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John’s Roast Pork – South Philadelphia, PA

John’s Roast Pork – South Philadelphia, PA

I love Philadelphia’s staple foods from soft pretzel, scrapple, cheesesteaks, and pork sandwich. Well named finalist on Travel Channel’s Best Sandwich in America by Andrew Zimmern, and Best Sandwich by Adam Richman, and best pork sandwich by Serious Eats, John’s Roast Pork (JRP) is already well known. Do I need to add my two cents? Not really. The owner of JRP John Bucci Jr has appeared on my show “Small Bites Radio” and is a great guy and a spokesperson for the charity “Be the Match” that provides marrow transplants in the United States from volunteer unrelated donors. JRP has been around since the 1930’s so that alone tells you they know what they are doing. What would I have? The roast pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe, and it was FABOLOUS! So if in the area, be sure to stop by and have one of Philadelphia’s tastiest sandwiches around. You will thank me later.



Donkey’s Place – Camden, NJ

Donkey’s Place – Camden, NJ


Some places are so over hyped with so many awards or foodies telling you that you have to try somewhere that sometimes I do my best to avoid going there as I usually avoid the places where everyone else wants to be. Well I can tell you that Donkey’s Place (DP) in Camden, New Jersey is worth every good piece of good press or positive word of mouth they have ever received. I am not going to delve into is it the best around, as I am not a believer in “best”. What they are though is damn good, delicious, fun to be at, and someplace you have to experience in person to really “get it”. I had the cheesesteak with fried onions, fries, and used their house hot sauce on both that made the meal flat out AMAZING! It is an adventure to get there, the neighborhood is rough, the patrons are a colorful group, and the staff is great. Take one of these components out and I believe DP would not be what they are, and what they are is a full-fledged foodie experience. I know DP has a Medford, New Jersey location as well, but part of me just does not think it could not be anywhere as great as their Camden spot. Then again I did not think DP in Camden was worth the trip and boy was I incorrect. For someone who is always right (insert joke here) I would find it unbelievable to be wrong twice about the same subject. If I am wrong, I know why. It is because DP is a special place, with a mindset that only the owners of DP could duplicate. So until I visit their Medford location, just take my word along with the thousands of others who sing DP’s praises. GO, GO NOW, and ENJOY!



Paesano’s North – Philadelphia, PA

Paesano’s North – Philadelphia, PA

When you live in or around Philadelphia, you have certain expectations of what a sandwich is or should be. We are a spoiled bunch, but I am happy we demand so such. With a tiny little store on Girard Avenue that only has room for six bar stools I visited Paesano’s North (PN) with high hopes. I would try their Zawzeech sandwich.


The Zawzeech is sweet Italian sausage with roasted peppers, sautéed onions, and sharp provolone cheese on a seeded roll. From the first bite till the last it was simply delightful. The roll became a tad bit soggy, but other than it was top-notch.

The interior of PN is nothing to write home about. The employees seem a little rough around the edges in a good way. The menu is diverse, and try to order in advance as the place is so tiny any more than four people there at any given time is a tight squeeze. All in all PN is a gem and if you have never been, you should really give them a try at one of their locations.


Four and a Half Stars out of Five


Tommy DiNiC’s at The Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA

Tommy DiNiC’s at The Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia, PA

When your sandwich shop gets awarded to have the “Best Sandwich in America” by Travel Channel program “Man vs Food”, you must be doing something right. Well that honor was bestowed upon Tommy DiNiC’s at The Reading Terminal Market (TD) for their pork sandwich.

My love of the Reading Terminal is no secret as it is one of my favorite places in all of Philadelphia. As much as it is a tourist destination, it is just as great for the people who live around it as well. No matter what food mood you may be in that day, you are sure to find something to fit your needs there. They just completed a very nice renovation of the terminal and it is looking better than ever. One of the parts of the renovation was a new spot for TD. TD’s new digs are hands down better than their old location. The wood counter sit down area is gorgeous, the prep area is clean and has much more area for the employees to move around, and the take-out line at TD now moves light years faster than it did in the past. The area to place your order is now very defined where everyone needs to stand and pay, and for the most part the patrons who want to eat at the counter don’t have to push their way over to the counter and get into arguments for those just wanting for take-out. It is a dream come to for everyone who stops by. For my visit, what’s good enough to be America’s best is good enough for me to eat. So a roast pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe would the order of the day.

dinics reading term


The sandwich was perfection. TD has this thing down to a science. From the roll being able to hold the wonderful juices of the pork while not becoming soggy, to the broccoli rabe sauteed to its most delicious flavor profile available, and the sharp provolone providing the ying to everything else’s yang the combination here is superb. I do not know if TD has been this good since they first opened, but I do know that what they are serving is hands down one of the best roast pork sandwiches ever. Even with lines wrapped around the place and them serving their sandwiches in mass, they are able to provide a sandwich that tastes like it was made from scratch just for you. This sort of accomplishment did not just happen overnight and the entire staff of TD should be commended for the hard work and precision they provide their customers on a daily basis.

Is it the best sandwich in America? I do not know, but I do know one thing. Philadelphia is known as a cheesesteak town, but with what TD is putting out, the cheesesteak may have a fight on its hands to hold on to its crown.

Five out of Five Stars