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Daily Slice: Stuffed Focaccia at Sam's Italian Market, Willow Grove, PA
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
I tried Sam's meatball stuffed focaccia a while back, and it was so good I had to go back for more. I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a "slice"—not only is it served at a place with no seating, most famous for room temp tomato pies, but it requires taking home and heating in the oven for 15 minutes before you can eat it—but this thing was definitely too awesome to not write about.
What makes Sam's stuffed focaccia so good is that they are jammed with great ingredients. At a lot of pizzerias, something like this would be more gimmicky, filled with a small amount of mediocre pork and cheap cheese. But the roast pork and broccoli rabe here was as good as what you would get at a South Philly sandwich shop—well seasoned, juicy and buried with mozzarella and provolone.
This line of stuffed focaccias—also available in veggie and chipotle bbq chicken—are a fairly new thing at Sam's, and really more in the realm of stuffed pizza or stromboli than any focaccia I've ever had. Along with my exhaustive tomato pie research, I've found that the Philadelphia area's old-school Italian bakeries make stromboli and stuffed breads that are leagues better than anything you will ever find at a pizzeria, and these things from Sam's are up there with the best I've had from Marchiano's and Corropolese.
Sam's Italian Market & Bakery
About the author: Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.