"A sub is not a sub is not a sub" said Gertrude Stein. Or was that Ben Franklin? Anyway, there's a new lunch spot slinging Philly-style sandwiches in the Financial District, and whether you're an expat from the City of Brotherly Love, or just appreciate a good mix of high-quality bread, meat and toppings, you're going to want to check out Dave's Hoagies.
Dave's Hoagies, which opened on Monday, serves a New York take on its namesake sandwich, alongside Philly favorite Tastykake dessert cakes. The shop offers five types of hoagies: Italian, turkey, prosciutto, roast beef and vegetarian. We tried the vegetarian, which, after remembering our meatless Philadelphia childhood of boring "Cheese" hoagies, was a deeply savored update. The sandwich was packed with fresh veggies like roasted red and hot cherry peppers, sharp provolone, creamy homemade hummus and "Dave's Famous Hoagie Sauce" (which may sound like Donkey Sauce, but unlike that Guy Fieri
monstrosity creation, is subtly tangy and delicious).
The Italian comes with Genoa salami, hot soppressata and hot coppa, and you can watch your sandwiches made right in front of you, similar to Subway (But without the concomitant nagging of "Lettucetomatoesonions? Picklescheesecarrots?")
Owner Dave Bagan uses rolls baked fresh daily from Parisi Bakery, which are the perfect blend of doughy and crunchy. Any Philadelphian will tell you that a hoagie is different from a sub, hero or grinder, and much of that difference lies in the Italian bread. In imagining this custom roll with Parisi's, Dave's has created a sandwich which we imagine will motivate many to walk the few extra blocks past Subway.
Bagan, who left Deutsche Bank a year and a half ago to start work on his hoagie shop, told us, "We get our bread delivered fresh daily from Parisi Bakery. We were gonna get our bread from Philly, but it wasn't going to be delivered fresh. So I decided that I wanted to create a roll I could get locally, that I'd be able to see."
The size of the hoagies may surprise some Philadelphians expecting the footlong meat-warheads pushed by many shops down in PA. But while Dave's rolls only run about eight inches, they are so packed to the gills with high-quality ingredients that we were left completely satisfied. The prices did run a bit high for lunch, at $10 to $12 per hoagie, but with hard-to-find desserts like Tastykakes and interesting drink options like GuS Sodas, it's worth the few bucks to upgrade from a five dollar footlong to one of these authentic Italian hoagies.
Dave's Hoagies is located at 26 Cedar Street in the Financial District. Open for lunch, Monday - Friday 10:30AM - 3:30PM and Saturday 11:00AM - 3:00PM. Prices average $13.50 - 17.00 for a hoagie, chips or Tastykake and drink. Limited seating, takeout or delivery in the neighborhood.