March 25, 2015

Is this the Best, Cheapest Italian Hoagie in Philadelphia?

Major Wing Lee Grocery Market is a corner deli in East Falls known for two things: incredibly cheap hoagies and 15 minutes of fame courtesy of Parking Wars.

Even though I think the show is stupid and don't care to promote the meter gods, this Parking Wars episode is actually quite hilarious to watch (starts at 8:30) as the parking authority stakes out hoagie hunters who illegally park and rush in to get hoagies. The result is a $41 fine for hoagies that cost between $2.50 and $4.25.

Yes, that's how cheap Major Wing Lee hoagies really are.

A large Italian hoagie is $4.25, which is certainly a great price for the size and amount of meat. For comparison's sake, the Daddy Wad at Paesano's is $9 and the Spicy Godfather at P&S Deli is $7.25. But cheap does not always equal good. Where does Major Wing Lee rank on the scale of the best, cheapest Italian hoagies in Philadelphia?

I'd say it's right up there with cheap hoagie legend Wawa ($6-ish) on quality and almost on the number of hoagies made per minute, considering the consistent flow of customers during the five minutes I was in the store.

I've seen people claim this to be one of the best hoagies around. That's a stretch, but they do hit many of the basics - fresh cut meat, thick cut onions, shredded lettuce - although the unforgivable sin of asking if I wanted mayo was committed.

Major Wing Lee Grocery Market's large Italian hoagie

Like many cheaper hoagies, Major Wing Lee fell victim to a less than ideal roll. The Amoroso roll felt grocery store-bought and was a too chewy for my liking. The provolone lacked sharpness, also a common occurrence with cheaper hoagies.

Major Wing Lee will not make into the upper echelon of Hoagie Quest for those reasons, but it is certainly one of the better cheap hoagie options in Philadelphia. Just watch out for those parking tickets!

Left: nicely stuffed hoagie for a good price. Above: Inside Major Wing Lee Grocery Market
Typo, but still cheap! 

1 comment:

Steve Oliver said...

The idea of people risking a parking ticket for a cheap hoagie is hilarious! But I have to admit, I admire anyone to who appreciates the value in a meal. In fact, I will be in Philly next month so I am tempted to check this place out. And I have to watch that episode of Parking Wars. Thanks for a fun post!