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Category Archives: sandwiches

Tony Boloney Nails It


I first came across Tony Boloney’s in AC when I covered the AC Beer Fest. They blew me away with their Cheesesteak Ole’ and their Reuben Pizza. Unreal. Plus, I loved the fact that they understood marketing (see their blue truck (that will come and cater your event!) with the giant moustaches and their mascot, an old school chef with said handlebar moustache) and had fun with it as well. I swore I would get to their shop on Oriental Ave, 2 blocks up from the Revel, and I finally did!

Tony Boloney's

Tony Boloney’s

The Reuben Frio

The Reuben Frio

I tried to have a few things from the menu, starting with the Reuben Frio! Where to begin? Let’s start with the bread. When making fantastic, mind-blowing sandwiches, you need a good base to keep things from falling apart 3/4’s of the way in. Tony’s hits it out of the park with rolls from A. Rando’s Bakery, the oldest bakery in AC and the 3rd oldest Italian bakery in the country! And wow, what a roll! Chewy, crusty, lovely goodness! It’s had to find a roll that doesn’t feel like it is taking over the whole show, and Tony’s did.

Reuben Frio Sideshot

Reuben Frio Sideshot

Ok, so the sandwich. Whew! Beautifully thick-cut Pastrami, not skimpy on the kraut, thousand island dressing to keep it moist and just enough Muenster cheese to keep this puppy on track and I fell in love. A theme you’ll find in this article is “not skimpy”. In the times we live in here, which are recession times, food places try and cut corners by inching the prices up and lowering the amount of ingredients. This sandwich was brimming with meat and kraut! I feel like this thing was created in the 80’s when everything was overstuffed and then time traveled right to my table. And man, I am way ok with that!

Next up, was my absolute favorite: The Sh#tfaced!

The Sh#tfaced Sandwich!

The Sh#tfaced Sandwich!

The Sh#tfaced Sideview!

The Sh#tfaced Sideview!

This thing is a straight up knock out. I would eat this everyday for the rest of my life and not bat an eye, that’s how good it is! Beer battered chicken with a Stout Honey BBQ sauce. That’s so many flavors and textures working together, it actually short circuits your taste buds for a second. The beer batter (which is not very heavy at all) plus the sauce, which is just a little bit sweet and a little bit buttery and a whole lot heavenly. Oh, and it’s got melted Mozzarella and Cheddar on it too, just in case you needed some more awesome to go with it! You owe it to yourself to try this thing, it is absolutely mind-blowing. And if that’s not enough! You can also get it on a pizza!

Po' Doc Carver

Po’ Doc Carver

Moving on to another work of art, meet The Po’ Doc Carver! Deliciously fried chicken with a house made Chipotle sauce and covered in a smoked Mozzarella that’ll spoil you on regular mozz for life! Toss in some lettuce and tomato and you got yourself a rainbow of texture, aromas and deliciousness.

Now, Tony Boloney’s isn’t just sandwiches, they also make some unreal pizzas as well! When I popped in, I picked up a slice of the Carnival Freak. The pizza at Tony’s is unlike most, it’s a crispier crust and is nice and light but still have the cojones to carry whatever sick and twisted ideas that owner Mike Hauke has up his sleeve.

Carnival Freak

Carnival Freak

The Carnival Freak has breadcrumbs on the crust, herbs to keep that flavor palate hoppin’, Mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan and a marinara that bent my brain, it was that good! I know it sounds odd that there are breadcrumbs on the crust, but it adds to the impressive texture of the pizza as a whole.

What really impresses me about the pizzas at Tony’s is that they understand that not all of the toppings need to fill the entire slice. Don’t get me wrong, I completely enjoy an everything pie once in a while, where you get a bite of all the toppings in each bite, but that doesn’t work with a lot of different combos of pies. In this one, you get some marinara and some ricotta in one bite, then some mozz and herbage in another, and so on. It’s really a delight.

Crab Fries!

Crab Fries!

Finally, I also ordered The Crab Fries! Chickie and Pete’s serves frozen crinkle cut fries with some Old Bay and melty American cheese in the side. Tony’s serves Crab fries with CRAB on them, along with some butter, Old Bay and Mozzarella cheese! They were pretty kick ass, and again, NOT skimpy with the Crab!

The cheese went all he way thru and the butter gave it a delicious smoothness that combined with the Old Bay to dance around the fries and hug it with awesome. Seriously. Awesome.

So, you might be wondering, after reading this review of Tony Boloney’s, if there was anything I didn’t like about this place. The answer, honestly, is no. they even offer awesome sugar cane sodas like Boylan’s along with the usual suspect sodas. The tables were clean, and at the right heights so you don’t feel like you are sitting on the floor when you are eating. Don’t feel like sitting inside? Sit outside on the picnic tables and get some fresh air while ya eat.

This guy!

This guy!

Even the staff was awesome. I am a bad order-er in places. It takes me more time then it should to order (I think my brain shorts out when there is too much choice and my friends all make fun of me for it) and this guy, who was working himself behind the counter and juggling like 9 things at once, was super nice and didn’t at all try to hurry me along. In fact, he answered all my stupid questions with ease and didn’t bat an eye when I ordered enough food to feed 9 people “for here”. I was thinking he was the twin of that one guy from the show House, but he is not. What I am saying, is that this place has it covered: great food, great customer service, and a cool place to eat!

You would be cheating yourself if you didn’t check this place out on your next trip to AC! 300 Oriental Avenue, right on the corner! Look for the blue and the big moustache!

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Hello Fall: The Wawa Gobbler Is Back!


This summer was ungodly hot and humid. At one point it even almost killed my car. At one point it almost killed me (100+ degree weather plus no ac in the car is no good for anyone, including an overweight jackass who has to drive to AC from Philly). While I am not looking forward to winter and all it’s bs that comes along with it, I do love fall. My birthday was this week and usually right after that (or after I recover from my hangover) Fall creeps in. I got my first look at it when my neighbor had a big bag of candy corn (that, much like Lewis Black says, tastes like crap but I eat it every year). My second look at Fall was that the Wawa Gobbler has returned!!

For those of you who don’t live within an hour of Philadelphia (or now in Florida!), Wawa is what some might call a convenience store. Using the word convenience store, you think of 7-11, which is correct and very, very wrong. Wawa has all the things a convenience store has, along with awesome freshly made food. A night out is not the same without stopping into the store to pick up a hoagie, and a morning after is usually soothed by a breakfast sandwich. Everyone has a favorite, and they have some awesome seasonal favorites, which brings us to The Gobbler!!

The Gobbler! Hello, Fall!

The Gobbler! Hello, Fall!

The Gobbler is a sandwich that we have all made: the Thanksgiving sandwich! Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy.

Most places make them with lunchmeat turkey that has just taken a quick dip in some kind of salty, gross neon gravy. Not this turkey! It is thicker cut for some bite and they aren’t skimpy with it!

 

Side View!

Side View!

The stuffing has some seasoning in it, and it tastes like it came off of someone’s kitchen table, as opposed to just slapped together. Now, I am not naive, I know there isn’t some little old lady in the back making turkeys and stuffing for all of us. But I like the fact that they try and don’t just make a tub of salt and slap it on a roll.

Anyway, the gravy is excellent too, and it is not, as some gravy bought in stores ca be, a salt bomb. it’s actually tasty and really pulls together the whole sandwich. It also seeps into the roll and makes a home within it, oozing in over, under and around the ingredients. My absolute favorite part is the cranberry sauce, which has real actual cranberries in it! See them in the picture? Oh yeah!

