I'll admit it. I haven't been carrying my load when it comes to hoagie reviews. I have a few excuses I want to get out of the way first, if you'll let me.
I've been choosing a gluten free and dairy free lifestyle since May 2021 to improve my digestion and overall health. I plan to live a long time enjoying hoagies and all the foods that I like. Only, it will be in moderation. You know the saying. If I didn't see changes in my digestion, skin, energy and overall health, I would have stopped by now. But it's totally been worth the moderation.
I only write reviews of stellar hoagies. I don’t plan to say anything negative unless it’s a variable that can be improved. There's enough negativity in the world and you won't see it coming from me. Side note - I joined some of the hoagie and Philly food sites on Facebook. Holy cow the fighting that goes on there. I refuse to get into an argument about whether mayo should be on a hoagie, or light someone up for putting mustard (gulp) on their hoagie. Would I put mustard? No, but we're talking about lunch here people. Different strokes for different folks. That said. I have had a number of hoagies since my last review but they just didn't measure up to a full review. I have a very demanding day job and will only write about hoagies that have inspired me and left me wanting more.
I work a lot and have two young kids? Thought I'd add that since I'm getting my excuses out of the way….
With that out of my system, let me tell you about a bucket list spot that I was fairly certain would lead to a new post. Thanks to an Instagram post from @thenortheastlife, I was reminded of an area of the city I haven't been to in a long time - the northeast (aka Northeast Philly for out of towners). I went to Philadelphia High School for Girls (Girls High) and had friends from all over the city. A few were from the northeast, and I have tons of fond memories. My first corporate job was selling checks -- yes, paper checks -- to small businesses. I was in the Northeast often trying different places for lunch, that I "mapped out" using MapQuest. Somehow, Marinucci's eluded my radar (Internet was in early stages. I'm "dial-up via Juno" years old, if you catch my drift). A pity, especially because I had no care about eating hoagies, cheesesteaks and soft pretzels as my main food source. The good news? Twenty years later, I finally made it!
This review almost didn’t happen because there was a COVID-19 exposure at my son's school. However, he tested negative and so the hoagie hunt continued. I'm so fortunate to have a friend who is always packed and ready to take these trips with me. The drive was nostalgic which made it go by really quickly. Thank you, Nikki!
Menu: One word, Simplistic. Marinucci's online menu includes a few tabs -- sandwiches, hoagies, wraps, grab n' go, lunch meat and specialty sandwiches. This made things really easy as I jumped right to the hoagies tab (shocker). The hoagies do not have descriptions, but the options were straight forward. Honestly, sometimes less is more. I ordered a large Italian Hoagie.
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #1: There are more options on the menu posted to Marinucci's Facebook page here. Six specialty hoagies including another Italian called "The Nucci" and "Avery's Veggie Hoagie", for the vegetarians out there.
Menu snip it (prices subject to change):
Ordering, Location and Shop Experience:
I decided to place my order ahead of time so I could secure my hoagie. I didn’t want to risk them running out of bread or anything else essential! They answered right away and were thorough to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I ordered a large which I knew from their menu would be huge. 12 inches for small, 24 inches for large. They offered seeded or non-seeded rolls and I was able to get onions on only half of the hoagie (my sharing partner, my daughter, doesn’t eat onions - lame).
After a quick ride on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76 for those not from the area) then a drive down Roosevelt Blvd, we arrived at Marinucci's. It is located in a relatively quiet residential area until you get to their corner. This is where the hustle and bustle began and excitement grew. From the street, I could see lots of changeover in parking spots and I could see many people coming and going from Marinucci's. The corner store location screams "something amazing is inside". It wasn't hard to park based on customers coming and going, and it looked like there was an unrelated parking lot right next door that we could have ventured into, if needed. Because of my stellar parallel parking skills (I do consider it a sport), I parked right outside in a spot the exact size of my giant SUV. I also noticed that Marinucci's has a cute outdoor sitting area that I would have loved to eat in if it wasn't below 20 degrees that day.
