Each week, Justin Bitner goes hunting for DFW's most interesting sandwiches. Have a sandwich suggestion? Leave it in the comments and he'll check it out.
Shop: Fred's Downtown Philly
The Sandwich: Italian Hoagie ($7.25)
Bread: Amoroso's Hoagie, shipped right in from the City of Bro Love
Toppings: Capicola, Pastrami, Salami, Cherry Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Oil and Vinegar
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The Breakdown: The place is Philadelphia to its core. There are pictures of Philly landmarks lining the walls, Philly chips to go along with sandwiches made on Philly bread. There are pennants and banners for the Eagles, 76ers and the other Quaker City area sports teams. Seeing a person wearing a Cowboys hat in here would be like seeing old Aunt Millie make it rain at Rick's Cabaret.
The menu leans decidedly on the cheesesteak, featuring 22 different varieties. Short circuited by the depth of options on the cheesesteak menu, I made the potentially ill-advised choice of going with the Italian hoagie. The hoagie deli sandwiches don't jump out at you on the menu, clinging to a small unassuming space in the top left corner. While at some places this may indicate a menu afterthought, I was rewarded for my daring gambit with a sandwich that puts any deli chain to shame.
The key to Fred's sub is balance. Where some places liberally douse the sandwich in vinegar or shrewdly count the shreds of lettuce they top your sub with, Fred's strikes the perfect ratio of toppings to dressing to bread. The cherry peppers and sweet peppers give the sandwich the right amount of acidic bite without overpowering the entire thing. The holy trinity of Italian sliced meats makes for a salty backbone while the hoagie provides a hearty, delicious base.
The Takeaway: Fred's claims that his subs are the "Best 10 Inches You Ever Had in Your Mouth." I'll let everyone
take that in ... chew on that ... consider that while I say this: Fred's makes one hell of a sandwich ... for an Eagles fan.