Sonny’s Famous Steak Hogies

Sonny’s Famous Steak Hogies- 1857 N. 66th Avenue, Hollywood  http://www.sonnysfamoussteakhogies.com/index.html

John Nigro started Sonny’s over 50 years ago. I just caught up with history! I confess up front…I did not find this place. I heard about it while discussing, the best Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich on the planet, with a few of my foodie friends. I lamented that we can’t get that in Florida and one guy quickly responded, “I know where you can get the best Steak Hogies.” So, when someone gives me a name I Google it and find out what the buzz is.  That brought me to a video clip from Guy Fieri’s food show, Diners, Dive-ins & Dives (http://youtu.be/DLMP-eSEV8Y). If you’ve not seen this Food Channel show, it’s a hoot.  Guy visits small food establishments around the country and chats with the owner/chef as they prepare their signature dishes for the time-lapse camera.  Seeing that video was all it took for me to call some of my pals and head down to Hollywood to see for ourselves. When you go…and you will…you just have to start with the Sonny’s Famous Steak Hogie. It’s a sliced Boneless Rib-Eye, cooked on a flat top, with or without onions and served with or without homemade sauce on a hogie roll baked fresh on premises every day. All four variations are numbered, but to understand the system will drive you crazy even after they explain why there’s a #50, 90, 95 & a 9. OK, I ordered a #90 – Steak Hogie, Plain with Fried Onions. The roll is slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and holds up well to the meat and onions. Also a winner was the homemade meatball hogie, not numbered and the pizza, which is thicker than most I’m used to, but not deep, dish. This crispy pizza was loaded with cheese and sauce and we added some more of the meatballs. Believe me when I say that nothing was left! I’ve since been back for a second visit and was rewarded with another fine meal. John’s son and daughter now run the place and from what people lucky enough to live nearby say… it’s still the best. And I agree!

© 2011 alanEATS

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Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza

Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza- 1415 E Las Olas Blvd, 
Fort Lauderdale http://luigiscoalovenpizza.com

There really is a Luigi and you can see him preparing food in front of the coal oven to the rear of the dining room.  He’s authentic, from Milan I’m told, and so is the food.  Pizza here is thin and crisp with plenty of Luigi’s homemade sauce. Ok, there are several places that do coal oven pizza. This one is up there with the best. I usually order the House Salad that can feed 2 or 3. Oh yes, bring someone to eat with you or you’ll end up packing it up or making friends on-the-fly. Try the Mozzarella in Carrozza served with a dish of tomato sauce, the Chicken Wings done in the coal oven served with caramelized onions and focaccia bread and also a couple of Luigi’s Meatballs. Now let’s talk about the pizza. Pizza is one of those food products that engender a passionate following. We all know the ones we don’t like and the ones we would crawl across broken glass to get our hands on. I’ve dined at Luigi’s on several occasions and must say that I have enjoyed his crisp thin coal oven pizza. I may not be a pizza purest, but in the end I know one thing…it has to taste good. And Luigi’s did not disappoint me. Try the Margherita Napoletana Pizza. It’s simple and tasty and you can always add a topping. Now after that you’d figure, he’s done. Sorry no!  Normally I don’t have desserts, but you should not leave Luigi’s without having a portion of his Italian Cheesecake. Mangia!

© 2011 alanEATS