|While I'm on the road, I always try to eat local. What food comes to mind when you think Philadelphia? Cheese steaks sandwiches of course! Well, you can order your hoagie (local slang for submarine/subway sandwich) in different kinds of shops... each have its particularities.|
When I first came to Philly a few years
ago, I went to one of the big names... you can easily find them,
they're the ones listed when you look for the best cheese steak in
town. All those provide very large and expensive sandwiches... since
I don't eat that much and my room was not close to downtown, I
couldn't go for those big names... and I decided to try other
The one in the picture above came from
a street vendor... food carts are very popular in Philly, they're
over-sized carts... with the operator inside the cart, not beside it
like the New York style pretzel cart. I had my hoagie for less than
$5 and went to eat it in the park facing Independence Hall... perfect
location for a Philly staple. The sandwich was rather basic... with
steak, cheese, onions and ketchup. But it was prepared in front of
my eyes, in about 5 minutes. That's a fast-food hoagie.
On the other end of the chain, I also
had one at a local neighbourhood deli. The deli is an experience by
itself. First, they bring in frozen fondue steak and begin to grill
it slowly. It takes about 30 mins to have it ready. So, we're just
waiting for it to be ready? Not exactly, at least not in this deli
on Locust street.... During the waiting, the cook is a real
attraction and also keeps feeding you by giving you samples of
virtually all his meats and cheeses. On my first time there, I had
samplings from at least 6 meats freshly cut for us to taste (all
those who were waiting for their order) and 2 cheeses. That already
fills you up. The end sandwich is more of a classical edition...
with the basics, plus lettuce and tomatoes if you want them... and
your choice of bell or spicy peppers.
Overall, I liked both sandwiches and I
liked both experiences. I love to eat local food, that often opens
an insight on local culture... like this Jewish deli in a
neighbourhood filled with Muslims.