When you order a sandwich at Wawa, it’s all computerized, so you can customize it any way you want. I added pepperjack cheese and creamy horseradish sauce. Delish! The flavors mingled like a drunken wedding party at 2am. Strictly speaking, the sandwich is happiness on a roll. Get one if ya can!

The deliciousness!

The deliciousness!

 

AC Food and Wine Fest: Blues, Brews and BBQ


There were many events at the AC Food and Wine Fest this year. The Blues, Brews and BBQ event was hands down the best one! Even tho it was, no lie, 900 degrees out and this thing was held in the parking lot across from the Showboat Casino, even tho the guys using smokers and grills made it 200 times hotter and even tho the big tents were no help from the heat, it still was a blast!

Yes, there was a band and yes, there was a lot of beer. But hey, I went for the BBQ!!

First up was Devil’s Alley. They are a, surprise, bar and grille in downtown Philly at 19th and Chestnut Sts. Chef Brian Fidiam come with a something offbeat, but still awesome! Spicy Dry Rub Wings. Now when I say these things were moist, tender and delicious, believe me. I ate, well, I coulda put their kids thru college. Let’s just leave it at that!

Devil's Alley Spicy Dry Rub Wings

Devil’s Alley Spicy Dry Rub Wings

Next up was Smokin’ Betty’s, a place down at 11th and Sansom sts, in downtown Philly.  They brought their signature Riblets. Now, some of you might remember places like Applebee’s who would have all you could eat riblets. these are not that! Not that! Not even close! The sweet sauce mingles with the porky goodness and the fat disintegrates right as it touches your tongue. Again, I think I ate a whole table’s worth.

Smokin' Betty's BBQ Riblets

Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ Riblets

Also, I cannot go much further without a shoutout to some neighbors of mine I ran into and went to a few events with! Maureen is a huge fan of the blog and her kids (All grown up now. I am so old!) love going to food events. Also, a shoutout to Brigid’s boyfriend Joe who bought a 5 gallon oak barrel in which to brew beer inside! I want to see how that turns out! They also kindly showed me some of the more awesome things I’m writing about today! So, hats off to Joe and the Ramseys!

Joe, Brigid, Maureen & Rob

Joe, Brigid, Maureen & Rob

Paula Deen was big and loud at the event and she cracked everyone up. As you can see in the picture, she’s lost a bunch of weight, as has Michael. She was really loving talking to the crowd, got onto the topic of her Diabetes and having to eat better and lose weight. Her son Bobby has been helping them eat better (and she plugged his show “Not My Mama’s Meals”, in which he remakes some of her recipes in a way that won’t kill you…as fast), which has helped with the weight loss, but she didn’t put a big shine on the whole thing. She basically pined what we all feel, that weight loss is hard and sometimes you just want that donut, but you gotta stick to it. Sometimes tho, have that donut! Am I saying Paula Deen, Queen of Butter, was being realistic? Yes, I am! Good god, anything is possible I think.

Paula Deen & her man Michael

Paula Deen & her man Michael

Paula also brought along her Braised Beef Brisket. I have never actually tasted anything she has made (or, as it was probably at this event, supervised the making of), and this brisket was pretty fantastic. It had a great crust on it and the sauce had a kick but with a smokey backend. It was right on!

Paula Deen Braised Beef Brisket

Paula Deen Braised Beef Brisket

This little puppy melted the socks right off my feet. Local Smoke BBQ brought their world-famous Smoked Jalapeno Poppers. When I saw the sign, I was intrigued. However, I have a problem with Jalapenos these days. You see, I’m getting kind of old and certain things just, well, tie me up into knots. They turn my body into a festival of terror. I actually start twitching when I see seeds sometimes. Once I was assured there were no seeds, I dug in and wowza! A hollow Jalapeno stuffed with a cream cheese and pulled pork filling, wrapped in dry-rubbed bacon and slow-smoked to perfection & served with BBQ ranch dipping sauce. Pop that sucker right in your mouth and your eyes immediately roll to the back of your head. You need to sit down. The layers of flavor melt all over your mouth. These things are a National Treasure. These things should be on every tv show in the land. These things are amazing.

Local Smoke BBQ Slow Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Local Smoke BBQ Slow Smoked Jalapeno Poppers

Tyler Florence was in attendance at the fest as well. He brought up Paula and then later came out and mingled amongst the sweaty unwashed. When I say this guy was the nicest fellow I have come across, believe it. I approached him, told him my blog name and said maybe he should check it out and he repeated it back, and said he would. I got the feeling from him, well, he just might. He then asked if I wanted a picture and I snapped one of just him and then he insisted we take one together (of which I will spare you of because we both look like we just climbed out of a pool). I felt bad for him, he was wearing that chef coat and he was soaked all the way thru. But he stayed and took more pics, talked to people, signed autographs and all. I know they all get paid to be at these things but the guy is a trooper (and just as cute in person as he is on tv).

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence

Zac Pelaccio is a world travelin’ dude. He’s written a book called “Eat With Your Hands” and pushes that exact idea: to get into with your food. He also owns 2 restaurants: Fatty Crab and Fatty Cue. This guy knows what’s what.

Zak Pelaccio

Zak Pelaccio

Zak was working with Amstel Light and made a Pork Burger with Twig Farm Goat Cheese, Citrus Mayo, and Onion Jam served on a soft rye burger bun.

Pelaccio Pork Burger

Pelaccio Pork Burger

It was juicy and very well seasoned. However, I am not a fan of goat cheese. I keep trying and trying but no go. The Ramsey’s really liked it tho, it seemed. I really wanna visit one of Zak’s places tho, they sound amazing. You can order a half pound of deep fried bacon!!

Pelaccio Pork Burger Side Cut

Pelaccio Pork Burger Side Cut

The biggest, brightest part of the day was from Dinosaur BBQ! I didn’t think it was the same one in Harlem, from which I have heard many fantastically awesome things from people I know. They didn’t mention that on the menu, they just mentioned Newark. Turns out, it was! And oh my dear mother of all that is good and holy on this planet and the next, this thing was transcendent.

Dinosaur BBQ Beef Brisket Mini

Dinosaur BBQ Beef Brisket Mini

Look close at the meat, you’ll see the smoke ring. Look closer and you’ll see how juicy that meat was. Look again and see the amazing sauce they laid on there. I walked away looking like a toddler who fought a plate of spaghetti and I did not care. Not one stinkin’ bit. It was that good. I was sweaty, tired, and covered in bbq sauce and it was some of the best BBQ meat I have ever had. Unreal. UNREAL.

Whew! So that was the Blues, Brews and BBQ event! I left there seeing BBQ everywhere I went. I should say that two of my favorite beer companies were there as well, Anderson Valley and Pyramid Brewing! Check them out when you get a chance, you will not be disappointed!

Thanks to the AC Food & Wine Fest crew for having me and thanks to Joe & The Ramseys for hanging out! It was a blast and I can’t wait for next year!

AC Food & Wine Fest: Redefine Cheesesteak


In the parking lot of the Showboat Casino, the AC Food and Wine Fest trucked on with “Redefine Cheesesteak”. And redefine they did.

Cheesesteaks as far as the eye can see!

Cheesesteaks as far as the eye can see!

