Since its humble south Philadelphia beginnings in the 1990s, PrimoHoagies has quickly expanded throughout the region and garnered several awards on the strength of its cold-cut sandwiches, made with Thumann's brand of gourmet meats and cheeses. The shop's robust menu features dozens of specialty hoagies, many of which were created in-house rather than underwater, as is the industry norm. Sharp Italian hoagies teem with prosciutto and genoa salami, and pork Diablo hoagies marry Thumann's homestyle roasted pork with a blend of piquant spices.
Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.
Bobby D's executive chef Ron Littig wields more than 20 years of industry experience to carefully craft a menu of American classics in a kitchen that stays open until the wee hours. Diners cast tongue nets toward appetizers such as a mug of Dockside chowder, brimming with clams, scallops, potatoes, and bacon ($5.50). Mac 'n' cheese, cornbread, or no-nonsense cops form unlikely partnerships with handheld fare including the Dallas burger, which flaunts certified Angus beef, chili, and monterey jack cheese ($8.99), or the cheesesteak sandwich with american, provolone, or swiss cheese ($8.99). In the barbecue arena, pitmasters dapple meats in house dry rubs and sauces before slow-smoking them over hickory and apple woods to build dishes such as the pulled-pork platter ($11.99), which, like Dr. Jekyll's mirror, offers a choice of two sides.
Beginning with rolls baked fresh daily, the namesake sandwiches at 537 Subs tantalize taste buds with fixings such as chicken parmesan, oven-roasted roast beef, and housemade falafel. The latter pairs especially well with the shop's housemade hummus, which sandwich makers can add to any order. 537's menu also includes salads and wraps such as the chicken caesar, though these, too, can be converted into subs. For customers eager to create their own sandwiches by hand, 537 sells Boar's Head cold cuts and cheese by the pound.