Chicken Battle 2: Electric Boogaloo

Sorry for the delay — it was a great battle, with a late addition from Delaware courtesy of @RudeTanks. In the end, there was a clear winner — Pastificio took the top spot on 7 of 10 ballots, with Ioannoni’s getting 2 first place votes and Tony Luke’s getting a single first place vote. Here’s how the overall rankings landed:

1. Pastificio: The Chicken Cutlet Italian from Pastificio was a force to be reckoned with, getting top marks for its bread (Abruzzi Brick Oven bread), broccoli rabe (fresh and flavorful, with a hint of red pepper) and chicken (perfectly cooked). The only complaint was that there wasn’t enough cheese, which oddly enough turned out to be a common complaint for all of the sandwiches except for Tony Luke’s. If you’ve never been to Pastificio (next to Chickies and Pete’s on Packer Ave) it’s worth a trip — pretty much any of their cutlets are fantastic (especially the Buffalo Chicken Cutlet) and they also have delicious fresh pasta.


2. Iannoni’s was a late addition to the contest, and it was a great one. The sandwich was massive, with a thick, tasty cutlet that hung out the sides of the bread. Says RudeTanks, PUT THIS IN YOUR GPS AND DRIVE IT 624 East Basin Road, New Castle, DE (302) 322-5000

3. I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised at how good the Tony Luke’s sandwich was, but the cutlet tasted great, there was plenty of cheese (though the provolone wasn’t that sharp) and the rabe was chopped and very flavorful. The only downfall was the bread, which was a little too doughy for my taste.


(Tie) 4. Chickie’s / Cosmi’s – Fourth place seems too harsh — both of these were good sandwiches, but the competition was tough. Chickie’s had a real garlicky broccoli rabe, which I really liked but some people found unpleasant. Cosmi’s pounded their cutlet flat and wrapped it around the rabe, which I thought worked well.


5. Shank’s was the only disappointing sandwich of the group, which was surprising — I’ve had good sandwiches from Shank’s many times before. But their Chicken Cutlet Italian just didn’t stand up to the rest. The chicken was tough, overcooked and had a weird purple-ish color to it. Also, the rabe had a strange mustardy taste to it — something was off.


So there you have it. What did we learn?

  • Pastificio’s is the winner.
  • All of the sandwiches were good except for Shank’s.
  • I enjoy conducting these taste tests much more than writing about them.
  • These Friday Throwdowns make everyone in my office uncomfortably full. We probably shouldn’t do this more than once a month. I guess it would be nice to do some sort of healthy food battle, but where’s the fun in that?

If you’ve tried all of these sandwiches and want to fill out the survey, go here: