Pennsylvania – 19870 Miles Driven.
I couldn’t go to Philly and not eat a Philly. Cheesesteak that is. Owing to the influx of Italian immigrants in the early 20th century Philadelphia is also home to another popular sandwich, the roast pork. Of course I had to try both.
DiNic’s Roast Pork
According to the Travel Channel, DiNic’s serves the ‘Best Sandwich in America’, a pretty impressive accolade. It’s located in the heart of Philadelphia’s iconic Reading Terminal Market, a market so full of wonderful fresh produce and dining options I would urge anyone to visit. DiNic’s started life in 1918 as a South Philly butchers named Nicolosi. The Nicolosi family joined forces with the DiClaudio family, and in 1977 DiNic’s was born. Tommy Nicolosi and his son Joey continue to make traditional Italian roast pork and beef sandwiches, along with some more modern favourites such as beef brisket and pulled pork.
But I wasn’t there for modern I wanted tradition, I wanted America’s best, I wanted a DiNic’s Roast Pork. The seasoned pork shoulders are roasted, thinly sliced, and boiled in pork stock. The pork is spooned onto a crusty white roll lined with sharp provolone cheese, topped with chili infused broccoli raab and even more of the stock. Meat, cheese, bread, what’s not to like? Would I agree it’s the best sandwich in America? Well the jury may still be out on that one, but a DiNic’s Roast Pork is definitely a very good sandwich and I’m extremely glad I got to eat one.
John’s Roast Pork
John’s Roast Pork may well serve a ‘world famous’ roast pork sandwich, but it also serves what’s regarded as one of Philadelphia’s best cheesesteaks.
John Bucci Jr. runs the same restaurant his family opened back in 1930, and it’s he who introduced the cheesesteak to its menu. A generous 12 oz. of thinly sliced sirloin steak is grilled on top of chopped onions. Long hot peppers and sharp provolone cheese are added, plus some salt and pepper, and the whole lot is melted together before being served in a 10” sesame seed baguette.
I’d heard horror stories of traditional cheesesteak recipes using some awful toxic looking cheese substitute called Cheez Wiz, and I’m so relieved John’s uses cheese that actually originated from a cow. There are no doubt a number of different places in Philadelphia people like to get their cheesesteaks from, but I can’t imagine how any of them could be better than the one I ate at John’s, unless you actually like Cheez Wiz. It was a wonderful sandwich, and I’m sorry New Jersey, if I could pick only one cheesesteak to eat again it would be the one I ate in Philly.
DiNic’s Roast Pork is located at; Reading Terminal Market, 51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Telephone; +1 (215) 923-6175.
John’s Roast Pork is located at; 14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148. Telephone; +1 (215) 463-1951.