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #2: Marinucci's is cash only. Forgot cash like I always do? They have a convenient ATM right inside the front door. Phew…
Walking in, there were wall-to-wall people. I could kind of tell there was an order line and a checkout line, but I didn’t need to decide (or even look up to notice the clear signs) because customers immediately started kindly directing me. Did you order? Let this person know your name. Pay over there. It was awesome! I love friendly establishments. I did as they told me, and proceeded to the checkout line only after grabbing a frozen, homemade cheese steak stromboli for another day, and a bag of sour cream and onion chips for today.
I noticed two hoagies in my order, and that's when I realized that they wrapped each 12 inch portion separately. This made it super easy to know which was mine and which was my daughter's. Checkout was easy and efficient and I love that they have pickles, cherry pepper spread, hot or sweet peppers at checkout to easily add to your order. They come in these cute little zip lock bags - just lovely. The ride home seemed really long. Even though I placed the hoagies in a cooler, there was no escaping the amazing smell permeating the car. We had tried to stop somewhere to grab a quick drink but we both were too hungry and anxious to try our hoagies.
Hefty. I couldn’t believe how heavy my bag was but I attributed it to the hoagie and the stromboli. Once I unpacked the bag at home, it was clear that the weight was coming from the hoagies. They were also so wide. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. One was clearly marked as having "no onions" which made my choice easy. Each hoagie was wrapped super tight and the unveiling was highly anticipated.
The paper was fairly dry and the hoagie was tightly wrapped, I had no issue removing it from the wrapper in one big 'ole solid piece. Deep thoughts: How am I going to fit this through my pie hole?
I opted for the seeded roll and it was perfection. Marinucci's uses Amoroso rolls, a Philly staple that is soft inside and perfectly crusty on the outside. The bread is so incredibly important to whether a hoagie passes or fails and this roll is just the beginning.
Mayo and oil were carefully placed on the bread with the right accent of salt, pepper and oregano. No mayo landslide, and no drippage from the oil.
Meats & Cheese:
The meats and cheeses were perfectly cut. Thin and artfully wrapped together, blending the flavors together. Marinucci's uses Dietz and Watson brand meats and cheeses which are high quality and super flavorful. It contained all the usual suspects including my new hoagie favorite, pepperoni. T ingredient, it adds fantastic color and spicy flavor to the Italian hoagie. The right elements were there -- thin cut, high quality meats and cheeses for a winning result.
First there was the tomato, then a small amount of shredded lettuce mixed with paper thin onions sitting beautifully on top. All these elements made it absolutely look like a work of art.
HoagieLOVE Pro Tip #2: Not sure what some of the usual ingredients are? Visit the hoagieLOVE Friggin' Dictionary.
I didn’t reorganize anything but I did want to add my pickles and peppers. It was a really tight squeeze and I had to apply some brute force.
"Exactly what you want from your hoagie" experience, is what happened. Considering its girth, this hoagie was easy to eat. The bread kept everything in, like magic.
Next meal survival rate:
I kept a piece for the next day. I had to because it was gigantic. The next day version was literally as good as the first time. Everything held together. The bread was not soggy. It was an amazing treat to get that experience all over again without the car ride. Instant gratification.
Overall happiness rating:
Lovely. Heavy. Tasty! All the things that make hoagies great were within that crusty piece of bread heaven. Now this might be an unpopular viewpoint, as I know most people are thinking more meats, more cheese! But I do wish there was a tiny bit more lettuce but where would it fit?
Marinucci's was worth the drive. The experience was pleasant and quality from beginning to end.All starting with my call and ending with my last bite the next day when I finished it off for breakfast. Yes, hoagies are good for breakfast, even with Bloody Mary's. Give it a shot.
Thank you, Marinucci's for making my bucket list trek incredibly tasty and worthwhile. I'll see you again soon!
215.333.3354 | 215.333.DELI
2852 St. Vincent St, Phila, PA 19149
215.739.3354 | 215.739.DELI
3122 Richmond St, Phila, PA 19134
4015 Fairdale Rd, Phila, PA 19154