The new Govinda’s Gourmet To Go has a long counter with sandwich fixings behind the glass partition, an open grill on the back wall, and a small glass case filled with vegan desserts. Adjacent to the counter are a handful of two-top tables and a beverage refrigerator. Govinda’s looks like your basic, no-frills sandwich shop with the exception of a small, more formal dining room at the end of the building.
Taking my sandwich to go, I hung around to watch the sandwich being made. The sandwiches at Govinda’s are delicious, but my one gripe is skimpy fillings. In the past, I would scrape the innards of my sandwich from one half of the hoagie roll and put it on the other half to create a better filling to bread ratio. I had no filling to bread ratio gripe this time. The sandwich constructor hollowed out the hoagie rolls and filled the sandwich liberally.
I’m still not convinced that the Philly Cheesesteak is a great sandwich, but, in the spirit of assimilation, I keep trying them. I’m pleased with Govinda’s vegetarian Cheesesteak, but the house gravy that is ladled on the soy meat and peppers while on the grill has a mysterious flavor. The flavor is reminiscent of Chinese Five-Spice, but I’m not sure. The sauce is tasty, but I don’t think it would be considered a traditional Cheesesteak sauce.
The chicken salad sub with soy meat, celery, and soy mayonnaise is my favorite, so I ordered one of these, too. Again, props for substantial fillings. They must have been out of celery that night, as I was disappointed to see bell peppers instead. The peppers provided the necessary crunch, but, in my opinion, it’s not chicken salad without celery.
I’m so happy that Govinda’s sandwich division didn’t disappear. Now that I know exactly where you are, I’ll be back for the yummy, fat sandwiches. Stock up on celery, though. Thanks.
Govinda’s Gourmet To Go, 1400 South St., Philadelphia, PA 19146
Mon-Thur: 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30am-Midnight; Sun: 11:30am-10pm