Nothing gets me more excited than having a pre-order for hoagies waiting for me, plus having the opportunity to visit my old 'hood and see my dearest friend in the whole wide world. All this in one visit. How is it possible? How will we do it all with 2 kids along for the ride? Let's just say it wasn't perfect, especially when you add in the 95 degree heat with almost 50% humidity. No, we will have fun, even when you add a dash of hangry.
I started me hoagie blog last August and one of the first places I noticed in my Instagram feed was Dolores' 2 Street. At first, I was entirely intrigued by the name. I lived on 2 Street* during my 20s, first at a town house attached to
(saving that one for its own post soon!) then on Front Street with literally a front row seat to the Mummers practice area. I woke up to Mummers' music every Sunday morning, and I was in my glory. Who says an Italian South Philly girl from 12th and Dickinson couldn’t relocate to the Irish neighborhood and make it her own? It was awesome!
Second, I started noticing all the incredible hoagie posts from other food lovers, some tagging me which got me all excited. You know how a photo sometimes cannot do something justice? Like a sunset or beautiful view from vacation? The photos from Dolores' were making me salivate on demand. It was crazy. So I finally got to try one (ok, two) for myself!
*2 Street - Area in South Philly/Pennsport where you will find the Mummers Clubhouses. This is also where the "unofficial" post Mummers' Parade happens, as they make their way back to the clubhouses for the after-party celebration.
Dolores' has a great online presence on Facebook and Instagram, with menus on both -- in the "Menu" section of FB and in the stories of Instagram. I don't see a website, but you can get what you need from their social presence. Their menu is short and sweet with breakfast sandwiches (where they're also making quite a stir), cheese steaks, interesting hot sammies, deli items and hoagies.
I ordered ahead on Saturday for Sunday pickup, which I really appreciated and would recommend. Dolores' sells out of their hoagies on a regular basis and I didn’t want to risk taking the trip over and not getting the change to try them out. I did not see an option to order online but I was glad to make the call so I could ask for recommendations. The call was quick and efficient, I ordered two of the Italian Hoagies (no brainer) and asked for a recommendation of a second. They recommended the Henry Veggie Hoagie which is a fan favorite. I will review both in this post. We grabbed drinks and a ham sammy for my son, then headed outside to one of their two tables.
Anyone remember the barrel "drinks" from way back? Hugs? The clear plastic container is shaped like a barrel with a tin, pull back lid. They had those and I had to grab them for my kids. When selecting one, you don't call these by flavor, just color. Those who know these, can understand. We grabbed a purple and a red.
If you prefer delivery, it doesn’t look like Dolores' delivers. It can be a little difficult to park on their block but be patient, park and walk over. You won't regret it.
They also have a picture board by the front door filled with Mummers parade pictures which is worth checking out. They also recommend that you send them your Mummers pics to display on their wall. You can send them through their Facebook or Instagram page.
Photo credit: Dolores' 2 Street
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #1: Order in advance, as Dolores' sells out of their hoagies regularly!
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #2: Visit Instagram or ask about their specials. They continue to introduce limited edition hoagies, like the "White Elephant" or "Nacho Average Cutlet" Hoagie that includes chicken cutlets encrusted in Doritos! Yes, Doritos.
The hoagies were wrapped tightly with little to no leakage for the Italian with the Henry being a little messier. The Italian looked like a perfect specimen with all the right meats and cheese peeking out. Lettuce, tomato, and onion then the spices all making themselves visible in the most appealing way.
One word: Sarcones. Sarcone's Bakery has been a South Philly staple for over 90 years. It's located in the Italian Market making legendary seeded rolls that define what a hoagie should begin with. When you see a picture of a hoagie in the dictionary it's on Sarcone's bread. Philly is known for a number of interesting, amazing foods and our bread tops that list of what makes a hoagie and a cheesesteak worthy of any consideration.
Italian: Just look at the pictures. The condiments literally add to the enticement of the hoagie when you first unwrap it and when looking at the pictures. Just the right amount of mayo, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano. Mayo and oil added to the bread where it belongs, salt, pepper and oregano added at the end.
The Henry: I requested both the long hot mayo and the oregano infused olive oil. So good! They were both beautifully added on top, in a fancy design.
Photo credit: Dolores' 2 Street
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #3: Be sure to ask about their amazing infused olive oils and interesting mayos.
Meats & Cheese:
Italian: Dolores' should win some kind of World Record for how thin they slice their meats and cheeses. I don’t know about you guys, but when I eat cheese from a block, I cut little thin pieces. A block lasts forever! The thin cuts of the meat and cheese is a key nuance making a hoagie go from good to great. Dolores' kills it!
The Henry: Shaved sharp provolone. Did you read it right? Yes, shaved. Incredible and added just the right amount of flavor to the veggie goodness of the hoagie. I'm going to try shredding cheese for my next home hoagie.
Italian: Super thin cut shredded lettuce. Super thin onions never causing one bite to feel overwhelmed by onion. Thin cut tomato that makes you double check if any was even included, but the taste is there, adding to the deliciousness.
The Henry: Fried Eggplant and Zucchini, thinly sliced and lightly breaded. Roasted Red Peppers that were not overwhelming at all. I'm not a huge roasted red peppers fan so they need to mingle in nicely with everything else, and they did. The right amount of Broccoli Rabe that wasn't too garlicy and had great flavor.
Nothing to rearrange. It was super evident that love and care was taken in building these. It felt like everything was where it needed to be., and who was I to make a change? I also had no fear of things falling out.
Italian: The substantial Sarcone's bread held everything in nicely and it was easy to eat, even while sweating bullets. I cut the hoagie into four smaller pieces for the family to taste, and each held up well. Everything melded together beautifully. My daughter and husband ripped through them
The Henry: So different than any other veggie hoagie I've ever had. It was a little messy, but that was based on my decision to add both the long hot mayo and oregano-infused oil. I didn't care. I was already sweating profusely, while trying not to seem like it to the hot a$$, complaining kids. I ate most of The Henry myself as I couldn’t get enough.
Next meal survival rate: Insufficient information. We ate it all. Embarrassed that I went to visit my friends, Sherri and Rob, and didn’t bring them anything…nada. Next time, I promise.
Overall happiness rating:
Absolutely satisfying in every way, and can't wait to go back. Be sure to check out Dolores' and ask if any of the specials are on the menu. It looks like they sometimes offer The Henry with Chicken Cutlet on it as well. I need that in my life, and so do you. It's super healthy, as there are veggies on there, duh.
One regret: I didn’t get their super thin sliced pickles on top. The heat must have gotten to me.
Second regret: I didn’t get a chicken cutlet hoagie also.
Third regret: I was too hot and hungry to take enough photos.
Morale to the story: I'll be going back soon!
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #4: During the summer months, be sure to hit John's Water Ice afterwards. It’s the perfect way to cap off an awesome hoagie trip. If you don't know John's, they've been around since 1945 creating authentic Italian water ice with their family recipe that includes real fruit and juice. Be sure to try one (or more) of their classic flavors. They also have a water ice truck and you can find updates on their location here. We were lucky to stumble upon it near Dolores' as we were driving to their location at 7th and Christian.
1841 S. 2nd Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19148
Phone: (267) 519-3212