Six days, four delicious sandwiches. I’m not sure that’s the right ratio. It would have been more sandwiches, but there’s just so much great food in Philadelphia that I couldn’t limit myself to having all of my meals squished into a roll or between slices of Italian bread.
My version of sandwichpalooza was of course going to feature a cheesesteak. My first one of the trip, on the first night in Philly, was had at Campo’s. I’ve only had one other Campo’s sandwich, and that was at a Flyers game a couple of years back, so I thought I’d try one from their “real” restaurant. The Cheez Whiz may not look tasty, but trust me, it works really well:
While I was there, a FedEx truck pulled up to pick up cheesesteaks that had been ordered by folks all over the USA. Seriously, people order these from across the country for delivery to their front door the next day. That kind of tells you about the attachment between Philadelphia natives and their signature sandwich.
Even though I wasn’t terribly hungry, I made pretty good work of the sandwich – just leaving a bit of liquid cheese and some of my dignity behind:
Between sessions at the conference I was attending, I rushed over to the Reading Terminal Market for a sandwich I’m actually a bit surprised I hadn’t tried yet. Not cheesesteak famous, but still well known within the city, is DiNiC’s roast pork sandwich. I ordered it up the traditional way – with sharp provolone, broccoli rabe – and added hot peppers. I’m ashamed I left it this long to try one of these. It’s a great sandwich. The pork is super tender and they dip the sandwich in pork jus for added flavour. I was kind of proud I wasn’t wearing any of it when I got up from the counter:
There was no doubt about one place I was going to hit on this trip. My vote for the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia (and I’ve tried many, many of them) goes to Jim’s Steaks on South at 4th St. Standing in line, you can watch your sandwich being made. That’s a good looking pile of onions and meat. I also love the industrial sized Cheez Whiz can off to the side:
For a bit of a change-up, I got mine with provolone. This was a great sandwich, but the Whiz is what really makes it special. Of course, there’s nothing better to pair with a cheesesteak than a Yuengling (or “lager” as it’s simply ordered by in Philly):
The true pièce de résistance on this trip was a sandwich at Paesano’s in South Philly. I’ve read a lot about their sandwiches and seen them featured on a number of Food Network shows. This place will be my new favourite and must visit joint on every trip from now on. I know I love sandwiches and sometimes go on and on about them here, but this isn’t an exaggeration – this was the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Named after the restaurant itself (I figured that had to be a good sign), it’s a pile of tender brisket with horseradish mayo, roasted tomatoes, pepperincino, sharp provolone and….. wait for it…. a fried egg. A complete hazard to eat, this was the best $8 I have ever spent. My arteries and heart may disagree:
And here, a better view after plowing through the first half of the sandwich:
All of these sandwiches were delicious, but Paesano’s was the one that left me wishing I had a larger appetite so I could try another. That will have to wait for my next trip to Philadelphia, hopefully to attend an Eagles Super Bowl parade.