Massive tents were set up in the parking lot and cheesesteaks were aplenty. Being from Philly, I am really picky as to how my steaks are, specifically that they resemble a cheesesteak or change the name. By definition, a cheesesteak is thinly sliced ribeye fried up with or without onions and served on a long roll with cheese of the american, provolone or whiz variety. Is it something I need to get over? Indeed. But I was able to bend enough to enjoy some of the offerings.

Grey Lodge Lodge Steaks!

Grey Lodge Lodge Steaks!

First up was Mike Scoats of The Grey Lodge and his merry band of steak slingers. The Grey Lodge is located on Frankford Ave in the Mayfair section of Philly and has a ridiculous amount of oddball beers and even hosts a Friday The Firkinteenth event on every Friday The Thirteenth that has just won Best Beer Event in Philly Magazine’s Best of Philly 2012! Mike has a great calendar full of fun things they do and an interesting menu full of outstandingly delicious food! He brought along his Lodge Steak for the masses to try: Rib-eye, Genoa salami, roasted pepper mayo & house cheese sauce. They cut their own steak, use quality imported salami and you can taste the handcraftedness. I guarantee you will not find a more unique steak in town. They could barely keep up with the demand of the people who came by and then returned, time and time again!

Tony Boloney Cheesesteak Ole'

Tony Boloney Cheesesteak Ole’

Next up is my friends at Tony Boloney’s! They won the Guy Fieri’s Cheesesteak Battle at  The AC Food & Wine Fest in 2010 with their ridiculous Cheesesteak Ole’ and haven’t looked back since! If they sent Californian Fieri back home with the picture of the Ole’ in his head as to what a cheesesteak should be, then everyone is a winner! Their Cheesesteak Ole’ is actually a little more like a cheesesteak hoagie, but it’s still fantastic. It involves 10 spiced sirloin steak, pepperjack cheese & chipotle house sauce on top of lettuce and tomato. It all melds together to form what I like to call the Cheesesteak of Greatness. In all honesty, Tony Boloney’s, at 300 Oriental Ave and a stone’s throw fromt he Revel, is one solid reason to drive to AC. Keep an eye out for more of thier menu on this blog.

Community Foodbank Of NJ "Cheesesteak with a Twist"

Community Foodbank Of NJ “Cheesesteak with a Twist”

The Community Food Bank Of New Jersey had a stand and they weren’t messing around! A soft, buttery roll center stuffed with steak and perfectly cooked onions with a nice crumble of cheese of top made it one of my favorite steaks of the fest. I also love what they stand for: helping anyone who needs a hand in the area. They run a food service training academy, they run a whole kids division with a kids cafe (to feed kids who otherwise wouldn’t have anything to eat), a kids closet (clothing and coats), a backpack program and even a tools for schools program. They also distribute food, do catering and lots of other stuff. If you want to donate some money, sending them some cash would be a great move, or buy their new book “Cooking For Change: Tales from a Food Service Training Academy“. All proceeds benefit the Community Foodbank Of New Jersey! This is truly an organization that knows how to help people and help them move forward!

Percy Street BBQ

Percy Street BBQ

Percy Street BBQ come to the fight with their unreal take on the cheesesteak, which is not a cheesesteak at all. Frankly, I could care less because it blew my mind. Bercy Street BBQ sits on South Street in Philly between 9th and 10th streets, cranking out BBQ that, until recently, was only really available closer to the South. They understand what the ring is and they are dead serious about this fantastic meat.

The meat was carved in front of you and packed with delicious strips of it, and smothered with a creamy cheese sauce. Easily my favorite non-cheesesteak cheesesteak. Well, it’s actually a tie with..

delicious.

delicious.

This sandwich was unlike everything else at the fest! Definitely not a cheesesteak but definitely on my meat list! It was like juicy shredded potroast on a roll and I could not get enough of it. Unfortunately, I lost their business card and only remember that they were next to Tony Boloney.

I have to also mention that it was about 900 degrees that night. Eating cheesesteaks in that kind of heat does a number on your body. What helped was that there was plenty of beer, provided by Amstel Light, and plenty of booze, provided by Jameson, Jim Beam and Red Stag. Red Stag is a flavored whiskey that Beam is putting out. At first I found it to be a party foul of massive degrees to do such a thing, but after tasting it (the Black Cherry flavor), it’s actually kind of interesting.

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern, of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, was the host of this shindig, and he is really the nicest guy ever. After talking onstage for a little bit, he hung out at his booth, making sandwiches for people, answering questions, taking pictures and overall being a very personable and cool dude.

It was super crazy hot and humid, like I said above and he very easily could have disappeared into his tent/trailer/hotelroom and retired for the night. He didn’t and that was very cool of him.

Tongue Steak

Tongue Steak

His offering at his table was a cheesesteak made, of course, of tongue. I found that funny, because, well, us Philadelphians are known for having big mouths. As you can see, it looks like a typical cheesesteak, with nice carmelized onions and green pepper strips. I have not had tongue before but I figured if Andrew can stand in that heat and cook it, I can stand there and chew it. It was a little chewy but the flavors were nice and subtle. The tongue itself has a really weird aftertaste that I didn’t particularly like, but I applaud the effort!

Here are some more cheesesteaks that were pretty awesome!

Carmine's Italian Cheesesteak

Carmine’s Italian Cheesesteak

This steak from Carmine’s, the “Italian Cheesesteak” was pretty great, the meat was very juicy and the roll was deliciously chewy after it soaked up all the juices. two thumbs up!

Union Trust Cheesesteak

Union Trust Cheesesteak

Union Trust Steakhouse, at 7th and Chestnut in Center City Philly, was there too with thier very traditional but also awesome cheesesteak.

Square Steak from Square 1682

Square Steak from Square 1682

Square 1682 is a fancy pants restaurant in the also fancy Rittenhouse Square area of Center City. Thier little cheesesteak on a square bun (get it?) was amazing. It was like the big pot roast sandwich above but on a tiny little bun and covered with a delicious cheese sauce that was thick enough to stay on the meat but thin enough to roll around a little bit.

Cheesesteak Dumpling

Cheesesteak Dumpling

Lastly, but not leastly, was the Sammy D’s cheesesteak dumpling. As someone who used to make a cheesesteak pierogies, I have to say that these guys got it right. The meat was wrapped tight, with the cheese mixed in with the right proportions (too much and it’s cheese with a hint of meat, too little and it’s drier then a desert). Huzzah to Sammy D!

The event in general was pretty awesome: not too crowded but the chefs were all putting out top notch food for the crowds. My hat is off to Showboat and the organizers for putting together a fun event that clogged my arteries!

That brings the first half of Day 2 to rest. Stay tuned for the second half soon!

Atlantic City Food & Wine Fest: Pool Party!


Welcome to the Atlantic City Food and Wine Fest!

Welcome to the Atlantic City Food and Wine Fest!

For the past few years, the Food Network, along with Caesar’s Casino (and their other casinos: Showboat, Harrah’s & Bally’s) and a ton of sponsors, have thrown a huge Food and Wine Fest in Atlantic City. It’s a bunch of events over a few days revolving around food, booze and some music along with a bunch of Food Network personalities. It’s really a great excuse to meet some famous people, try some new foods and have a great time in AC. This year, DidjaEat? was invited to come and enjoy the festivities!

Welcome to the AC Food & Wine Fest!

Welcome to the AC Food & Wine Fest!

The Party!

The Party!

