Updated: Jun 19, 2021
I went to get my car inspected at the Volkswagen dealership in Berwyn. With working from home and being stuck inside with winter and the pandemic, I saw this as a great opportunity to be out in the world. I had a meeting cancel, so I decided to get my car cleaned afterwards. While waiting for my car to get the royal treatment, I looked online for a hoagie place nearby. And that's when I found Tredici Italian Market, right on Lancaster Avenue in downtown Wayne (Philly burbs) and on my way home. I didn’t have much time until my next meeting so I needed to jump on the first Italian hoagie I saw on their vast menu.
I did a search for "Italian Deli" and found Tredici at the top. Their website is enticing with pictures of the shop (looking like a place you would find in South Philly) and incredible looking food. There was a link to their menus but one cool thing that I noticed was the link to Shore/Weekend Essentials. Here you could find different-sized boxes and plates for your trip to the shore. Me want but I will have to wait for the warm weather. They also have prepared dinners to-go. I am going to have to make a pit stop for that sometime soon.
I do wish I had more time to peruse the lunch menu because there are so many non-traditional hoagies, sandwiches and wraps. One had prosciutto, brie, truffle oil, toasted pine nuts and arugula - what? Yum! Four different chicken parm sammies that would make my husband happy. But I was in a rush, and I wanted a traditional hoagie, and due to time, my husband was getting the same thing as me. You gotta love a menu that has an "Old School Hoagies" section. That seemed like the right place for me.
I found parking right outside, which could be tricky in Wayne. First, this place is certainly an Italian market, not just a deli. They have meats and cheeses, homemade pastas and sauces, olive oils and balsamic vinegars and so many other authentic Italian specialties often hard to find outside of the city.
I think I've mentioned before, but I have ordering anxiety, which is a disorder that I made up where I freeze and forget everything when it's time to order. This usually happens when I am standing at a counter without a menu in my hand. If I had more time beforehand, I would have "rehearsed" my order, but that can be explored in our next therapy session.
I ordered directly at the deli counter, and decided on two of The Radnor Hoagies. Salami, pepperoni, capicola, pepper ham, mild provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion and red vinaigrette. I made a few quick changes, asking for mayo and oil instead of vinegar, and swapping stinky cheese (extra sharp provolone) for the mild. I paid the cashier while waiting, wasting no extra time. Did I mention that I had a meeting in 10 minutes?
Unwrapping/First Impression: The smell that was permeating from the bag on the ride home as incredible and so hard not to rip into. I made it home (barely), and had to eat at my desk during my meeting. The wrapping was nice and secure, and there was no sign of leakage. Any Bachelor fans out there? Please don't judge me but I do watch it. If this was the Bachelor, I would not have given this hoagie a first impression rose. This was because the condiments were under the meats and cheese. When that is the case, the hoagie looks a little boring at unwrapping, but don't judge a hoagie by its exposed meats (ok, that didn't go the way I expected). Keep reading though. This story has a happy ending.
Bread: Crusty, non-seeded roll that was sturdy but not overwhelming.
Condiments: Salt, pepper, oregano were added directly to the bread, as well as the oil and mayo. I added Wickles again…I know, I may have an issue.
Meats & Cheese: The usual awesome suspects for an Italian hoagie - salami, capicola, pepper ham but the big surprise was the pepperoni. That completely intrigued me. Tredici uses Boar's Head meats, which are a top choice for me, as long as they are cut thin. The sharp provolone was substantial. I honestly wanted to take it all out and just eat it by itself. Super tasty.
Veggies: The hoagie had romaine lettuce in larger cuts, tomato cut thin, and red onion instead of the usual white, which I really liked.
Reorganization Rating: This feels like a Schitt's Creek reference, so here it goes - I folded in the meat. They were spilling over the sides, so I needed to fold them in. I also broke up some of the sharp provolone to keep it from falling out.
Eating Experience: After the folding and busting up of the cheese, I got to eat this baby. I think my hands were shaking at this point after waiting too long to eat it. I couldn’t wait to see how the pepperoni mingled with the rest of my hoagie, And guess what? It was great. It didn’t stand out but fit right in, adding to the spice from the pepper ham. There was a little more oil than I usually prefer, but it didn’t make the bread soggy, so I kept chomping away. The flavors mixed together well and I could even notice the nuance of the red onion with its crunchy texture and deeper flavor than white.
Next meal survival rate: Insufficient information. I ate it all. It was one of those ravenous meals where you think there's a second half then to your horror, you ate it already. That happened to me today with cookies too. It's never fun.
Overall happiness rating: I am so excited to find this place in the burbs and close to my house. In the end, that is really what I am trying to achieve….that South Philly authentic feeling outside the city. I plan to go back and try one of those artsy sammies. Maybe the one with brie or the one with goat cheese. Yes, I have an artsy side, and I will report back.