Monday, July 29, 2013

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

 Lois Margolet grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, in a neighborhood known as Little Italy. Lois had a dream to open her own sandwich shop, but she knew she needed to have something unique because there was plenty of strong competition out there.  In 1976, Lois quit her full-time job, borrowed money and purchased a boarded-up building on North Union Street in Wilmington, where the original Capriotti's Sandwich Shop still stands. Their concept was to capture the hearts of "real turkey lovers," an idea that would separate Capriotti's Sandwich Shop from almost all of its competition. They wanted to roast whole fresh turkeys overnight, a concept that no other sandwich shop in the area offered.  They served sandwiches made-to-order with fresh roasted pulled turkey, the best quality meats and cheeses, and fresh rolls and produce delivered daily. Today, Capriotti's Sandwich Shops located around the country are carrying on the tradition begun in Delaware over 30 years ago.

As recently announced in June 2013, DC will soon get a taste of some of Delaware's favorite sandwiches when Capriotti's sandwich shop, which gets rave reviews from Vice President Joe Biden, arrives in the Washington area. Franchisee George Vincent Jr. has signed an agreement to open 12 Capriotti's locations in the District, Maryland and Virginia and is actively seeking locations throughout the region. Among the more famous menu items is the Bobbie, a roll crammed with hand-pulled turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise. As for the vice president, Biden has a long history with Capriotti's. He reportedly ate at one of its Wilmington locations on the regular during his time as a U.S. Senator from Delaware. Since moving into the U.S. Naval Observatory, he has hired Capriotti's to cater his inaugural lunch and during debate preparation sessions last year ahead of his face-off with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

On our drive back home from NY, Keith and I stopped at Capriotti's in New Castle, Delaware for lunch. The little shop on the side of the road was non-descript with just a counter for ordering. Two small tables were placed outside under the tiny bit of shade from the store front's awning. I claimed one table for us to sit at once our order was ready. I ordered a tuna sub sandwich that came loaded with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and seasonings. The tuna was basically prepared - no added onions, nor pickles. It tasted fresh and was very satisfying. Keith ordered two sandwiches - one to eat now and one to save for later. He ate the hot Cheese Steak first that was stuffed with premium grilled steak, onions, and melted white American cheese. It was piping hot and burned his mouth but was pretty tasty. After finishing our lunch, we got back on the road. But the next day, Keith took his second sandwich to work for lunch. He said it held up pretty well, despite slight sogginess on the ends of the bread from the tomatoes. But he enjoyed the Italian sub with genoa salami, capacolla and prosciutini, provolone cheese also topped with the standard lettuce, tomato, and seasonings. He also added hot peppers to give it a little extra kick. Overall the sandwiches were pretty good and I liked the sub roll used - it was soft with just the right amount of chew. The meat fillings were generous and for sure rivaled other popular sandwich shops. I look forward to trying Capriotti's when it opens in DC, as I must sample one of their famous turkey sandwiches too.

Total Rating: 3.65
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 3, Ambience: 2, Accessibility: 3

What I ate:
Tuna Sub
with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and seasonings

Plus Keith ate:
Cheese Steak
with premium grilled steak, onions, and melted white American cheese

Italian Sub
with genoa salami, capacolla and prosciutini, provolone cheese,
lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, and seasonings

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

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