They started the weekend off with a Thursday night party at Harrah’s, at their cool indoor pool area. They try to advertise it as a pool club, which makes sense since the pool doesn’t seem to go over 4 feet in depth. No one actually went into the pool, except one chef who accidentally lit his pants on fire. The quick thinking DJ, DJ Vito G, played “Disco Inferno” just as the guy emerged out of the pool (would I have played “The Roof Is On Fire”? Probably. But then again, I am pretty lowbrow.). It was all I could do to not dive in because it was about 900 percent humidity and I drove down from Philly in my car with no AC.

The whole point of the kick off party is to give everyone a taste, literally and figuratively, of what the fest is offering this year. So, the Blues and Brews BBQ guys were serving up some pork tacos, the Re-Define Cheesesteak guys were serving up cheesesteaks and, well, you get the point.

roasted pig!

roasted pig!

Pork Taco!

Pork Taco!

Speaking of the BBQ, the Blues, Brews and BBQ guys had a big ol’ roast pig out on the table for all to see, along with some grilled corn (I took a skip on that because I cannot stand it when it gets all jammed up in my teeth, but it looked pretty awesome.) and delicious pork tacos. I had many, many of those. Unbelievably good! I can’t wait to go to that event and stuff my face full of BBQ!!

The DJ, who I mentioned above, really did a great job. I normally cannot stand loud dance music, but he mixed in some great old stuff and got people dancing in front of the DJ booth. The last hour, when people had really started feeling all the free drinks, busted out all the old stuff, starting with Bell Biv Devoe’s Poison and slid right thru all that late 80’s, early 90’s stuff. He knew his demographic and ran with it.

Even Anne Burrell was having a blast. While they kept her sort of behind a rope (to keep from people totally swallowing her up), she was dancing, having a great time and did not say no to one person who wanted a picture with her (and you had to use a flash because of the lighting, I can’t believe she wasn’t blind by the time she left). When the DJ played a special request of hers, she almost lost her mind. It was cool to see someone famous actually enjoying themselves with the fans, alcohol or no alcohol. I think Andrew Zimmern was supposed to be there too, but I didn’t see him.

Dirty Grilled Flank Steak Bruschette with Jersey Tomato and Goat Cheese Spread w/ Micro Greens

Dirty Grilled Flank Steak Bruschette with Jersey Tomato and Goat Cheese Spread w/ Micro Greens

Speaking of having a blast, the SteakHouse guys were not messing around. They had Dirty Grilled Flank Steak Bruschette with Jersey Tomatoes (note: if you have never had Jersey tomatoes, seriously, go get some.), a Goat Cheese spread and microgreens. I loved it so much but I would have liked it better without the Goat Cheese. I don’t know what it is with that, but I get a very weird after taste that makes me gag. I wonder if that’s what it’s like for people who can’t eat cilantro? I don’t know, but the rest of it was mouth-watering.

Ice Shoe!

Ice Shoe!

A Collection Of Desserts

A Collection Of Desserts

There was a stand that was all about the desserts. Oh yeah. Mini strawberry shortcakes, mini chocolate awesomeness, raspberry & berry with a gel in the middle and even a cool green gelee’ that looked like a votive candle but tasted like clouds.

The chocolate thing in the corner was almost mind bending. It was layers of chocolate with a hard chocolate base. So good.

My favorite thing is one I actually didn’t get to take a picture of, I ate it too fast. It was a tiny brownie type cupcake with caramel in the middle. It was topped with some sort of whipped cream and dusted with caramel dust. Unreal.

Chocolate!!

Chocolate!!

Lobster Rolls!

Lobster Rolls!

One of the more delicious of the savory things was something we don’t eat too much of on the east coast down below New England: The Lobster Roll. Usually the Lobster Roll is chopped lobster mixed with some mayo and maybe some relish and served on a bun that’s not unlike a hot dog roll. Well, they made an appearance at the Pool Party in Parker House rolls! They were absolutely amazing. Buttery, fresh and packed full of lobster meat. I had many, many of these (“Lady, she’s puttin’ my kids thru college!”).

Another thing I had that is a favorite of mine that I was expecting to appear somewhere close to this fest is the Cheesesteak. I am from Philly, I live in Philly and I think I swallowed a bit of Philly one day when I was sleeping with my mouth open. It was either that or a fly, I can’t tell. Either way, I know a cheesesteak. I can point you to not only good cheesesteak places (and no, not Pat’s or Geno’s. Those places are tourist traps. If you are from Philly, the only time you go there is if it’s after 2 am and you are shitfaced. Seriously.), but specific ones in a certain area of the city (ie: going to the Northeast? Hit up Chink’s on Torresdale Ave. Going to Roxborough area? Hit up Dellasandro’s, etc. etc. etc.).

Cheesesteak in a Parker House Roll

Cheesesteak in a Parker House Roll

Cheesesteaks are on the upswing these days, called “Philly Cheesesteaks”. When I see that, I get suspicious. It usually means that the people making them aren’t from Philly and might not know what they are doing. It’s easy to screw up something so simple to make. There was a stand making cheesesteaks on Parker House rolls and Cheesesteak eggrolls.

The bun was nice and fresh and I get that they are doing a new spin on the cheesesteak (“Redefining Cheesesteak”) but the meat was a little too chopped up for me. It sort of reminded me of the cheesesteaks from high school. I applaud the effort tho, and the servers and the guys working behind the table were super nice, very efficient in the plating and overall looked like they were having a good time.

Cheesesteak Eggroll

Cheesesteak Eggroll

The cheesesteak eggroll was a little different. The cheese was not inside the roll, as they were appetizer sized eggrolls, not what you think of when you think eggroll. But, considering how many had to be made, it makes sense. It would have cost them a bazillion bucks to make full size ones for all those people. They were tasty tho, and served with the cheese at the bottom of the cup for dipping (later on they used paper boats, but the little cups I thought were cool.).

They fried them to order and were blazing hot but still pretty good. I could give them some tips on putting cheesesteak in things, as I used to make some kick ass cheesesteak pierogies. Gimmie a call, guys!

So, after sitting down and relaxing for a while, I made one more trip around the pool and decided my time at the Pool Party had come to an end. I think it was when the DJ played “Ice, Ice, Baby” but I could be wrong. I had to rest up for the rest of the weekend and digest all the awesomeness I had consumed over the course of the night. On the way out I spotted a really cool sand sculpture, smiled…and burped. Whoo, time for a nap. See you on friday, Food and Wine Fest!

The sand says goodbye for now!

The sand says goodbye for now!

Eating The Sights At Bobby’s Burger Palace


A while back, my friend Hot Mess Jess and I decided to take the plunge and check out celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s new burger chain called, surprisingly enough, “Bobby’s Burger Palace“. If you have been living under a rock, Bobby Flay is a very big celebrity chef, and if you aren’t into food, he is also married to Stephanie March, who played ADA Alex Cabot in L&O: SVU. Either way, you’ve seen him on tv somewhere. The name is a funny throwback to places in the 50’s and the place itself is pretty retro but still very modern. There is a lot of green and orange colors, and the place in and of itself looks very happy and inviting.

The counter and the cool lighting

The counter and the cool lighting

You can sit at the counter and watch the cooks do their thing in the kitchen or you can sit at the long family style type tables. At first, they reminded me of lunchroom tables and I didn’t think I’d like sitting there, but it was actually kind of fun!

