They advertised roast beef, but also offered roast pork, eggs, and hand-breaded chicken cutlets.
Three years ago the tiny shop gained national attention when Esquire Magazine declared their chicken cutlet to be one of the most important sandwiches in the land.
Since then, Shank's has closed on 10th Street, moving to a shop along the Delaware River at the foot of Christian street, where there's plenty of parking, and it's free.
They no longer do roast beef except as an occasional special. But the chicken cutlets are the same hand-crafted delicacy people remember from the Italian Market neighborhood.
Phil McFillin, who bought the business from founder Evelyn Perri and her daughters, says everything's the same...the hand-pounded chicken breast, the blend of bread crumbs, the cast iron skillet, and the sharp provolone cheese.
Evelyn still visits regularly and helps maintain her original standards.
Cutlets are available "Italiano" style with classic broccoli rabe, or "parmigiana" with tomato sauce, or in a hoagie.
Each is made to order, from fresh ingredients, never frozen. Bread comes in from local Italian bakeries not once but twice a day.
WIP Radio gave the Chicken Italiano its sandwich of the year award for 2010. Shank's regularly serves its selection of chicken cutlet sandwiches as well as hoagies and freshly-grilled cheesesteaks.
The once-famous roast beef is no longer on the regular menu because the present shop doesn't allow sufficient space for hand-carving.
It is offered as an occasional special. Shank's delivers daily to Center City. The shop opens every day at 10:00am. It's open Sunday through Thursday until 10:00pm, and until at least 11:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
For information phone 215-218-4000, or go online to Shank's Original.
Note that between Sandwich Day, November 3rd, the birthday of the Earl of Sandwich and Veterans Day, November 11th, .anyone visiting Shank's Original in uniform...ANY uniform...may enjoy any chicken cutlet sandwich for just $2.50.
That's less than half-price. It's intended mainly to say "thanks" to police, fire and military personnel, but postal workers, medical professionals and anyone else who wears any uniform gets the same deal.