Super sandwich or deli dud?
Pathmark’s Deli – Deptford, NJ
Meal: Lunch / Weekday / 2pm
After doing some shopping, I started to get a bit hungry (doesn’t that always happen?). Instead of hitting up a Wawa or returning to the nearby Chick-fil-A, I figured I’d check out Pathmark’s deli to see what I could grab. The Deptford Pathmark, home of an embedded Dunkin Donuts, has a nice little deli section right up front that offers premade hoagies, fried chicken, wings, and some sides. Obviously, you have a store full of other items, not to mention the availability of Dunkin’s iced coffee if you want something to drink with it.
I decided on a hoagie and found the selection pretty wide. The portions are fairly large. A 8.5″ inch ‘half’ will set you back under $4.50 and a 12″ ‘whole’ is $5.99. If you’re looking for the best value, the whole is indeed $.03/inch cheaper than the half, but it’s close enough to warrant getting the smaller one if you don’t have the appetite. There were several varieties, including roast beef, american, turkey, tuna salad, shrimp salad, the godfather, and seafood salad. Having the seafood choices mixed in was a definite plus. The hoagies are wrapped in thin clear plastic so you can see what’s going on. From checking the labels, they all appeared to be made in the morning. Depending on when you go, you might be able to speed through a self-checkout and really expedite your visit. The very first time I went there, I was in and out in under 2 minutes; the same song was still on the radio!
I tried the seafood salad and the roast beef over two different visits. I assumed the better-than-expected roll would be kinda mushy with everything sitting on top of it all morning, but to my surprise, Pathmark individually separated the seafood and roast beef from the bun with a deli insert. It’s a great idea and something we don’t see a whole lot. I know Wawa doesn’t do that. Pulling away the super-thin plastic sheet flops the ‘stuff’ on the bun as if just made it fresh. As far as each variety goes, I thought the seafood salad was the better of the two. It had nice big chunks of imitation crab (usually pollock) with a smooth, flavorful white sauce. Even though the imitation stuff is far more expensive than bologna, and I thought they gave you a really good portion size for the money. The roast beef was good in itself, but seemed to lean towards the dry side. They did include a packet of mayo which definitely helped improve the overall taste. The beef seemed to be more on the well-done side, which might be perfect for some people, but I prefer to have some rare spots. As a side, I tried the store’s cucumber salad as a ‘manager’s special’. It was loaded with nicely cut cucumber blocks and onions, but I didn’t really like the overly-vinegar kick to it.
Overall, I’m going to try more of these hoagies. The price is right, they don’t cheat you on the portions, and adding little thoughtful things like a mayo packet and separating the ‘stuff’ from the bread is a really nice touch. While Wawa lets you pick from 4″, 6″, or 10″ hoagies, which I think makes me either pick something too small or too large, Pathmark finds the sweet spot. I can’t attest to the fried chicken (that’s not usually something I consume with any frequency), but if you’re in the store, check out the deli and grab a hoagie. We’ll consider this upgrade-worthy if we find consistency in the future.
a HALF seafood salad pathmark hoagie
– Decent selection of varieties
– Good sizes
– Competitive price
– Potential for speedy checkout
– No option to make fresh
– No help for tiny appetites
– Cucumber salad wasn’t so hot
Guru’s Score: 3.3 Chews
Subjective rating: Not too bad!
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