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This Dayton-famous hoagie is a classic -- have you tried it?

Sometimes you pass a Dayton gem all the time and never recognize its shine. 

For me, that was the case with Hoagie’s Pizza House, a family-owned business in the mostly green-and-yellow building located at 6128 N. Dixie Drive in Harrison Twp., Montgomery County. 

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To say I’ve been meaning to stop into the independent eatery is an understatement. I’ve heard of the place for years, which is no wonder. 

Ralph Hoagland opened Hoagie’s in 1969.

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It sticks out on the corner of Gipsy Avenue and N. Dixie Drive near Dixie Twin Drive-In and the delicious Olive Mediterranean Grill. 

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Hoagland’s daughter, Theresa “Micki” Collins, now owns the store. She closed the Troy location about two years ago. 

Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)

I’ve seen the restaurant’s iconic sign featuring a moustached chef in tails carrying a pizza and reading “How About A Pizza?” more times than I can count. 

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The Leadbelly Boys, Dayton Daily News’ former food crew, tried to take down an 18-inch Hoagie’s square-cut pizza back in 2004 and nearly didn’t live to tell about it. 

Alas, even we mighty and steel-gutted Leadbelly Boys sometimes meet our match. Not often, mind you, but sometimes. In this case, we strode haughtily into the unassuming-looking Hoagie’s, thinking there was no pizza in town that could get the best of us. But we will admit when we’re beaten. And so we admit that the 18-inch whopper that the chuckling waitress brought to our table was more than we could handle. Thin crust but still a thick pizza, with a killer dose of cheese and a humdingin’ sauce. Carrying our leftovers with us, we left with our tails between our Leadbelly legs.

I walked into the restaurant not knowing what to expect, and was greeted by a friendly cashier who answered all my questions with ease. 

The beer and candy selections are displayed on the wall behind the counter. 

After placing my order -- the Famous Hoagie recommended by a friend -- I headed to the dining room and found two rooms of booths and tables. 

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Christmas decorations filled shelves below the main room’s TV. A Mickey and Minnie Mouse cutout was propped up against an old-school CD jukebox in the second dining room. 

Besides pizza and hoagies, the restaurant offers a variety of Italian-inspired sandwiches and pasta dishes. On its menu, Hoagie’s brags about its homemade dough.

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The freshness was apparent when my fully loaded hoagie came out. 

The toasted white sub-style bun held an ample amount of ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone and mayo and a mess of veggies: shredded lettuce, tomato, sliced onion,  chopped bell pepper, sliced banana peppers and surprising green onions. 

The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)

I ordered a large sub, about 12 inches, for $10.35. Cut in four, the delicious sandwich came out in a metal basket and could have fed two people easily. I took home leftovers.   

You can get a half-sized Famous Hoagie for $5.20. 

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Hoagie’s fans rave about its pizza and the Spider “Pizza Sandwich,” which has ham, salami, provolone, pizza sauce, banana peppers, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and green peppers on a submarine bun. 

I’m looking forward to trying it, and Hoagie’s take on Dayton-style square-cut pizza, on my next visit. 

Let’s see if those Leadbelly Boys had it right. 

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The Famous Hoagie at Hoagie's Pizza House. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)
The interior of Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp. The restaurant was decorated for Christmas 2017. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)
The interior of Hoagie's Pizza House in Harrison Twp. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)
The front counter at Hoagie's Pizza House. (Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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