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Hoagies, Cheesesteaks, Pork Italiano

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#61 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:15 PM

Definitely visit both places to compare (and get to John's before 2:30PM when they begin to close down for the day), and you might also want to add a quick run north on Delaware Ave., just below Columbia Ave., to Johnny's Hots (also before 3:00PM), who make an estimable roast pork sandwich with greens.

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#62 philadining

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:42 PM

Small Roast Pork Italian from John's Roast Pork...

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So how does it compare to Tony Luke's?

To put it in context... the boyfriend is in town this weekend because I finally have a day off (Good Friday) and he, of course, wants a roast pork Italian. We always hit up Tony Luke's, but since I'll be free on a day when John's is actually open...should we go there instead? Or should we do one sandwich at both places?

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It depends on what you want to accomplish. If it's getting him the best Pork Sandwich, I'd agree with Holly: start at DiNic's then go to John's if you want to have a comparison. But if you're thinking like me, which I think you are, you might just want to seize the opportunity to actually try John's when it might be open. Then again, it's Good Friday, they might take the day off too....

If you go to John's, you don't need to wait behind the folks ordering cheesesteaks, you can skip ahead of them and order a pork sandwich. But I think what you might really want to do is get one cheesesteak and one Pork Italian...

As for how it compares to Tony Lukes: I liked the pork itself better at John's, and I liked the spinach a lot. But at Tony Luke's you can get rabe, and the roll might be a touch better...

I think you owe it to yourself, and to your boyfriend, to spend your entire day off eating various roast pork sandwiches, and reporting back....

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#63 Mummer

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:46 PM

Small Roast Pork Italian from John's Roast Pork...

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So how does it compare to Tony Luke's?

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I prefer John's. I've never done an a - b taste test, so I'll say the pork's a toss-up. I give my nod to John's for the greens and the seeded roll.

Mom at John's told me she serves spinach because rabe is too bitter. I agree - less bitter is more better as it lets the bite come thru from the sharp prov.
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#64 philadining

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 01:51 PM

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Hey Charlie, those seeded rolls did look great, but that's not what I got, probably because I ordered a small. Do they put the large Roast Pork on the better rolls?

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#65 Jeff L

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 02:12 PM

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Hey Charlie, those seeded rolls did look great, but that's not what I got, probably because I ordered a small.  Do they put the large Roast Pork on the better rolls?

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I can answer here, yes, and what's up with you ordering a small anything? :wink:

#66 mrbigjas

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 02:26 PM

you guys know john's is open on saturdays nowadays, right? i mean all this talk of getting there when it's open and whatnot--it's not as difficult as it used to be...

#67 philadining

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 02:49 PM

you guys know john's is open on saturdays nowadays, right?  i mean all this talk of getting there when it's open and whatnot--it's not as difficult as it used to be...

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It wasn't open the last saturday I tried to go... noon-ish a couple weeks ago.

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#68 Diann

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 04:36 PM

you guys know john's is open on saturdays nowadays, right?  i mean all this talk of getting there when it's open and whatnot--it's not as difficult as it used to be...

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Do you know their Saturday hours?

This particular Saturday we're thinking of heading up to Newark for some rodizio, but it would be good to know for future reference.

Thanks, Holly and Philadining, for the reminders about DiNic's, but honestly, I'm more of a Tony Luke's girl. I think it's the rabe and the crusty roll that I love so much. I HAVE been meaning to try DiNic's brisket and roast beef sandwiches, but I never seem to get to RTM before 2PM on Saturdays and the stand is usually closing up by then.

Must stop by Johnny's Hots -- the Philadelphia surf n turf sounds good!

#69 mrbigjas

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 04:40 PM

you guys know john's is open on saturdays nowadays, right?  i mean all this talk of getting there when it's open and whatnot--it's not as difficult as it used to be...

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It wasn't open the last saturday I tried to go... noon-ish a couple weeks ago.

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that's an outrage!

#70 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 03:09 PM

Finally got over to Johnny's Hots today for his version of the Roast Pork Italiano:


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I added spinach and sharp provalone to my sandwich; broccoli rabe is also available.

