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Hoagies @Philly: Pastificio

Driving home from Cape May with my family and we decided to make a hoagie stop in South Philly. We decided on a spot that is super convenient in many ways. It is right off the highway (I-95 and I-76), conveniently located near the stadiums. It is on Packer Avenue, next door to Chickie and Pete's. As a bonus, there is a Termini Brothers Bakery as well as Celebre's Pizza. So much goodness in one shopping center and so much a hungry person can accomplish with one parking spot.

This review is for Pastificio. This charming (yes, that seems like the right word and not one I would usually use) spot covers so many bases in a small space. From homemade pasta and gravy (sauce) to imported cheeses to hoagies, and even inside outs. Full stop. Does anyone remember these? Panzerotti's? How about Mr Panz in South Philly? I will still remember the first time I had one from there alongside my first Dr Pepper. My Uncle ordered them for us while we watched one of my all-time favorite movies, The Warriors, while eating. An all-time bliss moment at 12 years old. Can you dig it? OK, back to the story. Pastificio also has a number of different chicken cutlet hoagies, cheese steaks, you name it. I know I am forgetting many other tasty things, so check out their menu for yourself.

Shop Experience: I was excited to have an online order option for three reasons: 1) I had two kids in

the car who hate stopping on the way home and often make the rest of the drive miserable. 2) I always forget something when I am faced with an actual person to place an order. 3) Putting on my daytime job hat, I love technology, and I love when an unassuming business is using it well. Most South Philly old school delis don’t have an answering machine, let alone a Facebook presence or online ordering. Their website does a great job of presenting their menu, with a link to place an order directly with GrubHub. Granted, I know that many businesses have had to quickly move to the 21st century because of Covid but many are still trying to navigate it all. Pastificio is doing a great job.

The menu was an impressive mix of hoagies - a prosciutto special with mozzarella with roasted peppers, Italian veggie, Italian tuna….TWO different cheese hoagies. TWO! And then two different Italian hoagies and other similar spin offs. I ordered both Italians - one for me and one for my daughter plus a tuna hoagie for my husband. I sometimes question if a tuna "hoagie" is really a hoagie but Pastificio has this Antipasto Hoagie with Italian Tuna, Prosciutto, sharp prov, roasted peppers and black olives. Sounds like a stellar hoagie to me and I plan to try it next time.

My order was ready earlier than expected and I masked up for the pickup. I was go grateful that there were two other people ahead of me in line so I could take a moment to look around. There was so much packed into the tiny corner store. What I couldn’t get passed was the abundance of homemade pastas, gravies and chicken cutlets. I grabbed a container of the cutlets for dinner the next day. I really should have stopped to buy one of the "Legalize Marinara" shirts. They were tie dyed in Italian flag colors. Next trip.

The woman at the counter was super pleasant and checkout was fast and friendly. They also did a great job with keeping customers 6-feet apart (Covid times) and were only accepting orders by phone or online to shorten your stay in the shop.

This review will focus on the Pastificio Italian Hoagie, but I will also provide some details for the classic Italian and one photo of the tuna hoagie. My husband eats too quickly for me to ever taste his.

Unwrapping: Super tight wrapping but here's the best. The paper was printed to look like newspaper print with tons of fun things to read - reviews, store details, web info, and even jokes. I was hungry, but I needed to stop myself. It was brilliant! As for the unwrapping, the inside of the paper was bone dry. Nothing made its way out of the hoagie. Incredible, especially for mine with both mayo and oil. How do they do it? I'm going to need an internship.

If you ever need to explain what a hoagie is to someone, use one of these photos. Right from the start, you will not see plain old boiled ham. You will see imported, fine Italian meats and aged, sharp provolone. You will not see a flurry of lettuce completely hiding what is inside. This is a culinary masterpiece.

New! Need a translation of some of the ingredients and terms? Visit HoagieLOVE's Friggin' Dictionary.

Bread: Their bread is Abruzzi (region of Italy) brick oven bread which was super fresh. Solid but not overwhelming as to keep you focused on the bread. Their rolls are seeded as well, which is a bonus in my book.

Condiments: Perfect amount of mayo and extra virgin olive oil to add to the flavor but not noticeable as separate entities. They melded together nicely with everything including the bread. Nothing slid out. It was wonderful!

Meats & Cheese: Pastificio uses Thumann's brand meats and cheeses. If you are not familiar, it's their quality products that helped put Primo Hoagies on the map. Almost anyone can slap together a hoagie, but if you don't have quality products inside, it’s a dud. Their deli cuts were super thin, and they've mastered the correct ratio of ingredients in their hoagies.

In the Pastificio hoagie, which I had, there was sopressata, capicola and aged, sharp provolone.

In their Classic Italian, there was prosciutto, genoa salami, mortadella, capicola and provolone. This was my daughter's choice.

The Pastificio Italian

Veggies: Lettuce, tomato and onions were on top, as I prefer. Tomato and onions were cut paper thin and lettuce was shredded. I decided to add Wickles spicy red sandwich spread on top, because I am completely obsessed with it and it saves me from adding peppers and pickles separately. On one sliver I did add banana peppers and there was space available for them.

Reorganization Rating: I didn’t rearrange anything nor was I inclined to do so. It was a masterpiece, and who am I to mess with it?

Eating Experience: I was planning to only eat a quarter of the hoagie. I started this blog right as I realized I needed to lose a few lbs. My "diet plan" was to not eat every bite. But hoagie be damned, I kept going. I even made space for some of my daughter's Classic Italian which was…ummm…classic. If you don’t like the taste of stinky cheese (sharp provolone), then order the classic which has a milder flavor.

Their hoagies were balanced in every way. It was like putting on your favorite hoodie after a long work day. Everything just fit perfectly. The Pastificio Hoagie had that sharp taste of the cheese, and some spice from the capicola. The classic was mild but exactly what your tastebuds expect when thinking of a hoagie. Neither relied on American meat substitutes, just imported fine products.

  • HoagieLOVE Pro Tip: Find the hard to pronoun words, and your satisfaction level will increase. Gabagool? Yes. Prosciutto? Yes. Boiled ham? Nah. Visit HoagieLOVE's Friggin' Dictionary to know what you're eating.

My daughter eating and loving her Classic Italian Hoagie

Next Day @Pastificio

Next meal survival rate: I did manage to save a sliver of both Italian hoagies for the next day's lunch. If you eat at 11 am, that could be considered lunch, right? Both were as awesome as the day prior. Mine with the oil only had a tiny bit of soggy bread, but it was in the front, not the back - weird. It was so minimal that I wouldn’t even count it. My daughter's was dry, so no problems there.

Overall happiness rating: Pastificio is the ideal Italian Specialty Shop with a great experience from beginning to the very last hoagie bite. It was exactly what I needed to close out the holidays and move beyond my bout with Covid. The overall experience was fantastic, and the taste was perfection. All I can wish for was more time to peruse the shop and try some of the other Italian homemade specialties. I envision this being a quick stop on the way home from the shore very often.

Happy eating and be sure to give Pastificio a try!

In case you missed it, here is the preview post with a video that my 10 year old daughter created as a teaser to this Pastificio review. Click here.

New! Need a translation of some of the ingredients and terms? Visit HoagieLOVE's Friggin' Dictionary.

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Loud Coffee Press
Loud Coffee Press
Jan 14, 2021

Let’s gets panzerottis and watch The Warriors!

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