Hoagies: Guess Who the Real Hero Is
Here’s something I need to taco bout: my recent obsession with tacos (if it wasn’t already obvious). My obsession began early 2018 and I left no stone unturned in my quest for the perfect taco, only to be disappointed every time. That was until the quirky characters of Hoagies walked into my life one cold October evening. It wasn’t just the marketing that got me excited, their tacos were a sight for sore eyes…
Located on MM Alam Road, Lahore, the eccentric outlet sticks out in a great way. The owners are usually present and the staff is extremely cooperative, which is a testament to how seriously they take their customers experiences. Upon entering, the biggest greenlight for me, was their awesome playlist. With musicians like Freddie Mercury and David Gilmour playing at an optimum volume, your food experience is bound to be memorable.
We were a company of three and, after cozying up to the ambiance, we went ham. Our order, consisting of fried chicken tacos, shrimp tacos, ranch style curly fries and a hottie hoagie, arrived within 20 minutes. I hope you’re ready for a blow-by-blow of each.
So let’s talk about the fried chicken taco. Two tacos arrive on a wooden slate accompanied by a mini-bowl of hot sauce. The clean crunch of the cabbage, crisp flavor of the fried chicken, zesty pico de gallo, all coupled with just a hint of tobasco, made the experience unreal. I was so sold on them that I shamelessly and immediately ordered another serving. The fusion of flavors sang sweet-nothings to my palate and are a must try for you all.
The shrimp tacos were something I was really excited to try. Unfortunately, due to the low quantity of shrimp, the tobasco overpowered all else, making it taste like a hot sauce wrap and not much else. This didn’t quite make the cut for me.
Coming to the ranch-style curly fries, as soon as the cute little box arrived at our table we pulled up our boomerang apps and got busy. I’m talking cheese-pulls for days. While it’s not unimaginable for such drippy sauces to compromise the crunchiness fries, they curly-fries at Hoagies soldiered through. The sauce, cheese, curly fries, and the steak were more than a mouthful of flavors, and you won’t catch me complaining.
Now for the namesake; the hoagie. I tried the Hottie Hoagie which consisted of steak strips, house ranch, olives, and hickory BBQ sauce. You can also choose from a variety of buns but I went for a white bun; simple, classic. It was like a Subway sandwich, but not really, as it didn’t make a mess and incorporated ingredients beyond the Alfatah cold-cuts realm. The bun was fresh and well toasted and the filling didn’t overpower the buttery goodness of it. The steak was well-seasoned, not too chewy, and paired well with the sauces. Overall it was a good, and dare I say, light meal.
On a more recent visit, I tried the newest addition to their menu; 400-calorie rice-bowls. A hearty serving of brown rice, your choice of meat (mine was fried chicken of course), pico de gallo, tortilla chips and house dressing, it sounded more promising than it turned out to be. Although I was salty about the lack of sauce in the bowl, it’s a guilt-free meal with exciting textures. Maybe next time I’ll get extra sauce on the side.
With a welcoming staff, good food and a great playlist, Hoagies is a must try. They clearly prioritize flavor and allow each ingredient to shine. You would think the hoagie would be the star, but really it’s the fried chicken tacos and ranch style loaded fries that you don’t want to sleep on. Word to the wise; pay attention to the ‘cash-payments only’ sign, lest you end up like me.