice

                        sorry, Spice. Couldn't help myself. For the record, I finished it watching the Phillies come back...Good Times!

                    1. re: barryg

                      Yikes! I bet i"d be pretty damn glad to get my mitts on a Wawa hoagie if I were in Ohio, too!

              2. what do you guys like on your hoagies? What's the traditional Philly hoagie?
                I like the fried tomato and bacon hoagie from Chickies. I also love a chicken salad hoagie from Salumeria or tuna. But is it somehow NOT a hoagie because there are no deli meats?

                11 Replies
                1. re: hollyd

                  Nah! Chicken and Tuna salad do count. I love the Chicken Salad hoagie at the Country Club Diner. My fav. is the Turkey Hoagie from Silvios in Hatboro. They make their own rolls, not as good as Sarcone's but excellent nonetheless.

                  1. re: hollyd

                    In The Land of Anything Goes, a person can concoct any version of hoagie that they want. That element of creativity takes me back about 35 years ago to Hymie's in Kensington. They sold the best Jewish hoagie known to mankind: corned beef, pastrami, pickles and I can't recall what else but it was to die for ..... and totally different than any "hoagie" I've seen or eaten since.

                    1. re: hollyd

                      Ever try the veggie hoagie at Chickies? Get the house fried hot peppers and double sharp provolone and worth to eat sitting at curb.

                          1. re: Bigley9

                            Sauteed in two or three inches of oil, call them whatever you wish

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              I was just trying to figure how different they may be from the ones elsewhere

                              1. re: Bigley9

                                Again, house sauteed, as opposed to from a jar/can/plastic bag/shipper. IMHO the peppers make the sandwich there. Same thing at DiCostanza's on Rte 422 off Rte 95 at Delaware border area

                        1. re: hollyd

                          Honestly, to me, that's not a hoagie as much as a pleasant perversion. It's a large sandwich with attitude. But... not really a hoagie. To me a hoagie is Italian-American-esque deli meats and cheeses and OIL, not mayonnaise. After that, it's up to the individual whether you want onion, lettuce, tomato, peppers (hot/sweet)... etc.

                          Me, I like a special Italian (higher-end deli meats, sometimes imported from Italy) with oil, lettuce, tomato, and hot and sweet.

                          I'm not supposed to be eating any type of bread now (sniff) but I'd be willing to have a go at hoagie insides by themselves or maybe wrapped in a lettuce leaf. It's definitely not a hoagie but it's the best I can do now and you're all making me crave one! And don't even get me started on the stromboli I can't have!

                          1. re: Mawrter

                            Agree. The original hoagie is what shipyard workers ate for lunch on Hogg Island. It was made with a huge roll, bodacious quantities of Italian meats and cheese and top quality olive oil. The salad ingredients came later.

                            I like your version precisely, but with some sweet onion and lots of oregano.

                            Mawrter, it sounds like you have a touch of the ol' Celiac. I contacted my friends at Conshohocken Italian Bakery to see if they might work on a gluten free roll. I'll let you know what they say.

                            1. re: Chefpaulo

                              OMG, ChefP, I worship thee. GF baked goods from really good bakers... I salivate! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! If they come up with anything I'll tell everyone I know who's GF. I was never sensitive to any of it until I went off gluten and then came back to it. Now: kapow! I'm shopping around and experimenting in the kitchen but I do miss my proper wheaty carbs, especially anything made with semolina.
                              Back to the hoagies. I'm in favor of the oregano, too. And whatever that mix of "Italian spices" is that they shake on at good hoagie places. I'm guessing oregano, marjoram, basil, hot pepper maybe?

                        2. I think Wawa makes a serviceable hoagie not to mention cheap and convenient. Plenty of toppings to choose when you order using the nifty sandwich computer, and the meat and cheese are fresh if not gourmet, bread is nothing fancy but I don't go in for those heavy seeded rolls. And for those who don't like to supersize, the shorti is a great little sandwich you don't have to feel guilty about eating. With hoagies for $2.99 during the hoagie fest, you can believe they will sell a lot of them. I feel that a Wawa hoagie is part of the Philadelphia experience, even if it may not be the most gourmet sandwich.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: rocknroll52

                            RnR, c'mon, you're yanking our chain...

                            Wawa is a convenience store with emphasis on convenience. At $3 for a shortie you essentially have half of a hoagie at a regular Italian sandwich shop so let's say the real comparison is at $6. That being said, the Wawa hoagie is not a great value compared to what you'd pay a decent shop. If I wanted merely "servicable" food I wouldn't be a chowhound in good standing. As an example, there's a Wawa and a place called Taste of Italy near my office in Springhouse. Taste of Italy has several selections for under $8 bucks with a substantially better roll, Boars Head or imported meats, real olive oil and freshly sliced tomatoes and onions. Wawa shouldn't even enter the chowhound's lexicon of what constitutes a hoagie. It's not bad food, just not at all chow worthy IMO.

                            1. re: Den

                              Taste of Italy is da bomb. The Dr. Dave was always my favorite. You are right, under $8.00 for most of their selections. Better yet, Silvios in Hatboro large Turkey on a killer roll, $6.50? That's a large and is less than half for a Lee's and much, much better. I once had a WaWa tuna hoagie, never again.

                              1. re: Den

                                I'm not really yanking your chain...I'm just not a hoagie purist...I loveand appreciate a great hoagie but that does not mean I still can't eat a convenient one from Wawa they are just fine to me!

