Friday, June 25, 2010

Hungry Hobo & Capriotti's

For 37 years, Quad-Citians have been graced by the presence of a hobo, The Hungry Hobo. Unlike most hobos, this one is delicious. He is also quite dapper in his top hat and bow tie.

The Hungry Hobo is a local chain of sandwich shops that began in the Quad-Cities 37 yrs ago and has since expanded into 11 Q-C locations with additional stores in Galesburg and IA City. They refer to their sub sandwiches as 'Hobos' and they are available in 2 sizes, Regular and King. I think a regular is slightly bigger than 6 inches. Though they don't offer the variety of breads that Subway does, their buns are fresh and much softer.The bread has a taste that can easily be distinguished from other restaurants'.

All Hungry Hobo stores look the same. They are adorned with train depot signs and furnished with park bench booths.

The hungry masses walk up to the counter and order a sandwich by number. It's a long walk and sometimes a long line, so if you're lazy, just forget it and drive-thru BK again... you heifer.

Deli meats and cheeses are sliced to order and added to your sub which are, by default, garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and oregano. Of course, you can special order and remove some of those or add onions and the ever popular banana pepper rings.

H.H. is also known for their baked potatoes loaded with a medley of toppings. I favor the Taco Tato with Chili, lettuce, cheddar, tomatoes, and taco chips. Other side offerings are chips, potato salad, or waffle fries.

The desserts are baked from scratch in the Hobo Bakery, located in Rock Island. The moniker 'hobo bakery' has me picturing a conveyor belt filled with dirty hobos emptying into a giant oven. Twenty minutes at 350 and boom...the best carrot cake you'll find in the QC.

Normally I'd never recommend eating 'pudding' from a hobo, but their vanilla is seriously creamy and tasty.

My parents and I ordered hobos to-go-gos. My dad ordered what I believe is the most popular- #11- Ham, salami, cappicola, pepperoni, and provolone. Just what a man who has had 2 strokes should be eating. (ok to be fair, they were cause by head trauma, not cholesterol)

I ordered my usual #5- Smoked Turkey Breast with pickles and mustard. Unlike Subway, the turkey actually tastes like turkey!

Because Richie wasn't able to enjoy the hobo meat, we stopped at Capriotti's Sandwich Shop in Davenport. It just recently opened on 53rd. I poked around their website to find out that it is a chain, but most of the restaurants are located out west. This is one of three in the Midwest, and the only one in Iowa.

They are famous for a sandwich called the Bobbie, so a Richie ate a Bobbie.

What exactly is a Bobbie? Homemade turkey (shredded, off-the-bone), cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo on a bun. He ordered a medium, which is a foot-long, for $8.25. Seems a little steep, but the sandwich packs a mighty punch of Thanksgiving leftovers. You can view their menu of other hearty sandwiches here.

Looks like a lot of cranberry sauce, but he said it wasn't overpowering.

I had a bite- the stuffing escorted me right back to November. Tasted exactly like my mum's. (Must be Stove Top)
Cue my craving for pumpkin pie.

He ended up eating all of it last night and just texted to me to say that he regretted it, for he wishes he had some today.

Call on either of these sandwich shops for an ample meal or quick lunch.

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