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Can we talk about Wawa?

Maybe I’m getting old… “I remember the good old days….” When Wawa had a good hoagie. I hadn’t had a Wawa hoagie in over a year, and today with precious little time at lunch and no cash in my pocket (I’m horrible like that I never carry cash) I ran over to the Wawa on Henderson Road in King of Prussia for a hoagie and a free ATM withdraw

This is one of the remaining “little Wawas” that haven’t been demolished. I drive past it to and from work and at lunch and it’s packed every morning and any time I drive by at lunch…

I got my old favorite… an Italian, touch ordering for provolone cheese, little bit of oil, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot peppers and oregano… cuz that’s how I roll…

What I got was not very good… let’s start with the roll… it looked like what you see at the bottom of the bin by the Deli counter at Genuardi’s on a Sunday late afternoon when all the rolls are already picked over, squished and semi-stale.
The lunchmeats just aren’t the same as they used to be either! Overall, the hoagies are just lack luster… and what’s all this ‘other’ stuff they’re serving? Turkey bowls, “Prime rib bowls”??
Am I the only one who is not happy with what has happened to the quality of the limited items that Wawa used to make, in favor of their attempting to be a jack of all trades? (Mastering none!)

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  1. Just as Wawa has turned its back on Philly, so I'm inclined to turn my back on Wawa. I think you're right that the hoagies just aren't the same, though it was always possible to get an unfresh roll, which just ruins the sandwich. It's tough, though, because pound for pound, Wawa still bests any other chain convenience store.

    Boy do I pine for the good old days...

    6 Replies
    1. re: nwinkler

      Wawa dumped Amorso last year for a Jersey bakery (an apparent tax dodge by the Amoroso family to bake in a zone where they benefit from tax credits, and don't need to pay union drivers) so they don't get daily delivery any more.

      There are lots of great Jersey rolls, but Wawa is not buying from Liscio's .. that's for sure.

      1. re: phillyjazz

        phillyjazz, I'm having a hard time understanding this but I'm interested. What does Amoroso's tax dodge have to do with Wawa switching bakeries?

          1. re: phillyjazz

            Thanks, it makes sense now. I guess there is now a "Wawa Effect" similar to "Walmart Effect."

            1. re: barryg

              And you thought it was just a Jimi Hendrix effect pedal !!!

    2. I still eat Wawa hoagies pretty regularly and have found that they are sort of inconsistent. I can get a great hoagie at one place and 10 miles away the other place is lousy. I miss being able to state "Extra" anything to the sandwich makers since that is not an option any longer with the touch screens. You cannot put enough hot peppers on my Italian or pickles on my turkey hoagies!

      5 Replies
      1. re: 94Bravo

        Ah yes. The touch screen. We no longer actually "communicate". Really gets under my skin!

        1. re: crazyspice

          Say what you want about the "de-humanization" of it, I have yet to see an order prepared wrong.. If I want human interaction, I'll go for a bartender (or a hooker.) If I want a properly made sandwich, give me a touchscreen any day !!

          I just wish you could order ANYTHING for breakfast that didn't have eggs.

          1. re: phillyjazz

            I don't eat breakfast food. EVER. I agree on that point. Let us know when you get that hooker!

            1. re: crazyspice

              Ha ha ha ha ha good one crazyspice! I hate the touch screens too.

            2. re: phillyjazz

              You mean, aside from the pancake bowls? Or the pastries?

              What I want is a way of ordering an egg/sausage sandwich (or similar) WITHOUT cheese. They premix cheese in the eggs! For this reason, WaWa isn't even an option for breakfast for me.

              (Sheetz needs to move a little further east....)

        2. I enjoy a great hoagie. My current favs are from Lennie's in Roxborough and Paesano's in No. Lib. But I eat wawa hoagies far more often. So I asked myself why. The reason boils down to convenience. No sir charge ATMs, hoagies in 4", 6", 10", w/ chicken salad, tuna salad, ham, smoked turkey, roasted turkey, meatball, w/ oil, w/ o oil, mustard, little bit of mayo . . . Now none of this is outstanding food but it's good enough and flexible enough to please one if your are watching your weight or if you wanna splurge. So daily I'll go wawa but weekends it the real deal.

