Last month during National Sandwich Month in August, we were invited to participate in an opportunity to visit Capriotti’s new location on Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware and review some of their sandwiches. Capriotti’s is personally near and dear to me because it started locally in Wilmington, DE and is a place where I have taken my wife to before. We have always enjoyed their sandwiches, so when we received an email, asking us to check out their new location, we couldn’t say no. So my wife grabbed her camera and we hopped in the car to grab our sandwiches to review at home. While I was growing up, it was mostly a local chain, but it has since evolved to having stores that exist in multiple states across the country. Before we get into what we thought about our experience, let’s share some background of the shop.
Capriotti’s first store was opened in 1976 by founders Lois and Alan Margolet. According to Capriotti’s Wikipedia page, it was named after the siblings’ grandfather, Philip Capriotti. They would roast fresh turkeys every day for their turkey sandwiches. They first started franchising in 1991. In 2008, the company was bought by Ashley Morris and Jason Smylie who are based in Las Vegas, NV. Today it’s franchised in 27 different states but there is a high concentration in Las Vegas. To me, Capriotti’s will always be a Delaware thing and I believe the best sub/hoagie sandwiches are found in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and South Jersey.
I think one of the key things that separate local subs/hoagies from the rest, is the quality of the Italian rolls here. Capriotti’s understands this and I think this is one of the many reasons why they never disappoint. They also still roast fresh turkeys every day for their turkey sandwiches. Capriotti’s also uses fresh, high-quality deli meats and cheeses. I’m personally not a fan of lettuce or tomatoes but all their vegetables are fresh as well. We tried their regular Italian sub, Grilled Italian, and Hot Bobbie. The Bobbie is a signature Capriotti’s sandwich. It is basically Thanksgiving on an Italian roll. It comes with turkey, roasted the day of, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. The original menu only had the regular cold Bobbie, but this time we decided to go with the Hot Bobbie.
The Classic Italian
Capriotti’s Classic Italian is made with premium Genoa salami, capacolla, prosciutinni, onions, provolone cheese, oil, lettuce, onion, tomatoes and Italian seasonings. I suppose you can get mayo if you want but why ruin an already perfect sandwich? When you take a bite, all the flavors and textures of the ingredients blend perfectly. The bread is somewhat crunchy outside and soft on the inside. I think the bread tastes good as well. The perfect level of saltiness of the Italian deli meats blended with the olive oil and seasons meld perfectly. I like to order mine with the crushed hot peppers which I think blends very well with the olive oil. Even though I don’t particularly enjoy lettuce and tomatoes, but I always order my Italian subs/hoagies with them. The tomatoes are strategically placed and cut thin enough to work with the rest of the sandwich. I think a right amount of tomatoes balances an Italian sandwich and works with the flavor. I just don’t like getting a big bite of thick tomatoes so Capriotti’s manages a perfect balance. They also don’t out an excessive amount of lettuce, which I love. Maybe a little bit of lettuce does something or other with the sandwich but, whatever. Their Italian is a good and solid quintessential Italian. I always judge sub/hoagie spots by how I like their Italian sandwiches. I’ve been ordering Capriotti’s for years so they have my stamp of approval.
The GRILLED Italian
Now, I had never had a grilled Italian before. The grilling process does change the texture of the meats and I love that the provolone gets melted. I used to be a little skeptical about ordering a grilled Italian sub but it actually works well! The flavors of the meats hit your taste buds a bit differently. I’m not sure if it brings the flavors out more but I like it! Melted cheese always makes everything better. The heat also seemed to condense the ingredients and maybe that helped bring the flavors together as well. I’m not sure if I like grilled over cold or the other way around. Cold Italian is tried and true but I can see myself ordering a grilled Italian again.
The hot bobbie
The Bobbie is also a sandwich I had never tried hot. I’m not sure how recently started it offering it hot. I think I like it better hot than I do cold. I’m kind of purist in the sense I put value in the fact something is the original. The original Bobbie is a very tasty sandwich. A part of me wants to root for the original but I have to say, the Hot Bobbie is superior. It definitely brings out more of the flavor of the turkey. Remember, they roast the turkeys fresh every day. I don’t typically get cranberry sauce on my Thanksgiving plate but something about having the hot turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, with the Italian roll, makes it work out very well in favor of my mouth.
Ultimately, Capriotti’s has always been a favorite of ours and their new location is just as good as the original one, which can be hard. It’s clear that the owner of the shop, Kim Schneese, who is the daughter of someone who used to work for the original location wanted to maintain that flair that makes us love the original so much. The decor is modern, fresh and inviting and it’s located in a great spot that’s very close to a shopping plaza that houses stores like Target. It’s the perfect spot to grab something to eat after running errands or “errands” as my wife likes to call it when she wants to go to Target. We definitely see ourselves visiting this location again.
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
5600B North Wilmington, Delaware
What about you? Have you ever been to Capriotti’s? Have you visited the new location yet?