FINK'S -- The King of Gourmet Hoagies, 4218 Princeton Ave. (three blocks east of Frankford Avenue), has been on a roll since its grand opening.
The sparkling clean takeout shop with the King's crown logo builds hefty hoagies fit for royalty. The proprietor, Dennis Fink, is a congenial court jester who specializes in sensational hoagies, homemade salads, meatball sandwiches, lobster bisque, daily hoagie platters and party trays.
The hoagie emporium's signature sandwich is the original Italian hoagie ($5.75). The hearth-baked South Philadelphia bread, drizzled with golden sesame seeds, is layered with Genoa salami, spicy ham cappicola, pepperoni and coteghino (soft Italian salami). The premium-quality deli meats are slathered with Fink's secret zesty olive spread and plenty of chopped provolone. The exceptional hoagie also includes juicy sliced tomatoes, lettuce, sweet onion and long, hot peppers by request.
My friend raved about the homemade macaroni and potato salads. The tasty side dishes include the potato salad ($1.99 half pound), macaroni salad ($1.49 half pound) and the hot cherry pepper shooter ($5.50 half pound). The mildly hot shooter fill a cherry pepper with sharp provolone, prosciutto and olive oil for an outstanding taste treat.
The Italian wedding soup, served on Thursday, is a blissful union of authentic ingredients, and Friday's creamy rich lobster bisque is delectable ($1.99 each).
The hoagie platter ($4.95 each) offers ham and cheese on Wednesday, turkey and cheese on Thursday, tuna on Friday, and an American hoagie on Saturday.
The meatball sandwich ($4.50) fills a large roll with half a pound of meatballs and a choice of cheeses covered in a tomato-rich red sauce.
The "Gourmet Hoagies" ($5.50 to $6), which all include a flavorful sharp provolone, include the Tacony, with roast beef and fresh asparagus; the Mayfair, with ham, roasted peppers and roasted garlic; the Holmesburg with proscuitto, peppers and garlic; the Wissinoming filled with exceptional solid white tuna salad and red roasted peppers; and the Frankford with turkey, cappicola, oil and vinegar.
The fresh salads ($4.50 to $5.50) are made with a choice of six dressings and a roll and butter.
The crisp salads include Caesar; chef's; garden; Greek; salad royale with romaine and iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, radishes, onions, tuna, celery, hard-boiled egg and feta cheese; and tuna salad on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes.
The six dressings include honey mustard and a piquant raspberry vinaigrette.
The hoagie haven is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free delivery; 215-335-2828.**