Sampling all of the borough’s best foods served between slices of bread. This Month: Carlino’s Market
It can be easy to overlook a sandwich with a name like “veggie hoagie” at a purveyor of gourmet foods such as Carlino’s. After all, vegetarian options at many sandwich shops are often a disappointment at best, with a deli roll simply overloaded with what goes on a regular hoagie, minus the meat. In a dietary pinch, I once ate a sandwich from a chain that I will not mention here which contained nothing but iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and several long pickle spears. Any feelings of validation about healthy eating choices were instantly erased by the first bite of not-so-crispy pickle and sad bread.
Given this history, it may seem odd to choose a vegetarian offering at a food establishment so proficient at, well, everything. But when I rolled into Carlino’s dusted with the first few snowflakes of the new year, the line at the deli counter was long, and so I allowed the experts to guide me: I ordered the same thing as the burly guy in line in front of me. And the guy ahead of him, too. I could not have made a better choice.
Toothsome, savory, and unexpected, the veggie hoagie already has me planning when I will order the next one, and I haven’t even finished the last bite of this one yet.
A slightly crusty exterior encases a dense, chewy body, which absorbs a bit of the marinade without getting soggy and offers a heartiness that perfectly suits the flavorful filling. While I ate mine at room temperature, the veggie hoagie would be excellent as a grinder as well.
How fresh is that roll? Along with all Carlino’s breads, rolls are baked in house at their flagship Ardmore location.
Thinly sliced breaded eggplant, roasted red peppers, and sauteed broccoli rabe form a savory trifecta, while fresh basil in the bruschetta offers a bright counterpoint. Everything is joined together by a generous drizzle of Carlino’s house made balsamic vinaigrette.
Several layers of thinly sliced, pucker-worthy sharp provolone cheese really makes this sandwich sing, leading the chorus of low, savory notes that harmonize brilliantly with the spirited tones of tomato, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
Linzer Cookies are Required
Any time a raspberry Linzer cookie is offered at a bakery counter as illustrious as Carlino’s, it is essential to cast aside all alimentary considerations and indulge in one. The zing of lemon and raspberry, with a dusting of powdered sugar as fine and magical as the snow flurries just beyond the door, perfectly complement the rich, intense flavors of the sandwich.
And besides, we’ve already proven our virtue by choosing the veggie hoagie, right?