Monday, January 31, 2011

Guest Post: Sabrina's Cafe

[& Spencer's Too]
1802 Callowhill Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 636-9061

Let me start by saying that is the dumbest name for a restaurant that I have ever come across. I understand that you named your flagship cafe after your daughter, and just because you had a son soon after opening your second restaurant, it doesn't mean you have to tag his name on there too. If anything, it's more of an insult to the boy. Either give him his own restaurant, or leave him out of it entirely.

Secondly, I want to say that the quality of food and consistency in its preparation is so close to that of the original in the Italian Market (on Christian at 9th Street), that you would think the kitchen staff are literally in both places simultaneously. 

I've been eating their food (on and off) as long as I've been in Philadelphia, which is nearing 7 years now, and it hasn't changed at all - which is a really good thing, and a trait that's tough to come across in the ever-changing geography of this city's food scene. 

My long standing dish of choice (as an omnivore) is the vegetarian cheese steak, and although they offer delicious daily brunch specials, I'm always more in the mood for the same thing. For $9.49 (which also hasn't changed after all these years) you get an enormous seeded Sarcone's roll that is over-flowingly packed with seitan, sauteed onions, sauteed long hots and an abundance of melted provolone; a side of fries, either regular or sweet potato (they also offer 'parmesan fries' but they're merely the reg.s with a sorry sprinkling of shredded parm, so I don't recommend those); and their daily mix of whatever coleslaw they've thrown together. NOTE: In addition to the staple shredded cabbage, I've experienced day old apples, cherries, raisins, you name it and they've made a slaw that contains it - and I usually never even touch that part of the plate.

The sandwich is filling and satisfying, almost too much for one lunch when you start in on the pile of fries. The seitan is suprisingly flavorful and juicy (not sure how this is possible), the onions are perfectly browned and add a sweet and buttery contrast to the squish of the fake meat. Of course the long hots & provolone speak for themselves. The roll I had today was semi-soft all around, with the Sarcone's trademark looking better than I've seen it in a while. All in all, a great value for a delicious vegetarian feast.

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