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It’s Snowy in Philadelphia!

December 17, 2010

Hey folks! I’ve been here in Philadelphia – the city of Brotherly Love – since Wednesday. It’s been a beautiful city and I have enjoyed seeing it for the first time. The only bad part is that I still haven’t seen Top Chef (although, it’s on my DVR for when I get home).

I have been eating a lot of great stuff while I’ve been here, so I thought I’d share a little bit of my adventures with you as they are going on!

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Philadelphia food? The Philly Cheesesteak, of course! When my good friend, Prashant, picked me up from the airport, we headed straight to Geno’s Steaks to get an authentic philly cheesteak.

The way you order a cheesesteak in Philly is pretty easy, but you better know the lingo or you’ll get sent to the back of the line. First you say what kind of cheese you want (provolone, swiss, american, or the infamous cheese wizz), and then you say with (onions) or without (onions). I went for the classic – WIZZ WITH, which means a cheesesteak with cheese wizz sauce and onions.

The sandwich was delicious and it’s clear why it’s a classic that is replicated all around the country. The bread on this sandwich is incredible. It’s not crusty, it’s actually pretty soft when you bite into it and a little  chewy. The steak is perfectly cooked – very tender and moist. And who can go wrong smothering it in cheese sauce? I really did enjoy the hot sauce they offered – it was really spicy and since I like that kind of thing, I added a good amount! Definitely try Geno’s out, or Pat’s, or Tony Luke’s, or Nick’s. You gotta get at least one when you’re in Philly.

But in Philadelphia, there is another sandwich. Although lesser known, some say it is more beloved by locals than the iconic cheesesteak. It’s the Italian Roast Pork sandwich. A lot of places that sell cheesesteaks also have this pork sandwich. What is it you may ask? Well, let me tell you, it’s usually slow roasted pork shoulder, covered in spices , fresh herbs (rosemary) and garlic. That is put into another delicious hoagie roll and topped with sharp provolone cheese and broccoli rabe. I went to Tommy DiNic’s in Reading Terminal Market (a foodie heaven).

This sandwich was utterly delicious. I’ve never really had anything like it. The pork is so juicy and moist. Because it’s cut fresh, a lot of the juices get soaked up by the bread. The provolone cheese is aged, so it has a brilliant nuttiness. The bitterness of the broccoli rabe cuts right through the richness of the pork and the cheese. I mean..I could eat this sandwich every day. It’s that good.

Two great sandwiches but for me, in the battle of cheesesteak vs Italian pork sandwich…I choose Italian pork sandwich!

I love when I travel to go to the unique food places of the city. You learn so much from being at these restaurants because the people that make the product are so passionate about doing so. It’s truly a great way to learn a city in a way only food can teach.

Have you guys tried these sandwiches? If so, please share your experiences. If you haven’t, next time you’re in Philly, check these places out. I think you’ll really enjoy them. Stay tuned for more Philly adventures…



8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 9:01 AM

    Glad you’re having fun! When Joe came with me to Philly a few years ago, he had two requirements: eat a cheesesteak and see the Liberty Bell. We definitely did both.

    • December 17, 2010 9:16 AM

      Yes, I saw the Liberty Bell/Independence Hall yesterday – really cool, especially for a political science geek like me!

  2. December 17, 2010 3:20 PM

    Did you try Tony Lukes or Pat’s? Curious to see which you liked best. Never heard of that other sandwich…will definitely need to check it out next time I’m in philly 🙂

    • December 17, 2010 3:55 PM

      Only been to Geno’s so far – but I will try others before I leave

  3. December 22, 2010 6:31 PM

    I am a Pat’s Gal myself… Then again, when I lived in Phila, I only went to Pat’s at 3 a.m. after bar hopping. What I got was a cheesesteak with onions and pickles. Mmm that is good.

    • December 23, 2010 1:49 AM

      Haha – yeah the fact they are open for 24 hours is wild. What do you think about the cheese whizz? I feel like I would like the sandwich more with provolone or something.

  4. Sourabh permalink
    October 12, 2011 11:25 AM

    Jim’s is pretty solid on the cheesesteaks as well!


  1. MUST EAT/DRINK here in Philadelphia, PA! « Vivek's Epicurean Adventures

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