Sonny’s Famous Steak Hogies opened on May 29th, 1958. It is a landmark for comfort food fans in South Florida. Sonny’s was founded by Sonny Nigro and all these years later it’s still a family affair with his son John Nigro running the show.
As I got off of my car I was slapped in the face with the most mesmerizing grilled steak smell. I was left in a trance. No, I was actually left in a trance and couldn’t order. It doesn’t help that there are freshly baked hogies all over the place either. I could not get my words out. My cousin Fred who was with me laughed at my dazed and confused status. He had to take over ordering duties while I tried to come back to my senses.
“With pride we make and bake our hogie rolls the old fashioned way.” – Sonny
They ask you to order only the Steak Hogies by their number system and I was in no condition for that at the moment. The original plan was to eat in but those changed when I realized how late it was getting, it became a to-go order. We ordered a #50 and a Meatball Hogie with Mozzarella. A #50 is a Steak Hogie with Sauce and Fried Onions, we add Provolone Cheese for good measure.
We’re handed our hogies, head to my car and realize there is no way we can drive for 45 minutes back home with that intoxicating smell. We bust open the subs and I first try the Meatball Hogie. It’s covered in cheese & their homemade sauce on one of their homemade hogie rolls. You already know this is a setup for success. The balls are moist and full of that great meatball taste. Yes, I just used the word meatball as an adjective, so what! It was also meatball-y and very good.
Before we get to the steak hogie, I thought their burger hogie deserved a mention. Not because I had one but because I watched them putting a fresh patty on the flat top to cook. You burger aficionados out there will appreciate that.
My original thought was that I should have had a #90 (Steak with Fried Onions) and added Provolone just to get a good idea of what a “standard” cheesesteak tastes like. I didn’t and am glad we went the sauced route instead. It added a dimension to a cheesesteak I hadn’t experienced.
I’ve tried the “with Mushrooms or Peppers” but that doesn’t do it for me. I could really get with this version but since I just had to, we went back and ordered a #90 while still in the parking lot to compare. I liked the #50 and it may grow on me but I loved the #90, standard it is.
In subsequent visits to Sonny’s over the years, I did indeed finally eat their outrageous Cheeseburger Hogie and the Chicken Breast Parmesan Hogie. If you like to add some heat to your meals, request the cherry peppers. They add a nice little flavor boost to the #50.
Ah yes, one last thing…CASH only.
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