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Hoagies, Cheesesteaks, Pork Italiano


KatieLoeb
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Leftover hoagies maybe the way to go!

Any suggestions for ones that keep up the best or might even be better the next day?

I'm not sure how many places are prepared to package a "travel hoagie" with the components kept separate, but gfweb is right that the sandwiches are often better if the vegetables can be kept separate so they, and the bread, don't get soggy. One of the great things about a Philly hoagie is that it tends to have a pretty significant salad-ish component. That said, it's a bigger problem if they'll be kept for a long time. I've eaten plenty of conventionally-assembled hoagies the next day and they're still fine, if not quite as snappy as the moment they were made. I find that Banh Mi keep really well, because the pickled vegetables are more hardy. The cilantro will probably wilt, and the bread is best the same day, but again, overnight storage shouldn't make too big of a difference.

Thanks for the Chinatown suggestion, I was getting worried about what to do for that first dinner. It's good to know it isn't just Chinese, we had a great Burmese meal in SF and everything we ate in Malaysia two years ago was wonderful. I'll take a look in that area.

There's only one Burmese place in Philly: Rangoon on 9th St, just north of Arch. It's open until 9pm.

There are two Malaysian places in Chinatown: Penang and Banana Leaf. They're around the corner from one another, near the corner of 10th and Arch, and virtual clones. I believe Banana Leaf was opened by former Penang staff. The only big difference is that Penang serves beer and wine. The food is generally pretty equivalent, although FWIW, on a few recent visits to Penang, the food has been especially good. Both are open really late, until at least 1am.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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For leftover sandwiches, my hands-down favorite would be a Muffuleta from the Khyber, assuming you have the ability to toast it the next morning. I think I actually prefer it that way. I really like their take on NOLa food overall, even if it's not Philadelphia-native. I went there soon after a recent trip to New Orleans, and I thought their po-boys stacked up nicely against Johnny's, which are supposedly among the better ones down there.

Other than that toasted Muffuleta, I think it's generally true that the bread on any sandwich is going to suffer for the wait: even if it doesn't get soggy, it'll lose its snap a bit. The only places I can think of that will feed you at that time are Pat's and Geno's, which I can't in good conscience recommend: I understand the anthropological argument, but no-one has ever asked me to eat Lascaux cave paintings.

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i think herschels would pack a "deconstructed" pastrami sandwich for you. that way you could reassemble the next morning. they are pretty accomodating group behind the counter. just don't ask at the height of lunch rush.

i have had dinic's roast pork pretty early in the morning before. maybe by 9am? this sandwich may hold up pretty well overnight too.

i would highly recommend a meatball with provolone from shanks. currently one of my favorite sandwiches in the city.

check out dibruno's to go in the italian market for pannini. few different kinds. all delicious. iirc, they are on the cornor next to the huge frank rizzo mural.

another idea for sandwiches on the train the next morning: go to dibruno's cheese shop (not the "to go" place, but same owners, also in italian market on 9th street) and select from their world class selection of cheeses and meats what ever suits you (they will let you sample just about anything) buy a few rolls and you will be all set for a meal on the train. you could also accomplish this at reading terminal market. hit "downtown cheese" for cheese and prosciutto, grab rolls wherever. downtown cheese may have small bottle of olive oil you can buy to dress your sandwich. or maybe they would even pour off a little bit from an open bottle into a small container for travel.

eta: dibruno's on 9th street is a small shop, that is worth checking out even if you don't buy anything. it's just a classic, italian market standard that exudes south philly character. try to hit it at an off hour. it can get very crowded.

Edited by wkl (log)
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  • 3 months later...

Heard about thisCheesesteak Chart on Twitter. As expected, but breakdown between tourists and natives is interesting. Lists never mention George's Sandwiches on 9th just below Christian.

What is your theory on the difference between tourist ratings and local's ratings?

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  • 1 month later...

Once upon a time, the roast pork sandwich at DiNic's at the Reading Terminal Market could be had with only one green: spinach. Tom and Joe Nicolosi, the father-son team which operates the Center Court stall, tried adding broccoli rabe, but no one wanted it.

