photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO
Gilben’s Bakery and Sandwich Shop in West Oak Lane is somewhere that you can get a gooey cheesesteak, drippy po’boys, and moist red velvet cake all under one roof. Beyond that, you can find a selection of salads, soul food platters, and a few other things that will make you feel better than finding out you're in one of those random months with an extra payday. Plus, all the sandwiches here are $15 and under so we can get a garlicky shrimp scampi sandwich for less than the cost of a monthly Netflix subscription. And like your go-to comfort show that you know every word to, the po’boy is something you won't forget after you try it. It’s served on a long garlic bread roll, the shrimp is perfectly cooked, and the buttery and oniony coating on the shrimp is good enough that we could put it on everything.
On Sundays, they basically turn into a smokehouse with slow-roasted BBQ spare ribs, roasted sweet chili chicken, beef brisket, and smothered pork chops that fall off the bone—and all specials go for under $20. They also serve classic sides like corn on the cob, fluffy mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. Every single one is good enough for you to voluntarily leave the house even on a rainy weekend for a quick lunch.
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Extra Cheesy Cheesesteak
We know what you’re thinking: If a cheesesteak gets any cheesier, it would essentially be Hamburger Helper trapped by bread. But this place pulls it off, with a roll brushed with garlic sauce that creates a cheesesteak unlike anywhere else in the city. The extra cheese does make the sandwich a little heavier, so it’s best to slice it in half unless you want a sandwich to fall apart like a Nature Valley bar. But even if that’s the case, you’ll just have a mound of cheesy beef and sauteed onions to scoop up, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
Grilled Shrimp Scampi Po’Boy
The sandwich lathers a mix of creamy sauce and plump shrimp on a warm roll, and it gets a nice crunch from the lettuce and spicy peppers tossed in. From the extra toasty roll to the grilled pieces of the shrimp, there’s some smokiness in each bite that makes the sandwich the perfect mix of butter and charred flavors.