Like his version of the cheesesteak, this sammie goes right to the top of the list of great ones in Philly; the bread, juicy pork and greens all work terrifically together.

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#71 Diann

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:34 AM

So we did a semi-roast pork tour -- due to terrible traffic, we didn't make it to John's until 2:55PM, at which time the doors were locked. It's unclear from their signs whether they are or are not open on Saturdays (one sign says yes, another sign says no)...

We did make it to Johnny's Hots, though. Thanks for the inspiration, Rich and Holly! That is some AMAZING pork. I have to say, better than Tony Luke's (just the pork part). The shredded provolone didn't melt on my sandwich, though, so I took points off for that.

And of course, Tony Luke's is nearly always open, so we had (in my mind) the classic. If I could combine Johnny's roll and pork with Tony Luke's rabe and sharp provolone, that would be the perfect sandwich...

#72 mrbigjas

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Posted 29 April 2006 - 06:21 AM

all, i have a new candidate for roast pork sandwiches, which someone needs to check out: the inimitable chickie's. yesterday i was ordering up a pile of hoagies for my office and i noticed that they offer roast pork, in both hot and cold versions. so besides my chickies specials and tuna specials and veggie specials, i ordered up a cold roast pork hoagie, and it was delicious.

i didn't order the hot version though, since i had to take it across town and i thought it wouldn't travel. but this deserves checking out by someone, wouldn't you say? they do offer very garlicky broccoli rabe.

#73 philadining

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:00 PM

This probably doesn't count as a real Philly sandwich for a couple of reasons, but what the heck...

Dropped by Murray's in West Chester tonight
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Corned Beef on Rye.

Very good sandwich, even though the rye's a little squishy - but it seems like everybody's is these days...

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#74 philadining

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:23 PM

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Koch's: L.B.K. special - turkey, roast beef, slaw, russian on rye. Delicious sandwich, even though it was not my first choice, but they'd run out of brisket...

The food seems to be pretty much the same at Koch's, although it's a little surreal to not have a volley of bad jokes flying over the counter along with the sandwiches... and there was a very disturbing sign advertising a veggie cheesesteak posted a few places in the store. Seemed way out of place. Anyway, go,of course it won't be the same without a single Koch in Koch's, but they still make a hell of a sandwich.

Edited by philadining, 03 July 2006 - 10:24 PM.


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#75 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:28 PM

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Koch's: L.B.K. special - turkey, roast beef, slaw, russian on rye. Delicious sandwich, even though it  was not my first choice, but they'd run out of brisket...

The food seems to be pretty much the same at Koch's, although it's a little surreal to not have a  volley of bad jokes flying over the counter along with the sandwiches...  and there was a very disturbing sign advertising a veggie cheesesteak posted a few places in the store. Seemed way out of place.  Anyway, go,of course it won't be the same without a single Koch in Koch's, but they still make a hell of a sandwich.

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The last remaining brother is running the joint now, I read a while back.

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#76 philadining

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:55 PM

The last remaining brother is running the joint now, I read a while back.

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I think he's a doctor, isn't he? I doubt he's in there making sandwiches... Or, if the guy that seemed to be in charge is a Koch, he's not quite Kochy in the way we're used to Koch's Koches being... he barely said a word, what he did say was really quiet...

Nonetheless, the place is still a treasure. Go get a sandwich.

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#77 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:56 PM

And that reminds me: I stopped by Johnny's Hots on Delaware Ave. a few weeks back, and sated my hot dog, pepper hash and Philly Surf & Turf jones (and introduced my friend, the Angry Dwarf, to these aforementioned delicacies), but couldn't resist ordering up a hot roast beef sandwich, about which the owner so proudly and lovingly described its preparation to Holly and me a while back. Seems he orders a roast from a hanging side of beef at George Wells Meats a few blocks down the street, and then roasts it seasoned with herbs, olive oil and garlic.

It is one of the best beef sammies I've ever had. This guy is one fanatical perfectionist and it shows. I ordered mine "wet" with some sharp provalone atop. Sheer beef bliss on a flawless roll.


Posted Image

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#78 philadining

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:39 PM

Resisted the siren call of the roast pork, and finally got a cheesesteak at John's Roast Pork.

