FOOD FIGHT

Two bites of hoagie heaven

Frankie's, Daglio's tops with readers; both import Philly rolls
2010-11-11T00:00:00Z 2010-11-12T22:40:36Z Two bites of hoagie heavenKristen Cook Kcook@azstarnet.com Arizona Daily Star
November 11, 2010 12:00 am  • 

In the end, it came down to two: Frankie's and Daglio's.

An interesting Food Fight, to say the least, since in the beginning, they were one - Daglio's, in a little strip mall on Campbell Avenue, near Glenn Street.

Our recent hoagie smackdown pitted two former partners - Chuck Stopani and Frankie Santos. Stopani now owns Daglio's Cheesesteaks & Hoagies on the east side. Santos bought out Stopani and opened Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks with partner and soon-to-be-wife Deb Peterson just down the street from the original Daglio's location.

Frankie's edged out Daglio's. But, it was obvious from the comments that both are equally loved.

Suzy Q. wrote, "I am a fan of Frankie's cheesesteaks and hoagies. The Italian Hoagie is such a delight. Love that he serves them on rolls shipped in from Philly."

In the Daglio's corner, this vote from Julie S.: "Daglio's for sure! Perfectly textured bread. Try the mortadella or capicolla with everything. Yum!"

Santos and Stopani opened the original Daglio's in 2004. The two parted ways amicably three years later, Stopani said. He opened up on the east side, adding a sports bar and continuing to import Amoroso's rolls from Philadelphia, like the original Daglio's. Frankie's does, too.

Both men said that Tucson is lucky to have so many great hoagie shops. Stopani included Kenney D's and East Coast Super Subs among his favorites.

"I think it's just great for Tucson that we have an opportunity for four or five places where you can get a really good hoagie," he said.

Reader Michael Bock called East Coast Super Subs "the best sub shop in town."

"Best selections, finest cheesesteaks and by all means, get their deep-fried raviolis," said Bock, an account executive for Stewart Title & Trust of Tucson. "My personal favorite is the Irish heavyweight. Got to try it to believe it. Not to mention the best place to watch a game."

Of course, the Hogie House figured prominently in the voting.

"You want a Tucson original and some of the best sandwiches in town, Hogie House is the place," wrote Brad Tellam, a computer technician. "Nobody does it better. I've been to and frequent lots of other places, and they just don't compare."

A less obvious, but equally great place to grab a hoagie - Son's Bakery Cafe.

"He makes a great cheesesteak hoagie," said real estate appraiser Charlie Singleton. "Part of the goodness is he bakes all his own bread."

Singleton, like many people who commented on this Food Fight, also lamented the loss of Greasy Tony's, that University of Arizona haunt which closed in 2008. Its signature sandwich was the quaintly named "Trash Can," with everything thrown on it - steak, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, peppers and mushrooms.

Wrote Singleton, "Heck, we ordered 10 for our post-day wedding reception. Our out-of-town guests became true believers."

Santos himself was a fan. "I used to stop into Greasy Tony's when I would come to town."

He credits that longtime eatery with bringing East Coast flavor to Tucson.

So, what is the trick to a great hoagie?

Aside from using good ingredients, Santos said, "Any sandwich - no matter what it is - has to taste the same from one bite to the last. Make sure to space ingredients evenly."

And on an Italian Hoagie, Santos added, be generous with the oregano.

Hoagie contenders

Argenziano's, 16251 S. Houghton Road, Vail.

Daglio's Cheesesteaks & Hoagies, 250 N. Pantano Road.

East Coast Super Subs, 187 N. Park Ave.

Eegee's, 21 locations in the Tucson area, including 7110 N. Thornydale Road and 401 W. Valencia Road.

Hogie House, 5138 E. Speedway; 5810 E. 22nd St.; 3608 N. Oracle Road.

Frankie's South Philly Cheesesteaks, 2574 N. Campbell Ave.

Kenney D's, 8060 E. 22nd St.

Papa Locos Tacos and Burgers, 8201 S. Rita Road.

Philly's Finest, 6210 E. Speedway and 4746 E. Grant Road.

Roma Imports, 627 S. Vine Ave.

Son's Bakery Cafe, 5683 E. Speedway.

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