Maybe it might be because we were there kinda of late but I have to remark about the cleanliness of the place. That’s always a sticking point with me: I like my bars dirty and my restaurants clean. It’s not much to ask for and it hit the mark. The tables could have been sticky or gross and they just weren’t. Two thumbs up for the staff!

Condiment Caddy

Condiment Caddy

The tables are littered with popup napkin dispensers (can I sing a song of love for popup napkin dispensers? I am a sloppy eater, especially with something like a burger, where I look like a toddler versus a bowl of spaghetti!). I also love that they had a bunch of caddies with different sauces for the burgers. I like choices and only one was kinda gross (one bbq sauce was a little too…smokey for me.).That’s pretty awesome. What can I say, I’m easily impressed (Also impressive? The spotless bathrooms. Oh yeah.). Even the chairs that are attached to the tables are fun. I don’t know how fun it would be if it were completely packed in there, but it was half packed and it was still fun.

Seating Area

Seating Area (Hot Mess Jess is not included at BBP!)

Whatever. BBP doesn’t lose sight of the most important thing: the burgers!

The burgers themselves are a decent size: not giant and not teeny. I’d say they are about 7 ounces. The burger meat is flavored simply, with no crazy ridiculousness: just a little salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious. Another thing I have to love about these burgers: for the sort of place this is (a hyped up burger place owned by a celebrity), the prices aren’t bad. Sure, you can get a burger that is bigger at Burger King or McDonald’s, but most people are there for the name and something different.

So what did we have? Oh! Where to start?!

ORDER!

Menu!

Menu!

The order counter

The order counter

Ok, let’s start at the beginning! After checking out the giant menu on the wall, you order at the counter, they give you a big number and you go sit until someone brings you your food. Oh, yeah, go get your own soda (I will always love that!).

What did we order? The question is more “what DIDN’T we order?”. What we do for you people! *buuurp*!

LA Burger

LA Burger

First up! The LA Burger! It’s a burger with Avocado Relish, Watercress, Cheddar Cheese & Tomato. Not skimpy on the avocado, and the whole top is covered with cheese. Not a whole lot to complain about: it’s a burger with taste without too much messiness (some people, like my friend Steve, do not like messy food. This would be a good burger for you if you are like Steve, even if you don’t have a strap beard!). The seeded bun gives it a nice pop as well!

Inside the LA Burger

Inside the LA Burger

As you can see in the inside of this burger, there isn’t a lot of filler and they cooked it just the way I like it (medium well). Like I said above, the burger isn’t huge but you get a nice sized patty. A nice side note is the pickle that comes with the burger. It could have been a simple thing to just throw on some neon green pickles and call it a day, but the pickle is kickass: crisp and zesty!

Dallas Burger

Dallas Burger

Next up? The Dallas Burger. I hate the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones with a mad passion, but this burger is kinda neat. It’s a spice crusted patty with Coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ Sauce and Pickles. I’m not exactly sure how this related to Dallas, but I’d have it again. The coleslaw is a little sweet but plays right against the BBQ Sauce. I guess the burger is supposed to be a play on Texas BBQ, but when I think of BBQ, I don’t really think of Dallas, I think of Austin or other cities. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but either way, not bad!

Something I really dig, and that you might have noticed is the cheese wrap on these burgers. Cheese lovers, rejoice!

Inside the Dallas Burger

Inside the Dallas Burger

I was worried for a little bit that the coleslaw might not be enough to work with (or taste) but it’s just enough. And you can tell they are cutting that cabbage there, not defrosting it or just using a mix. I gotta say, Flay and his team put a lot of thought into these burgers. And yet again, they hit the heat point correctly for me, this was another winner!

A little tip if you go to BBP: go with a friend and get a few burgers and split them, they are the perfect size for sharing!

Inside the Miami Burger

Inside the Miami Burger

Whew! We aren’t done yet! Next up? The Miami Burger! Let’s face it, the best thing about Miami is the Cuban Sandwich. They are always so delicious, and they brought it to the one pressed burger on the menu. This thing has Ham (and they are NOT skimpy on the Ham! Yay, Ham!!), Swiss Cheese, Pickles, Mustard and Mayo, and then they press it to melt the whole thing together. Hungry yet?

And the burger train marches on….

Crunchburger!

Crunchburger!

Next up! The Crunchburger. Oh, Bobby Flay, you love the simple things. You really do. Growing up as a kid in Philly, putting chips or Doritos on your sandwich was something you just always did if you could. I still do it sometimes. It’s all about texture and what they call “mouth feel”. Mouth Feel is exactly how it sounds: it’s the way food feels in your mouth. Ever smell some food and it smells good but you chew it and it just feels weird? Gross, right? Or you eat a chocolate covered pretzel and the silkiness of the chocolate and the crunchy of the pretzel kind of dance around your mouth? Yeah, there ya go. So, putting chips on a burger mixes

Inside the Crunchburger

Inside the Crunchburger

a juicy burger and then the salty, crispy chip to create a superpower of awesome in your mouth. The way it’s presented would make a kid of any age clap their hands. Did I? Only Jess knows (and there isn’t enough Captain out there for her to squeal! I think…). The chips are very Original Herr’s like, and when you smash them down to take a bite, they crunch and crumble just right. It’s a silly thing, but it’s a lot of fun to eat! Honestly, half the fun is smashing it down!

Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce

Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce

A side we got was Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Horseradish Sauce. I normally don’t particularly care for Sweet Potato Fries but these fries were, and I am not even kidding, amazing. They were salted but only a little bit to balance the sweetness of the sweet potato and they were cut so that you got a good bite and they didn’t get soggy. For 3 bucks they give you a giant vat of them with a nice side of sauce. Did we stab each other over the last few pieces? Use your imagination.

Now, let’s say the gang wants to go out and get some burgers, but you don’t eat meat? No sweat, BBP offered a Griddled cheese (American & Swiss Cheese) and a Griddled Cheese Deluxe (Brie, Goat, Cheeses/Tomato/Bacon).

Going without carbs? Get the Topless Burger (Any burger on baby greens with balsamic). They even have a kickass sounding salad for those of you out there who like to…eat…salads…in burger joints? Got kids? Get a kids meal (basically just a smaller burger, smaller fries and a smaller soda for about a buck and a half less). I hear the milkshakes are awesome, but after our burgerfest, who had room? We sat on the bench outside for awhile before we rolled ourselves back out to the car to drive home. I was cursing myself for not remembering to wear my stretchy pants.

So what was the final decision? Pretty great burgers for a decent price. I have to say, I have seen smaller burgers offered for more, so hey, check it out! The BBP we went to was in the Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey, but there is also one in West Philly and they are also all over the country. If you go, try to go at an off time so you can enjoy yourself (they tend to get pretty crowded). Oh, and apparently you can get any burger “crunchified”, so if you wanna go for it…go for it! Me? I’m gonna go take a nap…

The nighttime outside of the BBP

The nighttime outside of the BBP

Eating Our Way Around Citizens Bank Park


A few months ago I got picked in a second chance lottery for Red Sox-Phillies tickets. So, of course, I purchased said tickets. When I say it was forever ago, I mean the game was on May 20th and I purchased the end of February. My usual Phillies game partner in crime, Steve “Chinstrap” Zegray was getting ready to get back on the road with his band (The Dirk Quinn Band) so I asked my friend Pat Farley to come along. He was a little on the fence until I told him what I wanted to do: go early and eat as much stuff as I could before the game started. He then jumped on the game train. So, that’s what we did.