That changed a couple years ago when DiNic's reintroduced the bitter green. Tastes change and now it's a hit. This Saturday Joe was tending to five trays of rabe for cooking with oil and garlic, vs. two of spinach; considering that the spinach weighs less than the rabe per volume of measurement and has a lower yield, the rabe probably outsells spinach by a ratio of nearly 10-to-1. Although you could hardly go wrong my ordering a sandwich with aged provolone and spinach, I go for the rabe, which offers a clear balance between the sweetness of the pork and bitterness of the green.

Lately I've been indulging in breakfast sandwiches from The Grill at Smucker's. Moses Smucker and his crew offer a meaty start to the morning, piling on plenty of ham, bacon, sausage of pork roll atop a roll also filled with egg and/or cheese. The pork roll comes from John F. Martin in the Lancaster/Berks area; it's good, though lacks the spicy punch of the original Jersey variety from either Taylor or Case. The sausage breakfast sandwich comes with two patties which are both the size of a hamburger; the sausage seems to be flavored with a bit of onion rather than sage, but that's no sacrifice to my taste.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Speak of the devil, I was at DiNic's yesterday right around noon before the football games started. I did not go with spinach (which I like very much) or broccoli rabe (which I don't like at all), but I did get the Italian pulled pork with sharp provolone and long hots (which I LOVE). In my humble opinion, it's easily their best sandwich.

DiNic\

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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Is it just me, or have the lines at DiNic's lengthened radically over the last couple of years? Seems like if I walk by any time in the vicinity of lunch (up to maybe 1:30 or so), there will be a super long line.

I don't know if that's because they've gotten nationwide press, or have benefited from the demise of Rick's Steaks, or what. I'm delighted for DiNic's, of course, but I wouldn't try to get a sandwich there on a weekend; definitely not around lunchtime.

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I would 100% agree that the lines have increased from "tolerable-yet-slightly-annoying" lengths in the pre-Man vs. Food days to "simply-not-worth-it" lengths in the post-nationwide press days.

Yesterday I lucked out. I was there at just about 12 noon on the dot, but the Market as a whole seemed "slow" by their usual standards. When I got there the line had just begun to snake around to the first few counter seats. Within 45 seconds of standing in line, one counter seat opened up and I jumped right in it. It was probably the 3rd seat in from the right, and by the time I left there were people behind me.

I was in there a few weeks ago on a very busy Saturday around 1 and the line snaked all the way around the counter seats and back down the isle in between DiNic's and Beck's. From there the line went straight back almost to the next intersection. That would be the "simply-not-worth-it" line that I mentioned a few sentences ago.

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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Business at DiNic's has certainly benefitted from the Man vs. Food show (portions of which have been recycled into other Travel Channel shows). The increased congestion at Center court is one of the reasons why the market sought to relocate the stall to Ochs' spot. I'm not convinced it will work, but it's worth a shot. Since the line can be be long at Hershel's across from the new spot (though not nearly as long as DiNic's), a traffic cop might be necessary. (As it is Market security often has to shape the Dinic's line.)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Over the past few weeks meatball sandwiches have occasionally appeared on the menu at Dinic's at the Reading Terminal Market. Starting after the flower show the new sandwich will gain a permanent place among the offerings.

To make room, Dinic's will forgo the scallopine sandwiches, made from thin cuts of pork. Joe Nicolosi, who runs the stall with his father Tom, said they sell fewer than half a dozen scallopines daily.

Although a handful of other market lunch vendors sell meatballs, Dinic's is the only one made on premises -- all the others come from commercial suppliers, according to Joe.

For their meatballs the Nicolosis start out with a lean beef chuck, for about 70 percent of the weight. They make it succulent by using trimmings from their pork before it gets roasted for the roast pork and pulled pork sandwiches for the remaining 30 percent. They grind the meat at the store and also make their own sauce.

