Last week, three hungry planners (Ian, Matt, and Martine) set out to eat their way through the historic neighborhood of Tacony in the North Delaware District. Tacony is home to the second best Delaware River Bridge (the Tacony-Palmyra, which costs only $2 to cross), a brand-spanking new firehouse, designed by superstar local architect and member of PCPC’s Civic Design Review Committee, Cecil Baker, and, thanks to the Tacony CDC and their hard-working corridor manager Alex Balloon, the Tacony Hoagie Trail.
The Tacony Hoagie Trail is no joke. It consists of a trifecta of the most legit hoagie shops you will ever visit. The trail includes:
1. DeNofa’s Deli, 6946 Torresdale Ave. Featuring homemade sausages and Italian specialties.
2. Fink’s Hoagies, 4633 Princeton Ave, less than a block off Torresdale Avenue. Fink’s uses seeded French loaf rolls from Liscio’s Bakery. http://www.finkshoagies.com/index.htm
3. Jack’s Place, 7167 Hegerman St. Home to the “best hoagie in the free world.”
Not only did we eat like champs, we also held our own “Hoagie Idol” competition with judging in two categories: Italian and Specialty.
DeNofa’s entry in the Specialty category was the Ernie featuring broccoli rabe, sausage (choice of hot or sweet), sharp provolone, hot peppers, fried onions, and mayo on a seeded roll.
Fink’s entry in the specialty category was the Torresdale featuring extra lean roast pork, fresh spinach leaves, sharp provolone, roasted garlic, long-hots, onions, and creamy garlic sauce on a seeded roll.
Jack’s entry in the Specialty category was the Downtowner, an Italian hoagie taken to extremes, featuring dry cured capicola, prosciutto, shaved sharp provolone, and olive spread on a seeded roll.
The unanimous winner of the Specialty category was DeNofa’s Ernie. Despite our general distaste for mayo on hoagies, in this case it complimented the homemade hot Italian sausage perfectly. This sandwich scored first on all three ballots. The trip to Tacony was worth it for this sandwich alone.
The Italian category offered something for everyone. All three hoagies scored first on one ballot each. This is a testament to just how good these hoagie shops really are. South Philly has nothing on Tacony. Ian enjoyed Jack’s Italian the most. The olive spread was a nice touch. Matt appreciated DeNofa’s the best, especially the seeded roll from Liscio’s. Martine preferred Fink’s Italian, which comes standard with long-hots.
These are three of the best hoagie shops around. Don’t let our judging sway you. Take a trip to Tacony and check out one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. While you’re at it, support three amazing local businesses serving up authentic Hoagies that would make your Uncle Tony proud. Get your sandwiches to go and eat them at the new Lardner’s Point Park on the Delaware Riverfront. The new park is to the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge what the Race Street Pier is to the Ben Franklin Bridge.