The Schmitter

The Schmitter

The very first thing we made a beeline to was the stand that sells The Schmitter. The Schmitter is my all time favorite thing they sell in Citizen’s Bank Park. I have been known to walk all the way around the stadium to get it. When the season is over, it’s all I think about to get me through the winter. When it’s baseball time, I get excited to eat one. It also helps that it is named after my all time favorite player: Mike Schmidt. The Schmitter is a sandwich that was created by McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill. In fact, you can get one there all year round (Why don’t I? I am lazy. Next!). So, when I got the Schmitter, Pat and I were a little bit perplexed. Besides being yelled at by the lady at the counter to “walk thru the line” (a maze of rope…with no one in it), the sandwich was missing something. Namely, meat.

Let’s talk about what this delicious concoction is, ok? They broil the inside of a kaiser roll and from the bottom up it’s: cheese, beef, fried onions, tomatoes, more cheese, grilled salami, special sauce (this makes the sandwich, believe it or not) and more cheese. Sounds awesome right? A gooey, sloppy mess of a delicious piece of awesome. It’s the sort of thing you drop down the front of your shirt and when no one is looking, you try and lick it off (Is that just me? Can’t be…).

Schmitter Side View

Schmitter Side View

So, when we got this sandwich (pictured to the right), I didn’t know what to make of it. There was very little in this thing that looked like the Schmitters of old. Of olden times. Of yesteryear. And by yesteryear, I mean last season. This is not the sandwich I remember. The meat was almost nonexistent. There was barely anything on this sandwich. It was like the Schmitter Gods of Old and New had forsaken us. Did we maybe get a bad sandwich? Possibly. Are they scaling back the meat because of the bad economy? Maybe the person working making them was in a bad mood or just felt like slacking off that day. I was seriously disappointed because, well, did I mention they MAKE THE BEEF RIGHT THERE? Yes. In ovens. Right in front of you. And this sandwich is all they sell (besides beer, water and, I think, chips) so it’s not like they are being distracted by other orders. In fact, they just keep making them wether people are there or not. Most of the time they sell so fast, that is the best way to go about it. Anyway, to sum it up: Schmitter, please get your act together. I might be back with Pat to check you out again soon. (PS, Pat was very confused as to my excitement about this thing after he saw it. What followed was a “you had to be there back then” type of explanation. Way to make me look stupid, Schmitter. We need to talk.)

The Heater

The Heater

The second thing we ate was something I had never had before, that Pat spied. He had said it was fantastic, so how can I turn that down? Answer: I cannot. Campos is a sandwich place right on Market Street in downtown Philly. I worked around the corner from there for quite awhile and love the work they do. great sandwiches, great bread and decent prices. They have a stand at the ballpark and we got sucked into ordering…The Heater!

Inside The Heater

Inside The Heater

The Heater is a spicy cheesesteak with Jalapeno Cheddar and Buffalo Sauce. Oh yeah. I was excited that it had Jalapeno Cheddar and not jalapenos because, uh, I can’t eat the seeds anymore unless I am looking for a nice weekend trapped in the bathroom. TMI? Perhaps. Moving right along…The Cheese itself is welfare cheese orange (say what you will, that cheese made fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches). The sauce is drenched into the sandwich: meaning it doesn’t just make a cursory walk thru. And of course, the fried onions tie it allll together. The only nitpick I have with it, is that I think it could have used more meat. I know the economy is bad and all, but come on. I hate ordering “extra, extra meat”. But besides that, this sandwich is solid, and Campos is a place you should always hit when in the ballpark!

Bull's Sampler Platter

Bull’s Sampler Platter

Next up was a stop at Bull’s Bar-B-Que. Greg “Bull” Luzinski played 10 years in left field for the Phillies and now he owns this place in the new ballpark (in 1989 he was also inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall Of Fame). They serve up all kinds of stuff: pulled pork, ribs, and all sorts of sides. They are also a go-to place for those who have to eat Gluten-Free. We decided to get the sampler: one small bbq turkey sandwich, one small pulled pork sandwich and one small serving of ribs. It wasn’t exactly cheap but it wasn’t too expensive. I wasn’t thinking when we were ordering and I assumed it came with a side. I guess it didn’t. Altho the last thing either of us needed was a serving of beans. Ha.

 

Ribs

Ribs

Anyway, first up was the ribs. As you can see, there wasn’t too much there, but it was enough for the two of us, as we were walking towards stuffed. Pat found the ribs to be good but kind of salty and I had to agree. Not salty enough to not finish tho. Ay-o! They had a nice crust on them and overall, they weren’t bad.

What is a nice touch at Bull’s is that they actully have some sitdown tables so that you can actually eat like a person instead of leaning over a bit of metal or dripping sauce on your pants while you try and eat back in your seat. It is also helpful with little kids if you don’t feel like covering all their clothes with stain remover.

 

Next up is the little BBQ Turkey sandwich. I gave it a “meh” and Pat was not at all enthralled by it either. It seemed like it was just turkey lunch meat that took a swim in some sauce. It was not at ALL what we thought it would be and a lot more disappointing then I expected, which surprised me. Everyone is always babbling on and on about how awesome it is. The roll was nice tho, and the sauce wasn’t too overpowering. And honestly, there was a LOT of that turkey on there, that’s a small plus. So, while it wasn’t the awesomest of all time, it was probably the most disappointing.

 

Which brings up to the Pulled Pork sandwich. I’m actually really good at making pulled pork, believe it or not. When you are good at making stuff, you feel jaded when someone offers it to you. But I’ll tell ya, this wasn’t bad. The pork was chopped down a little bit much for me, but it is a pretty standard pulled pork and probably would have been good on a nice kaiser roll with a mountain of napkins. I was really into it and I have to admit, I forgot to take a picture. Please forgive me, hungry readers.

Now we come to the part of the day where Pat and I decided we needed some sort of dessert. It only makes sense right? They had a lot of ice cream in different Turkey Hill forms, which I am all for, but we were looking for something different. I mean, how many times can you have ice cream in a little batting helmet? (altho I do love it!) I thought I read about a cupcake kiosk over by the one Turkey Hill stand and low and behold, there it was! We sauntered over, neither of us being very into baked goods but into something different.

Cannoli Cupcake

Cannoli Cupcake

The 2 ladies who were working there looked like they were breaking down the stand when we got there. We pointed to the 3 on the top shelf and asked what they were. When she said CANNOLI CUPCAKE, we hi-fived and did a little dance (or, just ordered them, depending on how imaginative you are). This thing had the lightest, most delicious cake bottom, with the top made of fantastic cannoli cream and full size chocolate chips. On the top there were bits of cannoli shell sprinkled about.

You know how when something is really, really good, the people eating stop talking and don’t even notice? Yeah, that was us, standing at the hi-top table, pretending we both didn’t want to lick the paper that had the extra frosting on it. “You go ahead”. “No, you go ahead!”. It was like a Chip and Dale cartoon. In the end, we both had extra frosting, because there was SO MUCH OF IT and it was awesome! The cupcake was $3 but it was easily split by the both of us, which I thought was cool.

That was the day of eating. We had beers as well and walked around to fool ourselves into thinking we were burning it off (escalators don’t count right?) but it was a great day and the weather was awesome. The Phils got their asses handed to them by the Sox, but hey, ya can’t have everything, right?

