Friday, August 23, 2013

A Norristown Food Challenge

Share this with your favorite Norristown eateries. Let's get something started.

If you ask anyone in town what food is associated specifically with Norristown, you pretty much get one answer: the zep. It's the one food offering we can truly call our own.

The zep was probably invented back in the 1920s or 30s. Submarine sandwiches became popular after World War I, so someone in Norristown got the bright idea to construct a local long sandwich, with distinctive ingredients, and name it after another mode of transportation: the Zeppelin airship. No one knows who made the first zep, but Lou's at 414 E. Main, and Eve's Lunch at 310 E. Johnson Hwy can both take credit for doing their part to make the zep popular over the last 60 years.

The original zep sandwich, as you probably know, consists of cooked salami, provolone cheese, tomato, raw onions, oregano, and oil on a long Italian roll. You can get it on a round Kaiser, too, and with hot peppers or pepper relish, though it NEVER has lettuce on it.

So, sure, Norristown can brag about having our own version of the hoagie. But isn't it about time we devised a few other local favorites? We've got the variety of cuisine. How about a unique Norristown version of the taquito? Or a barbecue sandwich we can call our own? Or a new dessert? An appetizer? (Hot sauce, chicken wings and ranch dressing made Buffalo famous.) Time to put Norristown on the foodie map.

Here's my challenge -- go to your favorite Norristown restaurants or other food place for that matter, like a bakery (and I've said it before, we NEED an ice cream shop). Anyway, challenge them to create a local specialty with a one-of-a-kind name. Takeout is best for this sort of thing, especially sandwiches or finger food, but creativity and yumminess are paramount.

If they do it, post the creation in the comments below, or leave me a message on facebook, or email me here, with the name of the specialty and the restaurant. I'll go check it out with friends, then I'll list it here on the Diary and give the restaurant free publicity (and documentation, so no one can question who invented the specialty).  Then we can all spread the word.

Have a great weekend. Check out the Irish Festival, Sat. and Sun., at St. Pat's, or the Family Unity Day, all day Sunday, at Simmons Park.

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