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Sharp/with....

holy crap, that was a good sandwich! I happen to like that chopped-up style, and the meat was cooked just right, they've got good cheese (the sharp provolone rocks!) and that roll... the roll is just fantastic. Great balance overall.

Interestingly, one of the least greasy/sloppy steaks I've had, I always thought oily messiness correlated directly with goodness, but apparently not!

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#79 Mummer

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:49 AM

Went to the Bustleton Avenue Steve's with my son last night. It's his favorite steak place, in part because it's quicker than South Philly from Lower Merion.

I had a cheeze wit', he had a mushroom, provolone wit'. It was still light outside and they were busy, but not so busy that we couldn't sit together at the counter sharing spicy fries and talkin' baseball while we waited. (Utley's the man. Abreu will put the $$$Yankees$$$ over the top - damn, damn, damn!)

You can get the picture from the Holly's page.

The thing that's striking to me about Steve's is the long, lean look. These aren't fat sammies, but so what? The grilled meat isn't chopped, so each piece becomes a little bowl for its liquor as it's cooked. When it's finished with spoonful of precooked onions and a ladle of Whiz, it's damn good eatin'.

Holly said, "...as good as any in Philadelphia." and eso es bueno con mí.
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#80 MarketStEl

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 01:13 PM

Aw, shoot!

Wasn't thinking last Saturday when I stopped into Ricci's for an old fashioned Italian hoagie.

I think that was the sandwich that was compared to a muffaletta on another thread. If it wasn't, it was damn good anyway.

Thick chunks of fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, sopressata, roasted peppers, plus the other accoutrements.

The mozz slid out from in between the meats a little too easily, but otherwise, this was a wonderful sandwich. I got a late lunch Saturday (followed by cheesesteaks at Steve's that night!) and lunch Monday out of it.

Equally mind-blowing IMO was the menu from 1954 on the front wall of the place. 75c bought a lot in those days! Of course, back then, $10,000 a year also put you on Easy Street or pretty close to it.
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#81 mrbigjas

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 06:17 PM

actually sandy, the hoagie from ricci's that was compared to the muffaletta was their antipasto hoagie, not the regular italian. good stuff, that. it's a good shop.

anyway, i was out and about today, and because of various circumstances it was about 2:30 and i hadn't had lunch yet. so here's a shot from the brank-spankin-new moe's cafe, a hot dog place on the corner of gray's ferry and washington:

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pardon the crappy cameraphone pic.

that right there is a hotdog/fishcake combo on the passenger seat. good stuff! the sign outside says dietz & watson all-beef franks. quite delicious in every way, and it'll only run you $3.50 or so.

(yes, that's ketchup on it. i don't believe in putting ketchup on hot dogs, but i do believe in putting it on fishcakes. fishcakes win out in this case).

of course there's one problem, which either holly or rich has noted about johnny's hots before: the dog is too damn big. this one is even bigger than johnny's--it's a big ol' quarter pounder; the combo, as perfected by levis, calls for a little bitty dog. it's all about proportions, you know. the hot dog kept wanting to leap out of the bun. next time i go back, i'm going to recommend that they stock a small dog.

but here's another key: see that soda behind it? that's a MF'in champ cherry! wooooo!

anyway, the place is open weekdays only. they say they may open for saturday lunch next month. the people are super nice, the place is spotlessly clean, and i'll be back soon.

#82 Jeff L

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 10:46 AM

As I find myself in Bristol a lot this summer co-ordinating group tours and special events on the Riverboat Queen of Bristol, I lucked out big time last Saturday night. I put together a blues cruise and catered it with 2 foot long Italian hoagies from Mazzanti's market in town.

Folks, if you are within 20 minutes from Bristol in Bucks County and it's close to meal time, get to this joint. It's located in a residential block on 320 Lincoln Avenue in Bristol (215 788-2218)

They make a special 2 foot long Italian hoagie with cappicola, imported proscuitto, extra sharp provolone, fresh local tomato, a dash of pepper and a little oil and vinegar, all on top of a freshly baked 2 foot long seeded roll from Italian People's bakery out of Trenton, NJ. Just the right amount of everything on this sandwich.

