Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Trio Cold Cuts & Sandwich Pub

1248 Macdade Blvd
Woodlyn, PA 19094
(610) 833-9987

The Delaware County hoagie hunt continues. Trio is one of the "Big Three" off of MacDade Blvd, with the other two being Mike and Emma's, and a branch of LaSpada's.

When you walk in, you have to make a choice. Do you want a seat at the pub (and a can of beer), or a sandwich to-go?

For your convenience I have included a link to their new WEB_SITE above.

As with any good deli, the hoagies are freshly made to order, and care is taken to build the sandwich with love.

And gossip.

This hoagie is no joke. The thing weighed about three pounds. And within fifteen minutes there was plenty of oil to show for it.

As usual, they do the DelCo meat wrap ordinance, which is likely one of the most strictly enforced ordinances in the area.

I ordered the Trio special, which is described as a "blend of the best Italian Meats with Proscuitto." I added sweets, hots, and sharp provolone. Oh, and mayo, oil, and vinegar. The 12" regular size could easily make two meals, and the seeded roll holds up well to the bulk of the ingredients, and also to the moisture of the oil and vinegar. "But real Italian Hoagies don't have mayo on them." Really? Are they afraid of deliciousness? Notice the thin line of meat and cheese at the bottom topped with a large amount of fresh veggies? A DelCo hoagie eats like a meat salad.

As usual, this Delaware County spot did not disappoint. The prospect of grabbing a cold six pack with your hoagie is an added bonus. Another hoagie for the list, and another can't-go-wrong spot for lunch in South Eastern Pennsylvania's very own Bermuda triangle. Seriously, I get lost every time I drive down there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dolce Carini

1929 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 567-8892

Two pizza reviews in a row? Yes. It's true. But this one is something that you are going to want to actively seek out in the Rittenhouse area. "New York Style" pizza. It was hard for me to even say that.

I have been hitting this spot for years, but have always forgotten to write about it. You may have walked by it dozens of times, as I originally did. Well, now's the time for you to stop in and get full of pizza. Also, the cheesesteaks aren't too shabby.

Each customer gets one FREE garlic knot while you wait. They are mighty tasty as well.

This is a pizza-by-the-slice type of place, and my favorite slice of all is the crushed tomato. They don't use sauce, but seasoned crushed tomatoes. It's the best, and still the reigning champ. Thin, crispy crust, topped with fresh tomatoes, flakes of garlic, and quality cheese. This is one of the best lunch deals in the area at about $2.50 a slice (no toppings). The sausage is another good one. Tiny crispy pieces of sausage flecked with fennel on a generous slice will run you $3.00. One of these slices is a healthy meal. But I digress.

Being the heavy hitter that I am, I also had to try the eggplant and the mushroom. The eggplant was thinly sliced, breaded and delicious. It also came with the same crushed tomatoes as the plain. This is the way to go. The eggplant was the second best of the day. The mushroom was good, but the best part about the pizza here is the seasoned crushed tomato sauce. The mushroom came with the regular sauce, not much of it, (see below) and while good, it just cannot stand up.

They have various lunch slice and drink specials, and apparently they serve soup, especially with a slice of "chesses".

This may not be the best pizza in the world, but it is one of the better slices in the city, especially in Center City. It's worth seeking out, but make sure you get the slices with crushed tomato.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Paolo Gourmet Pizzeria

1334 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 545-2482

It's not often that I'm in the UArts neighborhood for lunch, or for any other reason, but here I was with a short break and a hankerin' for some comforting, relatively fast food.

Just east of Broad Street, you can't miss Paolo Pizza, it's got signage for days.

Their advertised special boasted 2 gourmet slices and a soda for $7 and that sounded like one hell of a deal. Gourmet slices usually run around $4 a piece, so there was no way to pass this up.

The inside is enormous, with lots of eat-in seating, and not to mention the innumerable selection of regular and gourmet pies from which to choose. I have a weakness for Mexican food, and so when I saw the 'Taco Pizza' with finely chopped cheesesteak meat, lettuce, tomato, onion and taco sauce, I couldn't resist.

My other selection was their 'Fry Mega Pizza' with french fries, bacon bits, cheese whiz and mozzarella. Even given all of the other irresistible options, my dining partner ordered the exact same two varieties. The taco slice was up first and, man, was it delicious!

I admit, it was a bit sloppy with some of the ingredients slipping this way and that, but the flavor combination was right where it should be. The crust wasn't thin, but it wasn't overly bready either. It held its own and, if a bit crispier, probably would have held the 10 pounds of toppings with no trouble at all. I must say, even with the non-traditional cheesesteak meat in place of ground beef, the slightly wilted iceberg lettuce and warm tomato dices, the pizza tasted like a taco. A damn good one in my book.

Now it was time for the Mega slice, but I had just consumed 1,000 calories in my first one, so I took the cheese whiz, bacon and fries to go. Went to the Phillies game that night, so I offered it as a pre-xfinity live! snack. At room temperature, it probably didn't have the same effect, but luckily the whiz offered enough lubrication to balance out the dried up fries. Crunchy bacon added unnecessary salt, but the value here does not go unnoticed.

If you're in the area and looking for some good, indulgent eats with maximum bang for your buck, Paolo's is the place to beat.

-posted by gabulous

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Liberty Choice

1947 N Front St
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 423-4500

A newcomer to the Front Street scene, Liberty Choice is a brick oven pizza place, deli, convenience store, coffee shop, and Middle Eastern food store. Is that enough for you?

They are located in a questionable spot, between Berks and Norris on Front Street under the El. I love that they are making an effort to become an anchor in this area and finally bring some good to the 'hood, instead of, you know, drugs and prostitutes.

There is a deli.

A brick oven.

A coffee bar.

A giant convenience store (with upstairs seating arena - not just area, but arena).

Oh, and a fresh orange juice machine.

I went for a spicy falafel (which they make fresh), with hummus and feta. They have a $10 minimum for cards, so I got a bag of pita ($1.39) and container of hummus ($2.00) to hit my quota. Unfortunately their machine was down so I had to use the ATM. Which gives out money in $5 increments, in case you forgot you were by the Berks stop on the El.

The falafel was unbelievably good. I haven't had falafel that "popped" with this much flavor in a while. Fresh, light, and herby, it was a welcome surprise. I was told by the owner that "this is because we are the people that know how to make falafel." Agreed. As you can see, they did not skimp on the feta.

The sandwich was chock full of fresh vegetables, like diced onion, tomato and cucumber, and slightly spicy. I am hooked.

The house made hummus to-go was good, creamy and topped with chickpeas, but it could have used some kind of stand-out flavor. Maybe tingling spice, or filled with a dollop of herbs or something to make it sing.

I have to say, I was surprised how good this falafel was. It had the distinct fresh, flavorful combination that so many offerings of the same type miss. I will be back to try the platters, and who knows, maybe a brick oven pizza.