2700 S Darien St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Ever since my old favorite hoagie place closed, I have been interested to see how the newly refurbished replacement would stack up.
The layout was similar, with a new coat of paint.
It also seems to operate as more of a deli than it used to. I see you peeking out at me.
Two of my previous favorites included the chicken cutlet and the chicken Parmesan. So I decided they would be the benchmark for determining whether Big Dan's could match its former proprietor's glory. I started with the chicken parm. It comes on a nice Sarcone's seeded roll, stuffed with (thick and juicy) breaded cutlets, marinara, and provolone.
They definitely included a healthy portion of chicken in this sandwich. It was quality, well cooked chicken breast, and made for a nice substantial filling. I only wish that there was more kick to the sauce. Some extra garlic would really make this sandwich great. It was still good, but lacking that extra oomph.
The real test, however, would come in the form of the signature, Eleventh Street Italian. It's labeled as an "old style" hoagie, and comes with Parma prosciutto, sopresseta, hot coppa (gabagol), hard salami, and sharp prov. I got mine with everything on it.
Now, you may notice that they roll with the 'top-meat-wrap,' but unlike the DelCo ham curtain, they tuck 90% of the meat around the interior vegetables, with a layer of proscuitto on the bottom. Now that is hoagie-curating I can get behind. The top wrap is INSIDE the bread so you don't get ham hands, and it perfectly holds in all of the things (veggies) that have a tendency to sneak out.
The bottom proscuitto layer assures that even your low bites get cured pig in them. This is a damn fine Italian hoagie. For the record, I roll with oil AND mayo on my Italian hoagies. Purists be damned, that combo is unbeatable. Creamy mayo with the salty, rich deli meat is one for the record books.
Oh, and as if I wasn't impressed before, they threw in a free sample of their delicious bacon potato salad. This stuff was addictive as all hell.