My favorite thing was the Cupcake, followed super close by The Heater. That sandwich was awesome and I’d like to try it as a chicken cheesesteak! Pat’s fave was The Heater but he says the Cupcake was way better then expected & made it a tough choice as he is not much of a Cupcake guy.

So there ya have it! Will there be a second part of this entry? Possibly! Stay tuned and find out, the baseball season is just getting started!

 

 

 

 

Be Still My Clogged Arteries!: Fat Sandwiches in New Brunswick


I have always been fascinated by ridiculous sandwiches. Even when I was a kid and would see Dagwood, in the Blondie comic strip, make those crazy sandwiches, I was fascinated. In New Brunswick, New Jersey, there lives Rutgers University. Whenever you have a college, especially one as large at Rutgers, you get food trucks. These trucks, known as “grease trucks”, are exactly what you think they are: sandwich trucks. But these sandwich trucks spawned something interesting: The Fat Sandwich.

The Fat Sandwich is a bad meal on a long roll. That’s the best way to put it. You feel like eating a cheesesteak with a side of fries? Well, why not just put the whole thing on the cheesesteak? Maybe you wanted Jalapeno Poppers as well? Put those bad boys on there too. And maybe some chicken fingers? Yup, everyone in the pool!

So when I went to visit my friend Pat, who seems to be becoming my new food-partner-in-crime at times, we put down our beers long enough to decide to order some sandwiches. He steered me towards a place called Giovanelli’s. This place has a laundry list of fat sandwiches, as does a bunch of others. He really likes this place tho, so we ordered!

Fat Phillipino

Fat Phillipino

First up is the Fat Phillipino. Not a very politically correct name, but the tastiness of the sandwich makes up for it.  I felt a little better about eating it because it has a lot of lettuce and tomato on it. Maybe it’s a mini-salad? Yeah, let’s go with that.

But this puppy is loaded to the gills. It doesn’t look so bad when you take a top down view of it. It looks almost tame, right? Like it’s a small sandwich? (This is a half by the way. Pat and I decided to switch halves in order to try 2 kinds. No wonder he is a graduate school graduate. I can’t even say that 5 times fast…)

Fat Phillipino Side View

Fat Phillipino Side View

Now let’s take a look at this thing from the side and I will go over the things that are loaded in here. Are ya ready? (And please, click on the picture to get the full effect. Yowza!) It’s got cheese steak, chicken fingers, gyro meat,  mozzarella sticks, french fries, white sauce, lettuce and tomato. The fries were a little bit limp by the time the food got to us, but I’m ok with that.

The sandwich is supposed to have white sauce on it, but it did taste a little dry. I imagine it’s because of the time of transportation and also because of the bread and the breaded ingredients within the sandwich. How did it taste overall? It was pretty darn delicious, I have to say.

Fat Giovanelli

Fat Giovanelli

The second sandwich was the the Fat Giovanelli. I actually heard my Mom yelling at me in my head for eating this thing. The things I do for journalism! This one looks really harmless from the top, doesn’t it?

That red you see is hot sauce. It’s actually not a very spicy sauce but it does give the sandwich a bit of a kick. It also made the sandwich a lot less dry then the other ones, but it could have used more moisture. But, like I said, I think transportation and bread’s moisture sucking qualities kind of did me in a little bit. Don’t despair, beer helped.

Fat Giovanelli Side

Fat Giovanelli Side

Now check out the side shot of this thing (then go take your cholesterol meds). This thing contains: cheesesteak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, bacon, egg, hot sauce. I am a HUGE fan of eggs on cheeseburgers, so when I saw there was a sandwich with egg on it, I was all over it. This thing does not disappoint. The egg gives the whole thing some more moisture and some great texture when you are up against the cheesesteak meat and the breading of the chicken fingers and mozzarella sticks. And again, the hot sauce moistens up the fries a bit.

So, would I eat one of these monstrosities again? Sure. Do I think I can take on the challenge of eating 5 that one of the trucks does? No way. Will I be eating salads the rest of the week to make up for the damage I did? Probably. I’d like to try another kind of these at some point, so we’ll see what happens. But thanks to Pat Farley for being smart enough to not only graduate grad school but also to know where the good places to eat are!

Wendy’s: The W & Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club


With people either eating no fast food at all or eating it like it’s their job, fast food companies are left trying to do the same stuff for thier usual customers who are accustomed to the same things and also chasing customers who long for something fast but different. Wendy’s is no different.

I have not really been a fan of breaded chicken sandwiches. It seemed like a lot of bread to me and not much anything else, so I stayed away. While I don’t each much fast food, I did kind of lean towards burgers and Wendy’s burgers were always on the top of my list. The franchise by me is pretty on it: clean, fast (for the most part, as opposed to the McDonald’s by me. You could kill a cow, cut it up, cook the meat, digest it and eat another meal as slow as their drive thru is, at any time of the day) and good at getting the food out hot. Lately, Wendy’s had been advertising their new burger, “The W” and it looked interesting. They also had been advertising the “Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club” Sandwich that, well, it had bacon and guac. I was sold.

The W and The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

The W and The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

When I took the 2 sandwiches out of the bag, I noticed that the weren’t wrapped in Wendy’s usual foil lined paper, but in a parchment and then in a small box holder. I really like the small box holders and the only other place I have seen them is at Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. They keep the burgers in one spot so they don’t slide apart and keeps them from unraveling. Thumbs up for that! It shows that the Wendy’s people are paying attention.

First up is the “W”. The “W” is Wendy’s attempt at a killer burger with a special sauce that isn’t 5 bucks. It’s $2.99!

The W!

The W!

Any person who has half a brain is not expecting their fast food to look like it does in the ads. If you don’t know why this is, go and google “food styling”. This burger didn’t look like it did in the ads but it still looked ok, and most importantly, the burgers were still nice and warm by the time I got it home.

Condiments!

Condiments!

I’m not too into using the word “premium”, but this burger is supposed to have “premium” toppings. I guess this means they are cut bigger, and yeah, this burger has it. The pickles were thicker and crinkle cut (I imagine they did that so the sauce could get all up in the ridges), the red onion was thick cut, and the tomato, well, it was kinda thin. I don’t have too much of a problem with that, but if you were looking for a giant piece of tomato, well, you might be missing out. Altho, it could have been just a weirdly cut batch of tomatoes, who knows.

Sideshot of The W!

Sideshot of The W!

The shining star of this burger is new secret sauce. It really is delicious. It’s sort of a thousand island but with red pepper in it too, to give it some texture, along with little bits of pickle. Combined with the burger patties and the rest of the stuff it really comes together. The food scientist guys over at Wendy’s really hit it on this.

The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

The Spicy Guacamole Chicken Club

Next up is the Spicy Guacamole Chicken Sandwich. Like I said above, I am not usually into breaded chicken sandwiches. It’s too much bread and it ends up being a dry mess of a meal. So, when I pulled up into the drivethru and saw this thing on the menu, I had to try it.

The Bacon!

The Bacon!

Let’s take a look inside the sandwich. First off, this thing comes with bacon. Yay! Sometimes when a burger comes with bacon, it’s barely there, or unrecognizable. Also, sometimes it’s just dripping with that liquid smoke flavor that makes it taste like crap. This bacon was actually recognizable and delicious. They give you just enough to make a difference in the burger but not too much that it is overpowering.

The chicken patty had a little bit of a kick of spice to it, kind of peppery, and it’s topped with a nice pepper jack cheese. They could have stopped right there and call it a spicy chicken sandwich. Even the buttered buns, which by the way, both the sandwiches have, were a nice touch.