          1. I dont like wawa hoagies very much. They use poor qualtiy rolls and meat and cheese. I do like the roast beef ciabatta with horseradish mayo. The roll is always great which helps make it a good sandwich.

            1. Hoagie? Is that something like a grine-dah?

              1. ahhh!!! Wawa put me through college back in the day! I loved working there and they paid REALLY well, for what the job was...but that it not what you want to talk about. When I worked there we put a LOT of meat on a hoagie--we had to weigh it and for a roll it was 1/4 lb and for a full hoagie it was 1/3 lb of meat/cheese combo. I LOVED making them and really considered it an art form. Many of my customers would come in and ask for me to make their sandwiches.

                Course here in CT all of our WAWAS are now Krausers....but DH loves my Hoagies LOL!

                1. I grew up in Connecticut and we had Wawas around until the 90s and then they disappeared. I remember my mother buying us grinders (sorry, I am from New England, they are not hoagies!!!) from there from time to time to break up our brown bagged school lunch monotony.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mels

                    I grew up in CT, also, but must have left before there were any Wawa's. The last time I went back to visit was in the '90's and I still never heard of them. They couldn't have been around that long or been that good.

                  2. One of the happiest days of my life was when I saw a Wawa being built about three miles from my house in suburban Richmond VA. I went to college in south Jersey and hit up Wawa all the time. As a Jersey expat their hoagies/subs are as close as what I was used to gettting in Jersey as I can get, and it's mainly because they get the bread right. Jersey Mike's is also here but the bread is off for me. Now there's Wawas all over the state (and three within three miles of me).

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: MandalayVA

                      It's troubling to hear all this, since I can't say I agree. Maybe I'm just getting lucky going to the Wawa in West Conshy and Bala Cynwyd, and the hoagies are solid. They aren't like Lennie's in Conshy or like a Primo hoagie, but the convenience makes it really worth it. I find the chicken salad to always be on point, with the horseradish mayo, in all locations where available. Hopefully these locations don't start going downhill or my lunch options will have to change quickly!

                      1. re: MandalayVA

                        ". . . it's mainly because they get the bread right."

                        Huh? What distinguishes their bread from those that don't get it right?

                        1. re: Chinon00

                          Great bread makes or breaks a hoagie!
                          It has to have a crust that’s on the thin side and has a little crunch and the crumb has to have a nice ‘chew’ to it. Cakey, doughey, fluffy, soft, glorified hot dog rolls ala Maier’s “Italian” rolls, just aren’t “good bread” for a hoagie. Amoroso isn’t the BEST but it’s consistent and it’s good. I realize you can’t have Sarcone’s rolls at Wawa, so Amoroso will do… maybe it’s the pre-sliced set-ups for each Hoagie? Maybe it’s the “Wawa” lunchmeat that they’re now serving?

                          1. re: cgarner

                            I'm traveling for work so I gave Subway another shot. Their bread makes wawa bread seem like it's from a fine French bakery. It's baby food. There is virtually no crust. There is no textural contrast at all. I'm not sure how they bake bread like that.

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              It smells terrible, too. That weird bread aroma that Subways have is a real turnoff for me.

                      2. I agree and disagree. I still love wawa, and go all the time, but there are definitely inconsistencies with each location. In general though, the hoagies seem to be getting very messy! And I do not really like the normal hoagie rolls. I've been getting everything on ciabatta for at least a year now, I think it tastes so much better!

                        1. What drives me crazy about the hoagies at Wawa is that they seem to teach their sandwich assemblers to wrap the hoagie by first tucking the paper into the sandwich. The result is that when you open the sandwich, the paper pulls out half of the toppings. Arrrgghh. So frustrating.

                          1. I love their meatball hoagie with "golden sauce". Yummy! If only they'd expand outside the mid-Atlantic states.

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: christy1122

                                They don't have it anymore? Four or five years ago the Philly and Delaware WaWas had it. It was a tasty golden-colored sauce (not oil) that I liked to put on their sandwiches. It was a standard menu item on the touchscreen.

                                1. re: aynrandgirl

                                  I will have to look for it the next time I am there....

                            1. Just took a bite of my Wawa Italian Hoagie......excellent in Richmond, VA...roll is perfect....extra provolone, lettuce, sweet peppers, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano....and I LOVE the touch screen...I think it is so fun!!!