Italian Style Sandwich Shop Keeping It Real In Mount Pleasant
Jeff Walker, Business Review
Near the intersection of 17N and Hwy 41 in Mount Pleasant you’ll discover a sandwich shop that lives up to its name. Tired of not finding a decent sub (aka grinder or hero) that met his standards, Jim Wright opened a franchised location of Primo Hoagies Italian Specialty Sandwiches, a nearly 30 year old chain founded in South Philadelphia. For deli sandwich lovers, especially from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Primo Hoagies is truly exceptional.
While I don’t normally promote chain eateries, being a New Jersey native it would be against my better judgment not to give Primo Hoagies their just due. Charleston is a food town, and when it comes to seafood, barbecue, creme brulee, shrimp & grits, and pecan pie, the Holy City shines. However when it comes to hoagies, and old school delis, the low country has some catching up to do. Thankfully true Italian sandwich lovers are making their way to Charleston and bringing some signature everyday foods with them.
Wright, a Philly native had been regular at Primo Hoagies since they opened their doors in 1992. He and his wife relocated to greater Charleston a few years back for his job with Boeing. Upon retiring from the aerospace company, Wright decided with so many northerners moving to the low country, he would bring a true taste of Philadelphia to Charleston.
Three sandwich shop staples set Primo Hoagies apart. First off are the two hoagies I sampled. If your from the City of Brotherly Love than the Philly Cheesesteak is king, and Primo carries on that tradition. Primo uses only Thummann’s premium meats and cheeses. Established more than 70 years ago in New Jersey, Thummann’s is considered the best of the best when it comes to deli meats.
Primo perfectly grills up Thummann’s seasoned steak with your choice of peppers and onions, before blanketing your all beef medley with your choice of cheese. Here in lies the only conundrum, ‘your choice of cheese’. Diehards cheesesteak lovers will wrestle over white American and provolone cheese, which allows for its signature look. Both are acceptable, and both are available at Primo Hoagies, as are others.
Your cheese selection aside, it’s the pure and nutritious Thummann’s ribeye steak along with the grilled veggies that provide the flavorful oomph in a Philly cheesesteak. Let us not forget that with any good sandwich ‘it starts with the bread’, which happens to be the motto for Liscio’s Bakery out of Glassboro, New Jersey.
For over 25 years Liscio’s has become the go provider of rolls and breads for delis and sandwich shops who serve up better quality sandwiches. Wright says he receives one, sometimes two orders a week from Liscio’s, allowing the rolls he uses to stay fresh. Coming partially baked, allows for Primo to fully bake them, which they do every two hours throughout the day.
The same Liscio Italian roll is the foundation for any and all of Primo Hoagies signature sandwiches. Of course you can order your favorite any way you want it. While a Philly cheese steak is a benchmark for an authentic hoagie shop, they must also excel in an Italian grinder, with Primo Hoagies scoring high as well.
Northerners know a true Italian sub sandwich consists of quality cured meats and cheese. Primo layers the roll with hand cut prosciutto, provolone, hot capicola & natural casing Genoa salami. That is the core for the sandwich with your choice of veggies and seasonings. Go old school and top it off with dash of oil & vinegar. It just enhances the overall taste sensation of the Italian.
Keeping it as real as possible Wright only offers up snack chips from Herr’s, another Pennsylvania based company with more than 70 years of success. While Lay’s & Wise have a further nationwide reach, Herr’s is the go to snack brand preferred by Philly and South Jersey. While the name might be unfamiliar to some, Wright says some weeks he sells out, and has started carrying larger bags for people to carry out. They are a perfect complement to your must have hoagie.
Premium meats, premium cheeses, premium rolls, premium snacks, and fresh local veggies combine for a primo sandwich at Primo Hoagies. If you’re in Mount Pleasant and craving an awesome sandwich than I highly recommend them. Open for more than a year, I stumbled upon them by chance. They are located in a rather small strip center at 2755 N. Hwy 17, basically a stones throw from the Hwy 41 traffic light.
You can get your hoagie on a variety of premium rolls and breads, including Italian, non-seeded, low carb or whole wheat wrap or a hoagie in a bowl (no bread). You might pay a dollar or so more for a Primo hoagie, but the quality and amount of the ingredients, combined with the great taste justify the price. There catchphrase says it all, “It’s not just a hoagie, it’s a Primo’.
If you’re super hungry than I suggest the nearly two foot long hoagie. It could be a triple threat. It satisfies a sandwich craving, is okay for lunch and maybe a foot long later for dinner, and it’s ideal for two or more to share. Of course Primo Hoagies do catering, and you can call ahead or have your hoagie delivered. Check them out at https://www.primohoagies.com/Mount-Pleasant-SC
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