Moyamensing & Moore
Well, in 2009, I moved to Pennsport and one of the first food joints I visited was this little hoagie joint in an unassuming strip mall.
You wouldn't really happen upon this place, considering the unwelcoming gate and the list of "NOs" they greet you with from the start. So, I'll tell you again that you need to go seek it out.
Now, phone cameras have come a long way since my last two blog posts. See here and also here. So I thought now was as good a time as any to revisit my old haunt and to do them more justice in pictures.
They've got sort of a cult following and a long list of locals/regulars who just sit for hours at the 3 tiny cafe tables flanking the deli counter. Same two guys always slingin' the meats. Fresh cuts.
You can also pick up some WD40, cigs and ice cream while you're waiting for your sandwiches.
I've long since moved away from South Philly and haven't visited Gooey Looie's in nearly 2 years. One of my old faves is their cheesesteak hoagie, so I had to see if it could stand the test of time.
First impressions are everything, and upon first glance, I knew I was in for the deliciously large, cheesy and tender cheesesteak of yore.
There's something so mouthwatering about shredded lettuce and tomato thrown on steaming hot steak meat - the way it wilts just slightly but keeps the slightest fresh crunch of added textured. Not to mention the way the mayonnaise mixes with the melted American to add that extra creaminess...
Now, I will say that the quality of their meat seems to have slipped. Every third bite I was spitting out a piece of unchewable gristle, which was a huge disappointment. Maybe I caught them on a bad day, at the end of their inventory, but if my memory serves me, every cheesesteak hoagie before this one boasted thinly sliced, tender pieces of quality chopped meat. It was rare that I ever complained about the ingredients.
I was disappointed at the fact that with every few bites, I realized that their meat had dropped a few notches to the level of a better-known spot on 9th Street. Some people are into that, I guess. I prefer to not have to chew with care for fear of choking on cartilage. That's not to say that the rest of the sandwich wasn't spot on - they've still got the best cheesesteak hoagie construction around. Looks were deceiving in this case.
As much as I wanted to order the Italian for memory's sake, I went with another old stand by, the turkey special on rye. (I'm saving the Italian for my next visit).
Slathered with Thousand Island dressing and laced with veins of coleslaw, the turkey weighs in at about 1.5 lbs. No joke.
It's freshly sliced, paper thin, and beautifully layered in 3-4 inches of meat ribbons. It's one of those unhinge-your-jaw sandwiches that should probably be split up into 3 meals. If you're not me, of course.
The turkey is salty, but it is also delicious. Even with all of the meat, the dressing & coleslaw to rye bread ratio is the perfect balance for what looks like a dry sammy. It's amazing.
Even though I may have to nix the cheesesteak hoagie from my list of go-tos at Gooey Looie's, I'm happy to say that I'll be back again soon to indulge in their other 3 lb. meat-and-cheese-on-bread selections.