I don't think that there should be any doubt about my affection for sandwiches. Any kind of sandwich. I love to cook, and I like cooking complicated, but the sandwich is always number one in my heart.
Cuban mufalatto, Italian hoagies, chicken salad on a croissant or bagel, steak sandwich with blue cheese, or whatever you think will make it happen for you at any given time.
But see, living here in the South Eastern part of PA we have a specialty. More precisely, Norristown, PA. Tommy Lasorda, Peter Boyle, Mike Piazza, even Maria Bello hail from this area, and all could tell you about this one sandwich delicacy.
It's called a zep. That's right, a Zep. In Norristown, there were two places to find a zep. Lou's and Eve's. It has been a hot contested battle for years about who's is the best. Recently, there has been a third contender brought to the surface... Sessano's. Sessano's is home to some very good Italian pork, but they also, among my circle of friends, have been entered into the ring of Zep warriors.
OK, so what is a zep? Very simply, provolone cheese, cooked salami, onions, tomatoes, oregano, oil, on a long or round roll. Done and done. It's the simple things, really.
How could something so simple be so different? Why are there only three competitors? Well, actually, you can get a zep at any place that sells sandwiches. It's just that these three are the best. I have found some differences, and have pin pointed why they are different and which one I prefer the most.
Eve's is the grandmother of all things Zeps. when they first opened their shop, it's all the sold. Zeps, potato chips, and sodas. That's it. Lou's has been selling them longer, but he also had a full service shop. Sessano's has only been open for a few years, but man do they do it right.
The differences are quite unique. Lou's cuts his onion much thinner than Eve's. Eve's bread is better. Sessano's uses a slightly different mix of oil that offers a little bit more of a twang, but still keeps it within the "Zep" category.
Why am I pining over Zeps all of a sudden? because it's friday and I can't eat meat. Well, I can, but my son said something about it while I was getting ready to purchase something I had waited for almost two hours (once I made the decision on what I was going to have for lunch).
Of course, Eve's sells tuna zeps, which are just as tasty. Just not the original...