The meat balls were available today for lunch, but don't expect them once the flower show starts Saturday for a nine-day run: the thick crowds and demand for the pork sandwiches will take up all their available time.

Adam Richman Returns

Is Dinic's roast pork classic one of the 30 best sandwiches in the nation?

Adam Richman thinks so. He and a production crew from the Travel Channel were back at the Reading Terminal Market early last week watching Tom and Joe Nicolosi show how they prepare their fresh hams and other appurtenances that go into the sandwich.

Dinic's will be featured as one of three eateries on an epside of a new 10-show series highlighting the 30 top sandwiches. Episodes are scheduled to begin airing on the cable channel in June.

Richman got his first taste of Dinic's roast pork nearly three years ago when taping a segment for his Man Vs. Food show; in addition to repeats a re-edited version is part of his Amazing Eats episode on pork.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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  • 1 month later...

In early March I reported that Adam Richman was back at the Reading Terminal Market to tape a segment at DiNic's for a new show: Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. The show's first episode on June 6 (9 p.m., Travel Channel) will feature DiNic's in competition with Katz's Deli of the Lower East Side and Primanti Brothers of Pittsburgh.

Each episode will feature three competing sandwiches from a given region, with America's best crowned in the finale from among the 10 regional winners and two "wild cards" voted on by viewers. In the case of the June 6 installment, it's sandwiches of the Northeast.

For the first show Richman will sample Dinic's roast pork with aged provolone and peppers, forgoing the greens. Katz's entry will be a corned beef-pastrami combo on rye with cole slaw and Russian dressing. From Primanti's he'll try the Cap & Egg, a behemoth featuring capicola, runny egg, cole slaw, tomato and hand-cut french fries on sliced Italian bread.

That's pretty stiff competition for Dinic's, especially Katz's, where I usually go for the straight pastrami on rye with mustard. Nonetheless, Richman's combo is well-known to deli enthusiasts in New York and New Jersey. At one deli I frequented, the pastrami-CB with russian and slaw was known as the "No. 5" combo, where at another it was the "No. 4". Who's to quibble over a number, it's a great combo sandwich.

I've never been to Primanti's, though I'll have to add it to my wish list. Still, to me it sounds like the "Cap & Egg" looses it when you add the tomatoes, slaw and fries: not just simply too massive, but out of flavor balance.

So I think it will come down to a battle between DiNic's and Katz's. The conventional wisdom says Katz's -- by virtue of its celebrity, the "When Harry Met Sally" scene filmed there, and that fact that it's the New York City entry -- will run away with the prize for this episode.

While I love a good pastrami sandwich (and Katz's makes a great one), I'll be rooting for our local hero. The roast pork that Tom and Joe Nicolosi and crew concoct can go toe-to-toe with Katz's anytime. Their brisket and pulled pork aren't too shabby, either, and I've got friends who skip all of that in favor of the sausage with peppers.

The second episode, at 9:30 p.m. the same night, will be a battle of Gulf Coast sandwiches: a shrimp po' boy form New Orleans, and two entries from Tampa, a variation on the Cuban, and a Grouper reuben.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I was in Pittsburgh recently & we hit the Primanti's near Oakmont. The best part of the visit was that they refilled our sodas. An overcooked, niggardly portion of hyped, fancy steak beneath a passel of flaccid fries could never create a legend. To our server's credit, the slaw is vinegary, not creamy.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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  • 3 months later...

I was in Pittsburgh recently & we hit the Primanti's near Oakmont. The best part of the visit was that they refilled our sodas. An overcooked, niggardly portion of hyped, fancy steak beneath a passel of flaccid fries could never create a legend. To our server's credit, the slaw is vinegary, not creamy.

I've been several times and Primanti's remains a mystery to me. I think one must be drunk or otherwise impaired to appreciate their stuff.

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Congrats to Tom and Joe Nicolosi, Carmen, Jun, Drew, Joanne and the rest of the great cre at DiNic's for taking Best Sandwich in America honors. And to John's Roast Pork and every other great sandwich in this city, the sandwich capital of the U S of A!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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