                            2. I've only ever had a Wawa hoagie once. Took it out on a tuna fishing trip. After 4 - 5 hours travelling out of Barnegat to get to the canyon and fishing for a few hours was I ever hungry. Two bites of the Wawa hoagie and I threw it overboard. Needless to say it was a long day on an empty stomach.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sokojojn

                                I doubt that any hoagie would taste very good and would possibly be toxic after sitting for 6-7 hours on a fishing boat....in any event, I have never, ever, experienced spoiled meat on a Wawa hoagie and I probably eat them once a week.

                              2. I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say it: I don't like Sarcone's rolls. There, it's been said! In terms of rolls, the ones at Rillings were previously very good (a far northeast spot) and I always liked Steak and Hoagie Works hoagies (eek).

                                And I know this is a Pennsy board, but for the record, Dino's in Margate NJ has my favorite hoagies of all time (that is, when I used to like them haha).

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: padovana

                                  Of course "down the shore" there's white house but I've always been partial to Sac O Subs in Brigantine.

                                  1. re: padovana

                                    Thanks for speaking the truth about Sarcone's rolls. I agree, too bready. They overwhelm the hoagie. I almost want to take the insides out and get a plate of EVOO and dip it in. Great bread but not for a hoagie. There, it's said - sorry ChowHounds!

                                    1. re: BBCaprice

                                      I agree. I think Philly has 2 kind so hoagies these days~ gourmet hoagies and good ole fashion hoagie. The later being made with a regular (not too big and crusty)roll with good italian meat and cheese, whereas the gourmets have the designer crusty (hard to bite) rolls with good meats PLUS roasted peppers or an array of cooked or roasted sides. I think when referring to the original, we should stick to lettuce, tomato,(onions?) made w/ meats and cheeses on a regular (not too crusty) fresh italian roll. No???

                                      1. re: layla529

                                        No, been getting mine on Sarcone's seeded forever, do not like Amoroso's. Not saying you should not, but l do not, Always had GOOD meats, never the tavern ham stuff, always aged provolone, etc. DeCostanza's, whose grandfather ostensibly invented the breed, has always had prosciutto as an option along with his home sauteed long hots.

                                        1. re: layla529

                                          I don't agree with this division; I think you have it backwards. Your definition of gourmet is my old-fashioned--crusty rolls, high quality Italian meats, sharp cheese, maybe roasted veggies optional. Many of these shops offer "unseeed" rolls that are softer and less toothy as an option. Sarcone's, Primo's, Chickie's, Cosmi's, etc. are this style and as far as I can tell they are much more "Old World" in ingredients and preparation style, and more like what Italian immigrants would have eaten on the docks back in the early 20th century. But I am no sandwich scholar.

                                          The other kind of hoagie is only offered on a softer roll, with deli-counter meats, lettuce, tomato etc. Options are usually limited to low grade Italian meats, turkey, roast beef, etc. Wawa is this style, as are other places that are better quality, like Lee's. Most pizza shops will make this kind of hoagie.

                                          1. re: barryg

                                            Barry, backwards?? Maybe our age is is the deciding point... Im in my late 40s and growing up Italian, and in Philly, it was HARD, if not impossible to find the hoagie you are talking about....Maybe you could make them that way at home).... I wasnt rich, so maybe they were available in some speciality deli or restaurants ...But all the pizza/steak/deli shops back in the day, served hoagies - let/tom/onion/meat/cheese...A picture of a Philly hoagie 20 -30years ago-looked like the ONE Im describing... I am not saying its better...But I think that is the old fashion one....the one Philly is known for.... Again, I call yours the new, updated or throwback hoagie, but definately not readily available back in my day! I eat broccali rabe, long hots, etc... on just about any sandwich, sometimes all alone on a roll...., so for me, when I want a hoagie, (like 3 a year) I dont desire the other embellishments.

                                            1. re: layla529

                                              Layla, you got me, I'm in my 20s. In fact, I grew up eating the hoagies you describe also, from places like Lee's, corner delis and pizza shops. I moved to South Philly a few years ago and discovered places like Sarcone's, Primo's, and Cosmi's. I guess I assumed that these places were old South Philly staples making "old fashioned" hoagies but, after doing a bit of research, I see that Sarcone's deli has only been around for 10 years and Primo's for 15.

                                              So, you're right, I think, about this being a new wave of gourmet style hoagies.

                                              But maybe the seeded, hard bread is a revival of sorts? Francine Maroukian wrote an article "The United States of Sandwiches" recently where she says:

                                              "The 'hoggie' was a meal on the move with all the flavors of home: an assortment of cured pork meats (prosciutto, sopressata and coppa), sharp provolone cheese, and a make-shift salad of sorts (lettuce, tomatoes, onions and hot peppers, dressed with oil, vinegar and a pinch of dried oregano). The bread—typically a crunchy seeded crust with a soft but substantial interior—was merely transportation."
                                              ( http://unbreaded.com/2009/05/14/the-u...


                                              So the seed/unseeded debate begins anew...

                                              1. re: barryg

                                                Yes the deli is new, but the bread has been here for a long, long time, whether Sarcone's, Lanci's, DiPalma's, or a host of others.

                                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                  just got a Turkey Hoagie from Steak and Hoagie Factory in Warminster. Someone from here suggested them for a Chicken Cheesesteak, well, for the record, the hoagie sucked. Decent roll, terrible count of Turkey, way too many onions. Bad mistake for $6.75 for a regular. If Silvios were only open on Sundays!!!