Ranked: Classic Sandwiches from John’s Roast Pork

As I mentioned yesterday, I am currently breadless for Passover, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Before the holiday, I made a few trip to Philly’s most beloved breakfast and lunch shack- John’s Roast Pork. I mean, dang, the place has been around since 1930, has won a James Beard award, and has almost 400 mostly 5- star Yelp reviews. You probably know the drill: you need a car to get down there [Edit. Luncher Angela pointed out "#79 bus stops right out front, and the #7 and #25 both stop a block or two away", still not an easy walk from Center City], it’s take out only with some outdoor seating that gets tented in the colder months, and they shut down at 3pm or whenever they run out.  The sandwiches are huge, so unfortunately, you need to pick one at a time. But which to pick?

The classic cheesesteak, the one many claim is the best in town, is the tops. The bee’s knees/cat pajamas. They take the time to really get the cheese and onions mixed in to the juicy, griddled to order, chopped (but not overly chopped) pieces of sirloin.

The eponymous roast pork sandwich is a Philly classic. The house butchered pork shoulder is roasted for hours and seasoned with herbs that only make it tasted porkier, and not like a rosemary plant- a pet peeve of mine.  Don’t forget to take a container of horesradish sauce.

Recently, homemade roast beef was added to the menu. Like the pork, the beef is sliced thin and sits in its own juices.  I might prefer it over the roast pork, because it retains its jus better.

Compared to everything else, the meatball sandwich just didn’t capture our mouths attention like the others. The texture and flavor were not quite right. Now we know.

Who has other favorite sandwiches here besides the classic? Should I try the milano?

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Top Philly cheesesteak and other sandwiches

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Meatballs are disappointing
  • Limited seating and hours

John’s Roast Pork, 14 Snyder Ave, 215 463-1951


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