Restaurant Review: Koch’s Deli

First off, a big hello to those of you who have found this site through LIS Blogsource. If you’ve read any of this blog at all, you’ll realize that the librarian part of it is pretty skimpy. And that’s as it should be, I think. There are a ton of other blogging librarians who do a great job at covering what’s going on in the library world, and you can go read them instead. As for me, I strongly identify as a librarian and it shapes my worldview extensively, but it is not the be-all and end-all of my life. Maybe I’m fortunate in that I’ve got a great job that I love that I can leave at the end of the day. I don’t know. But I do know that I welcome you all to my little corner of the ‘net, and hope you’ll stick around. If you’re going to be at ALA, you can find me in most of the Women’s Studies Section meetings.

On to different matters. It’s high time for me to start some doing restaurant reviews. I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area for nearly 4 years now. (Holy crap! Has it been that long since I got here?) There are a ton of places I’ve eaten in that time, and I want to chronicle those gastronomic experiences.

Koch’s Deli

4309 Locust Streets, West Philadelphia

The Google Search

Photos from

Oh god. Where do I begin with Koch’s? The fact that it’s located three short, dreamy blocks from my house? The fact that the sandwiches are The. Best. Sandwiches. Ever.? The fact that today when I was in there getting a corned beef special on marble rye with 2 pickles, jalapeno chips, and a Big Ass Brownie, the fellow making the sandwich laughed at me because he said “it looks like you’re having some sort of special experience over there watching me make this!” Yes, the look on my face was rather rapt, I admit. But you only need to take one bite of a sandwich from Koch’s and you’ll understand why I looked the way I did.

My two favorite sandwiches at Koch’s are the corned beef special (corned beef, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on your choice of rye) and the Drexel hoagie. The Drexel is large enough for 2 or 3 meals, depending on how hungry you are. It’s got corned beef, sliced turkey, cole slaw, Russian dressing, a whole bunch of cheeses, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting.

The lines can be really long at lunch – I’ve waited for 45 minutes in there for a sandwich before. But it’s worth it. The owner will slice meat or cheese and pass it around the shop for everyone to sample. The last time I went, I tied the dog up outside. She kept yelping, and I kept popping in and out to appease her. The second time I came back in, a guy at the counter handed me a huge bag (maybe close to 2 pounds) of meat shavings – the little pieces of meat that pile up under the meat slicer – and told me it was for the little barking girl outside. She was one happy beast that week! And I got my Drexel hoagie, and all was right with the world.

Highly Recommended

Not Vegetarian-Friendly