I have a deep and profound respect for a good, authentic Italian cold cut sub. Or HOAGIE, if you’re from Philly. It’s hard to beat the combination of provolone, ham, Genoa salami, capicola, and mortadella; topped of course with shredded lettuce, tomato, oil & red wine vinegar, thinly-sliced onions, oregano, and salt/pepper. (Hold the hot pepperoncinis for me, please.) Slap that all on freshly baked, soft Italian bread, and I’m good to go.
Then we happened upon Taste of South Philly in Selbyville, DE near Fenwick. This is an unassuming little deli off the main road (Route 54), its cinder block walls covered in Pennsylvania sports memorabilia. Flyers, Steelers, Phillies; you name it. Several large TV monitors were tuned to different sports channels. Apparently, they have fresh baked Italian hoagie rolls brought in from South Philly daily. I had fully intended on getting a real Philly cheese steak (“with”, of course), but then we spied the “Italian Stallion” on the hoagies section of the menu: a 20-inch (yes, nearly two feet long) Italian hoagie with proscuitto. Be still my heart.
There were three of us in our hungry party, and we were all game to try it. Behold: here’s what they put in front of us:
Served on a large 18″ pizza pan, this beauty overlapped its simple platter. It was covered end to end in filmy, shaved prosciutto and dominated the entire table in our booth. Truly, a sight to behold.
The outsized flavor and textures easily matched its physical size. The first thing you taste is the soft, yeasty Italian bread–so incredibly fresh. Then you’re hit with the melange of cured meat flavors, combined the mellow provolone cheese, the crunchy lettuce and onions, and the briny vinegar. Once you wrap your head around all of that, you can’t help but go back in for another mouthful. I savored every bite.
When we return (and we definitely will), I’ll let you know how their Philly steaks (made with fresh ribeye) taste. Or maybe we’ll try more of their hoagies. More on their menu here.