Tuesday, February 26, 2013

C&B Italian Delly In Ellicott City

Italian hoagie from C&B Italian Delly
I don't mean to be a sandwich snob.  I just came of age in Philadelphia.

I lived four years on pizza and hoagies, so I came to expect that regular sandwich shops could assemble bread, meat and condiments into something delicious.  But 20 years of bad rolls and tasteless sandwiches have left me happy to order almost anything else.

C&B Italian Delly in Ellicott City won me back over to the sandwich choir.  Honestly, I only stopped because I was looking for the Ethiopian restaurant that they're going to open down the row. It was lunchtime.  It was only a $6 risk to see if C&B could do anything worthwhile.

And they can.  I went with just the "Italian hoagie" -- a relatively thin mix of cold cuts, a white cheese, lettuce, tomatoes on a long roll.  It's the roll.  We all know that sandwiches rise or fall on the roll, and C&B's roll tasted like Philadelphia.  Some Quaker loyalists will complain that only Philadelphia-baked rolls can taste like Philadelphia, but C&B's bread had a light crust and a chewy texture that would have made me happy on Walnut Street.

With the bread, everything came together.  Some good thin-sliced meats.  Some hot peppers, a little oil and vinegar.  A sharp cheese that I think was provolone.  An Italian sandwich can be a really simple thing, but C&B pulled that off.  Even with generic lettuce and tomato, that sandwich was easily one of my favorites around.

Two years ago, I posted about sandwiches and highlighted Bon Fresco and New York Deli in Columbia.  Bon Fresco remains the gold standard with gourmet breads and delicious ingredients, but C&B's Italian leads in my "traditional Italian" category.  Well worth the effort to check out.

Of course, the real test will be Mrs. HowChow because she grew up in Philadelphia.  You know how those people are.

(Update: Note that Adam hit up C&B in 2010 and posted about pastrami and other sandwiches on Grub Grade.)

C&B Italian Delly
8457 Baltimore Pike (Rte 40)
Ellicott City, MD 21043
410-465-4499

NEAR: C&B is just off Rte 40 east of Rte 29.  The shopping center has some stores actually facing Rte 40, then some behind those.  C&B is in the back section.  You actually need to turn south off Rte 40, then turn into the parking lot.

Cb Deli on Urbanspoon

17 comments:

Mike said...

Best roast beef sub in town! Sorry: hoagie. I've loved this place for years. Friendly proprietor as well. That fresh bread makes all the difference.

Matt said...

Wait a minute. My girl friend was born and raised in South Philly. Are you telling me we have a place to get her a proper hoagie that doesn't involve driving down to Beltsville to hit the Wawa?

HowChow said...

@Matt -- I never one to argue against a trip to Wawa. But yes, I thought the C&B sandwich hit the mark. I'd love to hear other reactions.

KimF said...

I used to work in a Wawa in South Jersey while in high school. I still remember the smell and taste of those Amorosa rolls shipped in daily from Philly. My husband swears the best hoagie he ever had was one I made him with those rolls. :) I'll be sure to try out C&B.

James said...

I would have to say that the best sandwich that doesn't involve a drive into Baltimore is just over the line in Baltimore Cnty off Marriotsville road at Olde World Deli. I have had the American, Italian, and Greek CCs and all are great in their own right. Fantastic fresh rolls and sliced deli meats alot of which are imports (its a German deli) and it sports real dusseldorf spicy mustard as a option. I will have to try this place out though but based on the picture I can say I enjoy more meat on my hogies.

BobbyW said...

If you drive to the New York area with any frequency, you probably use the I295 route north after exiting the Delaware River Bridge. If you get off at exit 10 there is a large Wawa right there that sells cheap gas (after all, it is New Jersey) and makes great fresh subs to order. This easily beats any stop along the Turnpike.

JW said...

C&B's Italian Cold Cut was pretty good. We also think the Italian Cold Cut is really good at Bella Mia's in the strip mall of Route 103 and Route 104. I think it's called Waterloo ro Watermont Plaza.

Anonymous said...

I am a South Jersey boy where the Philly hoagie could also be found. You have confirmed my long heald belief that it was the roll that made the hoagie. Cold Cut subs don't make it unless they are made on a Philly roll.

Jim V

Unknown said...
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Alicyn DelZoppo said...

Pazanis has a pretty good Italian Sub as well....

Alicyn DelZoppo said...
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Mrs. HowChow said...

I'm very dubious. Will try this "sandwich" but nothing so far outside of PA beats the best hoagies and grinders from home. Why doesn't anyone here seem to make grinders either??? (last time I asked, someone offered that Subway can warm up your sandwich for you....)

Erin Kristensen said...

I love this place!

Anonymous said...

I grew up on the jersey shore and now reside in columbia. Bobby W speaks the truth, this is my stop on the way back home every time. Fill up on gas and grab an awesome hoagie.
Looking forward to trying C&B

HoCo Connect said...

C&B sells a true Italian roast beef that makes an excellent sub sandwich

Kiki said...

I used to live in a nearby apartment complex and C&B Delly was my most favorite hoagie shop ever. I'm originally from the Poconos, and while not Philly, we still had delicious delis that served Philly-style hoagies and grinders. So, so good! The owner and employees were also the best. I'm wondering if the tip jar still says "beer money."

Neerav Shah said...

Grew up outside Philly and have been in the DC area since 2005. I've been searching for an acceptable Italian hoagie down here and haven't found anything until now. C&B's hoagie is good. The roll isn't perfect, but I don't think anyone gets this close. C&B will never replace Lee's Hoagies, but hey its much better than anything else I've found here.