Saturday, May 19, 2012

Psychedelic Broad & Snyder Chicago Dog from "Tony Cheesesteak"

Walking around Broad & Snyder the other day at 9 in the morning I was surprised to see a food truck parked right down the street from the Walgreens. And then even more surprised to see a crazy menu of super weird supposedly regional hot dog concoctions that looked like either a joke or the best thing on the planet.

I almost dropped my camera trying to take a million photos knowing this truck might only last a couple of days like the gray-hot-dog-food-poisoning nightmare cart that opened up on Broad & Morris last summer for a week or so.

Ahh yes, the old time Philly classic topped with sweet roasted peppers, pickles and American cheese. I couldn't bring myself to order this. I dunno, if it was tomatoes and banana peppers and called the "Pizzaz Dog" i'd probably write about it for the next 25 years.

Next up is the Chicago Dog. Note the authentic Chicago Dog photo, likely printed from the internet at Kinko's, confused by a description that includes "sweet peppers" (not sport peppers), lettuce, cheddar cheese (??) and celery (not celery salt).

Here goes the actual dog. A beef frank on a soft hoagie roll, topped with pickles, thick onion slices, sketchy tomatoes, processed American cheese, giant chunks of celery, ketchup and mayonnaise. 

Quite possibly the most bizarre interpretation of "Chicago Dog" I've ever seen or even heard of. So ridiculous it's sort of amazing, not to eat but maybe as some sort of postmodern "found hot dog art object??"

The ring of grey around the outside of the dog definitely worried me a little bit. I took maybe two bites, it wasn't as bad as I expected but definitely not a Chicago Dog. The American cheese / mayo / ketchup  /  pickles thing really just makes it taste like Mcdonalds, plus celery.

Next up, the Cajun Dog.

This was a spicy all beef sausage, wrapped in turkey ham (no pork on this truck) topped with more American cheese, pickles, onions, ketchup and mayonnaise on a toasted roll. 

The good thing about this one was that the sausage was decent, probably an all beef commercial Italian sausage. And it was actually sort of good, in a kind of drunken-bratwurst meets messy 7-11 nightmare sort of way. Hot dogs are just the beginning here - there's also breakfast sandwiches, burgers, coconut shrimp, egg rolls, and "Asian Coffee" which I'm pretty sure is just Vietnamese Coffee. 

I thought it might be fun to write about these on Hot Dog Of The Week and get the hot dog purists all riled up, but didn't exactly want to recommend these as something good to eat, and at the same time would have felt really bad writing a bad review - it's a great location, they seem like nice people,  and if they could work out the kinks, a hot dog truck on Snyder that serves coconut shrimp and vietnamese coffee called "Tony Cheesesteak" is pretty much the coolest thing in the world.

Tony Cheesesteak
Broad & Snyder

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lombardi's Specialty Hoagies

One of those famed South Philly hoagie shops that was written up way back when in the Inquirer but is far enough South of the "hipster barrier" that nobody writes about it, at least in the same way that Cosmi's and Chickie's have lines out the door. Closed the first two or three times I tried to go there, it was finally open the other day and this place is worth the wait. Definitely in my top 10 if not top 5.

Tribune and Centurion
Longhots on the side
Tribune with Salamincini
So their claim to fame is the "Salamincini" which is like a pepper shooter but instead of a cherry pepper, they stuff pepperoncini with salami wrapped provolone. Available by the pound or on a few of their hoagies including the Tribune which you can read some more about on my Serious Eats post.

Also delicious was the "Centurion" loaded with Dry Capacola, Sopressata and Coteghino.

With Longhots
Another shot of the Tribune showing Salamancini cross section
Hoagie upskirt: real dry cured capicola

The menu also lists "hot frigadelles" which is just another term for italian frying peppers, aka cubanelles aka frigatello peppers, wider and milder than a longhot (or the "sweet" version which isn't hot at all). The only other place I've ever seen this wording on a menu is Little Nick's a few blocks away. 

Another place that uses real italian cured meats, but well balanced with juicier stuff like coteghino or "ham capacola" so you have a nice variety instead of a the chewy beef jerkey-esque salt bomb that happens when you have too many dry meats sliced too thick.

Lombardi's Specialty Hoagies
hours - Mon-Sat 8:30 - 4:00 (spotty hours, call first)
1226 Ritner St Philadelphia 
215 389 2220