It's been over a year since Caroline and I scoured Philly for the best hoagies in the city, and since then our favorites have held pretty strong. South Philadelphia is still the hoagie epicenter of the universe, at least until Jack's Place was repeatedly recommended by seasoned hoagie expert Philly Phoodie. It's a tiny neighborhood deli way up in Tacony, a section of the city that has a sandwich culture all its own.
My first thoughts when I saw this thing topped with romaine lettuce and red onions (absolute blasphemy in South Philly!) was that it was a misguided attempt at something "gourmet," but then I tasted it. Totally different from the classic hoagies, but delicious.
Jack's Italian is built with the standard seeded roll and Italian meats, but what really brings this to the next level is the crumbled sharp provolone and olive spread (standard on the Italian) that combine to create the best sandwich condiment you've ever tasted. Further research uncovered a handful of other spots up this way doing the romaine / red onion / olive spread thing but Jack's was by far the best, and definitely taking a spot on my Philly Hoagie Top 10 list.
7167 Hegerman Street, Philadelphia PA 19135 (map)
About the author: Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.