The Guac!

The Guac!

And then they took a big step forward by adding the guacamole! The guac, of which they are not skimpy with, gives the sandwich another texture besides bread, chicken and bacon, and it also has some red pepper in there to give it even more depth of flavor.

Again, I say, I am not really into chicken sandwiches but man, this thing is pretty kickass. I will definitely be ordering this again when I get back to Wendy’s.

I really have to hand it to Wendy’s. The fast food landscape has become littered with all sorts of goofy new products with places trying to sell new things in order to rope in the public. Wendy’s seems to be doing the opposite, they are looking within to see what they are good at: burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads. They are taking these items and beefing them up, giving them new spins and overall boosting up their menu items without gouging you in the pocketbook. In the day and age where the economy stinks, Wendy’s gets it. My hat is off to them.

White House Subs: WTF?


I have to admit, I do not enjoy writing about food I don’t like. Negativity is not something I enjoy spewing all over the internet like a heavy meal after a run at a bottle of Jameson. I genuinely like food and sharing it with all 4 of you who read this blog. But when I go somewhere with a reasonable expectation of awesome, and it only half registers a pulse, I gotta talk about it.

When I was in college up in North Central Jersey, I had a lot of people in my dorm who were very anti-Philly in terms of sandwiches (and anti-Philly in general, which I found hilarious considering that they had never been there and they were all from podunk tiny towns and always referred to NYC as “The City”, like there weren’t any others in the world) and very pro-North Jersey and I heard a lot about this White House place. I even remember Bill Cosby name dropping it a few times on the Cosby Show when I was a kid (side note: I cannot remember my phone number half the time but I can remember a food reference from 25 years ago. Go figure.)

White House Subs

White House Subs

I have a thing for old places. I like some history, some backstory. Smiling old people in pictures on the walls make me order more food. I also like vinyl booths, pop up napkin dispensers and cool signs. I’m a sucker for a place with soul. So, in that part, The White House did not disappoint. It had an old school sign up on the roof and it is pretty no frills, which I can appreciate.

Inside White House Subs

Inside White House Subs

When you see a sign like this, proudly pronouncing that they have been open for 60 years, it’s a cool thing. Nothing these days lasts very long. You think Bobby Flay’s Burger Joints will be around for 60 years? Much like any famous deli/sandwich/steak shop, this place is covered with famous people who have swung by to stuff their face with sandwichy delights. I’d imagine, since this place is literally up the street from the Taj Mahal Casino, it wasn’t too hard to get people to come and eat, but whatever.

But enough about the decor. Let’s get down to the brass tacks. The food. (also, I will be referring to all of the white house offerings as “sandwiches”, not “subs”.)

White House Roll

White House Roll

This place does sandwiches. Not “hoagies” but “subs”. A whole is pretty big, most people get a half. The roll is pretty awesome. They get them from a place up the street, The Formica Brothers Italian Bakery. Nice and fresh. It’s the kind of roll called an “Atlantic City Roll”, just call it a great roll. It’s crusty and chewy but not too much of either of those things. It’s just right and saves both of these things I ordered from me having a fit.

I ordered 2 different sandwiches: 1. The Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese and 2. The Chicken Parm Sub.

Another Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese Sub Side Shot

Another Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese Sub Side Shot

The Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese was pretty good. The meat was not skimpy, but it also wasn’t really piled on. I did enjoy the fact they they didn’t cheap out on the provolone, sometimes when you get a sandwich the cheese is sort of an afterthought. Really, the only issue I had was my own fault, I forgot to ask for mayo and I got oil. There is a line of thought that italian hoagies always get oil but I am a mayo freak so I like it on everything. In fact, I usually order extra because rolls tend to soak it up and then the sandwich gets dry. That’s not acceptable to me. (oh, I also ordered a side of sweet peppers as well. They give you a nice sized container of them, it made me happy.)

Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese

Ham, Cappicola, Genoa Salami & Provolone Cheese

The thing about these sandwiches, and maybe it’s just me, or that’s the way a sub is supposed to be, but these sandwiches are flat. Any good hoagie I have ever seen, and a sub is a hoagie, have been round. I just found that weird. What do you guys think?

Let’s talk a little bit about the Chicken Parm Sub. I ate this thing like 3 weeks ago but I had to wait to actually sit down and write about it because of how angry it made me. Yeah. Angry. A sandwich made me angry (seriously people, I need a life). You might think I am being ridiculous but when you see this thing, you will understand.

Chicken Parm Side Shot

Chicken Parm Side Shot

I have eaten hundreds of chicken parm sandwiches over the years. It’s an easy idea: breaded pieces of chicken are put on a roll. You cover in sauce and cheese. Delicious and done. It is almost impossible to screw up. Or so I thought.

Let’s talk about the size of this thing. As in, the lack of filling. If you click on the picture, it actually kind of looks like stacked up chicken cheesesteak meat. That is NOT acceptable.

I started eating this thing, half in shock and half wondering what the hell was going on. Then I took a bite of the dry sandwich. Wait, it’s supposed to be saucy. This thing has about 2 tablespoons of sauce on it.  And the sauce was flat and nasty.

Internal Chicken Parm

Internal Chicken Parm

Like cheese? Cheese takes a vacation on this thing. I do NOT UNDERSTAND what they are doing here. Was this thing made by an intern? Or half the sandwich fell out on the way to my table? Maybe aliens escaped with half the chicken? Maybe they ran out of breaded chicken and had to fill the sandwich with this crap?

I ate half of it and took the other half home. Sometimes, a sandwich tastes better the next day, or even just a hour or two or three later.

I took this thing home and it was even shittier later on that nite. And I was drunk! Everything tastes better when you are drunk!

This whole thing baffles me. I was told by a local that the place isn’t the same as it used to be. I don’t understand how that is possible. A chicken parm sandwich is a simple item of food. Chicken is fairly cheap to buy and you already got the rolls. The sauce can be made in

Chicken Parm Sub Side Shot

Chicken Parm Sub Side Shot

huge batches and frozen so it’s not a big deal. You can buy bags of shredded cheese at places like Jetro and Sysco for a song. Whatever the hell they are doing with this sandwich, in the name of all things holy and sandwich related, should be STOPPED.

I am sure someone is going to slam me for writing this post. Trust me, there is no one out there who would love to love a new sandwich shop like me. As someone who has worked in food, loves to eat and loves when people have a small business that is thriving, I was hoping for the best.

So, here are some things I did like: they have nice napkin dispensers that pop up the napkins and it makes it easy to grab when covered with various sandwich accoutrements. The waitress was super nice. They give you a choice between bottled water or water from the soda machine (aka tap). If you are a single person, they have a small booth that is good for one or two people if you don’t want to eat at the counter (the regular sized booths are saved for 3 or more people). Like I said above, I enjoyed the pictures on the wall, especially the Tug McGraw (my favorite Phillie) at the grill picture. I also enjoyed the size of the cups they put the sweet peppers in, it was just enough.

Here was the brightest spot in my visit to The White House. A taste of Philly.

Tastykakes!!

Tastykakes!!

So, if you are headed down to Atlantic City, if I were you, I would avoid this tourist trap and go to Tony Boloney’s (300 Oriental Ave) instead. While I had one ok sandwich, that chicken parm was so horrendously bad, I wouldn’t risk eating anything else there, except for, of course, Tastykakes!

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