Monday, November 14, 2011

Rosa's Deli

441 W Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 763-9352

Just when I stupidly think I have my "new" Olde Kensington digs on lock down, Rosa's comes along and completely ruins my day. In a marvelous way.

So I guess Rosa's used to be called Rosa's Pretzel Bakery, but now they are Rosa's deli (don't worry, they still sell pretzels). When you walk in, you will be greeted by a tight, crowded corner-store style place. From there, you should walk to the back, stop acting awkward, and pick what hoagie you want.

The people working are extremely friendly, and you should probably get "the works" on whatever you order.

Also, I would order the large. A large Italian filled with Philly's own Freda meats will set you back a whooping $5.50. Just order the large.

This is a perfectly sized sandwich. Now I should warn you, that if you get the works, they are going to put mayo on your hoagie. While some purists may scoff at an Italian with mayo on, I scoff at their pretension. Perhaps they have never tried an Italian with mayo, they have no idea what they are missing. Where it is acceptable, I will order both oil AND mayo on my Italian, and I will revel in the indulgence that is my life.

Anyway, they slice to order your meat, and carefully construct the marvel of modern society that is an Italian. No sharp prov, no long hots (most overrated topping ever), just ripe tomatoes, diced onion and pickle (huge fan), some shredded iceberg and banana peppers. The roll is something else. It is similar to a Carangi roll, but I can't be sure of its origin. Either way, it was more than resilient enough to soak up the flavors as I walked home, and it became the perfect vessel for meat and cheese (and vegetable) delivery.

This was one of my favorite Italians I have eaten in a while. Although I love all of the many gourmet versions, this sandwich danced back and forth between genres, offering just enough delicious quality meat, and a roll that was easier to duck into than a traditional Sarcone's, all the while using extremely fresh ingredients and keeping the price at a a minimum. I am not 100% on their hours, but I will likely be back in the next couple days to begin the arduous task of eating around the menu. I will certainly keep you in mind when I am eating my heart out. Oh, on a separate and slightly related note, I will be the fat guy running the Philly Marathon this Sunday.

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