Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One Block

South 8th Street, from Dickinson to Greenwich. I won't say that this block comes close to being the best block of food in Philadelphia, but it's a delicious one and a great way to experience South Philadelphia. On this block, there are two well-known food places, Cosmi's Deli and Termini Brothers Bakery. Cosmi's, a family owned place which has been sitting on the corner for 77 years, won the "Best Cheesesteak" award from Philadelphia magazine in 2004 and 2008, and Termini Bros., which has been there for 88 years, is a highly regarded bakery. While this block isn't easy to get to by public transportation, if you're willing to make the journey out to Pat's and Geno's, you might as well walk an extra few blocks and try these places instead.

My friend and I went to these two places towards the end of winter break. We each ordered cheesesteaks with provolone and fried onions, however, while I got mine on a crusty seeded Sarcone's roll, my friend got his on a normal, Amoroso-like Aversa roll that held up as well as mine did to the grease of the cheesesteak. Both of our steaks were made to order, and while they were cooking, we walked over to Termini Bros. and were greeted by assistants in spotless white pastry coats. We knew what we were getting before we got in, but looking around with a server carrying a silver tray behind does want to make you fill it up with tasty-looking eclairs and biscotti, to name a few . However, we just got our cannoli (and asked for chocolate chips and a dusting of pistachio), and they brought the crunchy shells back behind the doors and filled them with cream. We asked for the cannoli to go, and so they put them in a box and tied it up with string.

When we got back, our cheesesteaks were ready, and since there's no seating, we brought all of our food up to Pat's and sat at the back, where no one at the counter could see us. The steaks were sizable, containing a hefty amount of seasoned, juicy, yet well-chopped beef, and cheese in every bite. The onions were golden perfection, adding a little crunch to the sandwich. Afterwards, we easily polished off the delectable cannoli. The shell was still crispy by the time we got to the cannoli, and the cream wasn't heavy, but it was still rich, and was complimented nicely by the chocolate chips. Overall, if you're not too worried about calories and have the time, this combination will provide you with an awesome, highly satisfying, fairly cheap Italian meal. ($3 cannoli, $6.50 cheesesteak, though an extra $1.50 for the seeded roll)

A short note: This wasn't the first time I have gone to Cosmi's and so some friends and I have had the opportunity to try other sandwiches from their menu. Their chicken cutlet sandwiches (which have great names, such as Bobby Gags' or Vinny Riz's) are also quite savory, and my friends let me know that they also have great hoagies.

Photo credit: Comradechu

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