What I like best is no lettuce and absolutely no mayonaise, they won't do it..they say go to Wawa for that. They also don't put onions on the hoagie which I kinda miss but in deference to Mario's mother who doesn't like the smell-no onion!

I bought 10 of these hoagies and had them cut up for the blues cruise-they went in minutes!

PS: They were voted "Best Find" a few months ago in the Inquirer.

#83 philadining

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 11:35 AM

Just some more pork porn, courtesy of Tony Luke's

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Hey, anybody know if they'd care if you brought beer to Tony Luke's? I'm thinking to avoid the rowdiness, they might prefer not, but sometimes a beer is required with a nice pork sandwich. Almost went to the Tap...

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#84 fischmart

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 12:14 PM

Just some more pork porn, courtesy of Tony Luke's

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Hey, anybody know if they'd care if you brought beer to Tony Luke's?  I'm thinking to avoid the rowdiness, they might prefer not, but sometimes a beer is required with a nice pork sandwich.  Almost went to the Tap...

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you can go to tony luke's beef and beer across the street, basically the same menu, with tv and beer added.

#85 Rich Pawlak

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 08:22 AM

The new issue of Philly Mag has a great article penned by Maria Gallagher, ranking 10 of the best Pork Italiano places. Of course, DiNic's gets her top ranking. And some of the places noted are completely new to me! She did leave off a deli in Conshohocken, on Fayette St., whose name escapes me, whose roast pork sammies I used to enjoy frequently, but the list and her commentary is pretty thorough and mouth-watering.

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#86 Andrew Fenton

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:09 AM

The new issue of Philly Mag has a great article penned by Maria Gallagher, ranking 10 of the best Pork Italiano places.    Of course, DiNic's gets her top ranking.  And some of the places noted are completely new to me!  She did leave off a deli in Conshohocken, on Fayette St., whose name escapes me, whose roast pork sammies I used to enjoy frequently, but the list and her commentary is pretty thorough and mouth-watering.

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And she mentioned that Chickie's has a roast pork sandwich, something I've managed to miss in years of eating there.

(Of course, she also said it wasn't very good; so I guess I'll stick to the hoagies.)

#87 mrbigjas

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:40 AM

And she mentioned that Chickie's has a roast pork sandwich, something I've managed to miss in years of eating there.

(Of course, she also said it wasn't very good; so I guess I'll stick to the hoagies.)

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i've had a roast pork hoagie from chickie's in the past, and it was delicious. that's right, deeelicious.

wasn't a hot roast pork italian though.

#88 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 08:39 AM

I noticed this article in today's Daily Pennsylvanian.
Cursed? Third eatery in three years opens in Spruce space. Savory replaces Tony Luke's, which failed to meet projected revenue rates last year

Tony Luke’s “wasn’t meeting our forecasts,” (Aramark district manager John) Cipollini said. “Tony Luke’s proved to be very popular with the general street, especially the construction workers, but not a lot of dinning dollars were being spent.”

However, he added that Aramark conducted research to determine the type of restaurant that would appeal to Penn students before selecting Savory, which is an offshoot of the most popular food station at Houston Market.

Contrary to Cippollini, Tony Luke, who owned and operated the restaurant which bears his name, said that the decision to close was due to disagreement within the management but would not elaborate on what that disagreement was, citing “legal restrictions.”

Hmmm. Can anyone shed light on this?
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#89 Mummer

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 10:07 AM

I noticed this article in today's Daily Pennsylvanian.
Cursed? Third eatery in three years opens in Spruce space.  Savory replaces Tony Luke's, which failed to meet projected revenue rates last year
Hmmm.  Can anyone shed light on this?

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Dunno about Tony Luke's vs. Aramark, but I read the DP article and concluded that I've never been, and hope I'll never be, so hungry I'd eat a vegan hot dog.
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#90 Holly Moore

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:04 PM

Naw, you're not trying to tell me that the Tony Luke I know would put vegan anything on his menu.

OK, took time to read the article. The place taking over is the one serving vegan dogs. That's a travesty, but more believable than Tony Luke doing so. More like the reasoning of a corporate "empty suit."

Edited by Holly Moore, 31 August 2006 - 03:10 PM.

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