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“Oh how I miss Sid, Francis, Lou, Bobby”

Koch's Take Out Shop
Ranked #945 of 4,491 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Neighborhood: University City
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: University City
Reviewed July 30, 2013

This is still a great place to get food. But, I miss the good old days. The father and mother, Sid and Francis, still worked the counter when I came here in 1982 for my first sandwich. Sid made me my first sandwich. Schmaltzy jokes, learning everyone's name, free samples passed out while you wait made this my "Cheers" (.. sometimes you wanna go where everyone always knows name, and they're always glad you came ...). Was always one of my ambitions to be known there by name. And, briefly, I had been. When I moved to Illinois, my soon-to-be wife had their sandwiches shipped to me for my birthday one year. A crowning achievement for me was when Bobby recognized me years later when I brought my daughter on a trip. Now, Sid and Francis have long since died, and Lou too (far too young). Bobby was still there when I last visited more than a decade ago, but no more. I get it. Things change. That's life. God bless. I'm sure that the guy running the place does a good job and is a nice fellow. He even passed out a free samples. But, no banter, no "Hey 'so and so' how are you" No "did you here the one about the guy who walked into a bar with a watermelon on his head?" Just business now. Just food. Good food, yes. But, I'm sorry, and I don't mean to offend, it's just not the same. Now, it's just a sandwich shop. And, though I can tell objectively that sandwiches remain good, somehow, they did not taste the same. I'll never go again. Can't. Just too painful. Oh how I miss those guys. Thanks for the memories.
- Joel

Thank jishenker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10 - 13 of 13 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2012

Koch's was the deli of my college youth, so I was reluctant to take my daughter there when she was looking at Penn. Throwing caution to the winds, we tromped up Locust Street to find that this is still a great neighborhood deli. She and I agreed -- the meats are lean and delicious; the bread is fresh; and free samples while you're waiting in line are ample. The faces have changed, but Koch's is the place to go for a sandwich to remember.

Thank ATAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

As a local from the Philadelphia area I have always heard about Koch's and yesterday went for the first time. To give you an overview of how great this place is:
- The woman in front of me first started eating there in 1971: "Not much has changed! Best Pastrami sandwhich ever..."
- I almost couldn't eat my lunch after the unsolicited "free samples for everyone" that were offered around every 5 minutes! (pickles and cheese and roast beef, oh my! even my dog waiting outside got a sample scrap "to go":-)
- When I arrived, the owner was creating a custome breakfast sandwhich for two other customers to their specifications - you could see he took a great deal of pride in his work and the new sandwhiches (again, offering samples of his creation!)
- The owner knew the "top" delis in the area I am from and, after eating his yesterday, I can say he definitely ranks right up with them!

Tips:
The place is very small and this amount of attention-to-detail takes time - if you tend to be impatient, call ahead to place your order - if you want the service "experience" then stick around for the fun!
Beware if you're shy and new to the place: the owner can spot a deli "virgin" and will surely ply you with samples and stories....
No place to eat inside; there is a small wire table with 2 chairs outside on nice days.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LillyFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Philadelphia, PA
Reviewed April 19, 2008

How could I not like it here. It's a taste of an old fashioned Jewish deli in the heart of University City. A must go, but be prepared to stand in line and listen to corny jokes.

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