Out of all the Philly cheesesteak shops, John’s Roast Pork seems to be the favorite. Since opening in 1930, the renowned steak shop and family business is now in its third generation (with owner John Bucci) and has come a long way. Over time, the menu has expanded to include a variety of delicious cold cut and warm hoagies, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and grilled sandwiches. John’s Roast Pork was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Culinary Excellence in 2006 and was featured in the championship finale of the Travel Channel’s Best Sandwich in America for their sharp provolone cheesesteak. Obviously they make a mean cheesesteak, but what’s best is right in the shop’s title: the roast pork sandwich.
According to Andrew Zimmern, this sandwich “really steals the show.” It’s made with fresh, “top-choice” pork shoulder that is deboned “right on premises,” according to the restaurant’s website. It is then seasoned with a special spice mixture from the secret Bucci family recipe, roasted, and left to sit over night until the next day, when it’s sliced, reheated in its own gravy, and served up.
The preferred way to eat the roasted pork sandwich, according to those in the know, is to keep it simple on a torpedo roll with aged provolone, sautéed spinach, and the gravy-doused pork. The tender, juicy pork is the center of attention and its flavor is enhanced by the “garlicky” sautéed spinach and creamy, melted aged provolone. Broccoli rabe is also a good option. No matter how you top it, though, we’d recommend standing as far away from the sandwich as you can as you bring it towards your face, or else your clothes just might get covered in drippings. There’s even a name for this move, inspired by sandwiches like this: “The Philly Hunch.”
This sandwich seems simple, but to many it tastes like heaven. Too bad we can’t figure out that secret family recipe.
Skyler Bouchard is a junior writer at the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.
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