A new deli opened recently on the resurgent H Street corridor in Northeast Washington, DC, promising a taste of Philadelphia. No, not cheesesteaks . . .
No roast pork sandwiches, alas, but they do a fine job indeed with the hoagies, as the meticulously crafted 9th Street Italian pictured above demonstrates. That’s a properly built hoagie—you get everything in every bite.
The ingredients are top notch and in good proportion, with no one ingredient overwhelming another. A sausage sandwich (the Church Street) had hand-made sausage and well-seasoned red peppers, just a little crisp, allowing the textures of the sausage and bread and pepper to stand out, each in their own moment.
In the 9th Street Italian, the oil and vinegar, that often overlooked component of a real hoagie, fulfilled its role nicely, greasing the butcher paper and giving good mouth-feel but not soaking the sub, even after sitting for a bit, because of the sandwich’s construction. These things do matter, and you’re getting them at a price comparable to a lowly “sub” from one of the far-from-distinguished national chains.
The Washington Post write-up of Taylor Gourmet Deli notes that the lines there can be long, but I had the hoagies delivered for a modest surcharge. The person who took the order over the phone was gruff in a pleasant, Philadelphia manner and the delivery driver was good about keeping me apprised of where my hoagies were.
Hopefully they’ll get their website upgraded from the current placeholder soon.
A fine culinary drive up 95 without, you know, driving anywhere.