Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: Dining Out

Plenty of hoagies and cheesesteak varieties plus

Home-grown Italian recipes add to the menu



A South Philly hoagie tray is one of Gramigna’s customers’ favorite catering orders.

When Italo Gramigna took over Slack’s Hoagie Shack in Warrington last year, he adopted the menu found at other Slack’s shops around the region, then added his own items.

“It’s the franchise menu blended with my old restaurant menu” from Philly’s Famous Steaks and Hoagies in Ambler, he said.

Gramigna has been working in hoagie shops since he was a teenager, including other Slack’s franchises and the equally popular Lee’s Hoagies chain before opening his Ambler restaurant. Along the way he developed the recipes he brought to Slack’s in Warrington.

That means that in addition to the lengthy list of hoagies and cheesesteaks popularized by Slack’s, his menu includes homemade hot roast beef and hot roast pork sandwiches, grilled and breaded chicken cutlets and four kinds of vegetarian hoagies.

It also means he offers trays of homemade Italian entrees through the catering side of his business including penne with vodka sauce, meat and vegetable lasagnas, manicotti, chicken parmigiana and meatballs.

In addition, he bakes his own rolls for the sandwiches each hour, ensuring the bread is always fresh.

The sauce he uses on his wings is his own creation, as are the recipes he and his wife use for their extensive catering list.

“My wife and I are both first-generation Italian-Americans, so we use our family recipes,” he said.

Fans of deep-fried Oreos don’t have to go to a festival or fair to find them; Gramigna offers them as a dessert at his restaurant. He first developed his recipe when he worked in a stand at Seaside, N.J., where they were popular.

His top-selling item at Slack’s is his Buffalo chicken cheesesteak, made using his own hot sauce recipe. The sandwich’s claim to fame comes courtesy of former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who would order 10 sandwiches at a time to share when Gramigna had a hoagie stand at the Lakewood BlueClaws stadium in Lakewood, N.J.

In an interview with an area newspaper, Manuel was asked his favorite food, Gramigna said, and responded it was Gramigna’s chicken cheesesteaks, which is still one of Gramigna’s favorite memories.

Gramigna said he is working hard to make his restaurant as “green” as possible and uses no Styrofoam containers or foil wrappings. Potential customers who want to try one of his sandwiches can text SLACKS to 91944 to join the VIP program for a free sandwich and other promotions.

For catering, Gramigna said he will “go anywhere” within a 30- to 40-mile radius and cater any kind of party.

At the restaurant, he and his staff focus on customer service. They want everyone to be happy.

“If you don’t see what you want on the menu, just ask. If we have the ingredients, we will make it.”


SLACK’S HOAGIE SHACK
1409 Easton Road
(Route 611), Warrington
215-491-7000

slackswarrington.com

Cost:
Appetizers $2.99-$4.99, hoagies $4.99-$11, wraps, burgers and hot sandwiches $5.99-$8.99, salads $5.49-$9.25.

Hours:
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Customer favorites:
Buffalo chicken cheesesteak, roast pork sandwich, Italian and Godfather hoagies.

susan.yeske@gmail.com

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