Owner Michael Seccia
Silence resounds as a golden gift for many individuals, but Michael Seccia considers bustle a boon. Since 2009, he has handled hungry patrons’ hankerings at Cosmi’s Deli, 1501 S. Eighth St., extending his family’s 84-year-old connection to the community.
“We’re the recipients of their dedication because we’re loyal to their preferences,” the 47-year-old said within his Passyunk Square establishment. “We’re big on pleasing our customers because we know there are so many tastes to cater to.”
Those propensities have never failed to receive regard from the New Jersey dweller, whose uncle, Cosimo Quattrone, established Cosmi’s Supermarket & Grocery Store in 1932 and whose father, Leon, oversaw operations before he assumed the leadership role. Working at least 60 hours per week, Seccia never runs short of opportunities to collect feedback from guests, many of whom have been keeping him and his predecessors busy for decades.
“We get our fuel from knowing they’re full,” the poetic proprietor stated. “We’re big into being versatile because we know we’re working with different generations and walks of life.”
Dealing with such diversity has led Seccia to craft a massive menu that could require a few minutes from which to select, as it teems with tempting choices. Cosmi’s commitment to quality control has bred national exposure, too, with Seccia proud to tout love from America’s Best Bites, Food Paradise, ESPN College GameDay, and FOX 29’s Breakfast with Bob. He also delights in having a dedicated, tenured staff to prepare the site’s offerings, including the Chicken Cutlet Lagasse whose recipe he elected to divulge.
“There’s a great neighborhood feel around here, and the food places are always supportive of one another,” Seccia said, noting his affinity for the Termini family, responsible for Termini Bros., 1523 S. Eighth St., and Mr. Joe’s Cafe, 1514 S. Eighth St. “We want people to walk out of here knowing they’ve made a great choice, and the Lagasse, in my book, is just that.”
Priced at $8.50 for inclusion on a hoagie roll and $10.50 for presence on seeded bread, the sandwich, whose cutlets’ cutting, trimming, and hand breading occur on site, has “your choice of greens” listed as the final element of its menu description, with Seccia noting broccoli rabe makes an apt pick. No matter one’s craving, the finished product stands to prove a cut above other cutlet creations.
“Our burger business has really taken off, too, but you can’t argue with cutlets,” Seccia said.
2 chicken cutlets, five or six ounces each
3 pieces of provolone, sliced thin
3 or 4 pieces of prosciutto
Fry the cutlets at 350 degrees for three to four minutes or until they float. Slow roast the long hots, and add them, the cutlets, the prosciutto, and the provolone to a hoagie roll or seeded bread. Cosmi’s melts the cheese, with Seccia noting the placement of the sandwich in foil wrap makes the provolone stand out even more. The site also gives patrons a choice of greens, with the owner suggesting that those looking to try this recipe at home likewise load their creations with veggies.■
Owner: Michael Seccia
1501 S. Eighth St. | 215-468-6093
Photos by Tina Garceau