Monday, November 28, 2011

Off the Map: It's Not Even 4 PM Somewhere

Junk Yard Special -- Sarcone's Deli, Philadelphia, PA
Sarcone's Deli

Admittedly, the day after Thanksgiving is not the ideal day to go on a culinary rampage.  But Vodka is, if nothing else, mission-oriented, so stuffed like a turkey or not, she is putting on her elastic waistband pants and heading into Philadelphia to eat.
The Pilgrims Would Be So Proud
Because Vodka is persuasive (read: bossy), she has talked a Philadelphia-residing friend into doing a mini-Best Thing I Ever Ate food tour with her in an effort to check off a couple of Philly eateries we had missed on our previous jaunt around the city.
Here's a Tip: Only Befriend Accommodating People
First up, residing deep within the heart of South Philly, is Sarcone's Deli, which features Adam Gertler's chosen AT A DELI hoagie, the junk yard special.
Vodka Came to Philly and All She Got Was a Sandwich Named After the Dump
Now, here's something to keep in mind about Sarcone's Deli: they close at 4:00pm.  Every day.  No matter what.  Even to early bird diners like us, this timeframe is a bit geriatric.  For this reason, Vodka flies towards the front door of Sarcone's at exactly 3:37pm, anxious to get her paws on this Food Network delicacy before the closing bell rings.
Adding to the "Charm," They're Apparently Closed Mondays
"You got here just in time!" a worker greets me.  "We just started packing up shop."

(Note: It appears Sarcone's closing time is actually 3:45pm).

I order a medium junk yard special, without having the time to look into what I'll be eating or, more importantly, to care.  The price comes to $8.63, which would seem high if I weren't in the midst of alleged Best Thing I Ever Ate greatness.  This hoagie has to be ten times better than any $5 variety served at a corner bodega across the rest of Philadelphia, right?

Well, no.
Gourmet Philadelphia Eating
Trotting out of Sarcone's, I make my way to my friend's apartment, where outside, I am greeted by a few of South Philly's finest residents.  Permeating booze (clearly, they're our kind of people), they are on a diatribe about the faulty address labeling along the block, a tangent they refuse to come off of even when I attempt to make a hasty retreat into my friend's (allegedly mislabeled) building. 

Thanks for the heightened sense of ambiance, South Philly.  You're really adding to the Sarcone's experience.
Now Please Excuse Me So I Can Start Documenting a Hoagie
Opening the package at the safety of my friend's dinner table, we find a large hoagie, its components sandwiched between a hearty Italian roll sprinkled with sesame seeds.  Inside resides fresh mozzarella, provolone, turkey, prosciutto, sauteed Spinach, roasted red peppers, red wine vinegar oil, dried herbs, a parakeet cage, a ball of yarn, and the kitchen sink.

Well, it is a junk yard special, after all.
One's Writing Grows Less Clever After Dining in South Philly
Last three points aside, the hoagie is chock full of unending yet seemingly miscellaneous ingredients.  Widening my jaw as much as possible, I rip a hunk away from half of the hoagie.

And chew solemnly through approximately a loaf of bread.
Can You Tell Me How to Chew, How to Chew Through Sesame Bread?
Now, Sarcone's Deli is apparently known for their bread.  It seems to be their thing.  And I, admittedly, am not the biggest fan of quintessential Italian bread: the crunchy and crumbly on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside loaves that form the "best" Italian sandwiches.  I like my bread pliable and easy to bite, two features that Sarcone's bread is just not meant to have.
It's All About the Bread but Not About the Teeth
And generally speaking, I don't like seeds, so the sesame sprinkling does little to appease me.

The ingredients within the sandwich itself are all tasty and fresh, though not a combination I would order again.  Additionally, because some are sliced (turkey, prosciutto) and others are chunky (red peppers, mozzarella), it has a tendency to fall further and further apart with each bite.
Uniform Slicing, This Is Not
Because, like Ginger, I am never one to refuse a condiment, I think the hoagie could stand for some mayonnaise, but even the creamiest Hellman's available would not have pushed it into 5 star-status.
Though the Bread Could Have Certainly Used a Mayonnaise Moisturizer
Overall, there is nothing remotely wrong with the sandwich.  In fact, if you are in the area at dinner time, you should absolutely stop by to quench your hoagie craving.

Except, of course, Sarcone's Deli will not be open.

Sarcone's Deli's Junk Yard Special: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. Best sandwich I've ever had. I sometimes drive 45 Minutes out of my way when visiting family to have it.