As Paesano’s Philly Style has been featured on both Throwdown with Bobby Flay and The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, I’m not breaking any new ground with my brief shout out to this delightful, grubby, authentic hoagie shop in Philadelphia. Through the very dark and wet winter months and into the spring, my dear husband and I gorged ourselves on the entire series of The Sopranos (he’d never seen it before). Throughout all six fantastic seasons, Tony and his gang pigged out on enormous Italian style subs, mostly in the back room at the Bada Bing, and I found myself salivating.
If London is lacking something, it’s a fantastic American style sandwich shop – one that would offer chunky soups, big salads, and even bigger sandwiches. I’m eternally disappointed when I go for lunch somewhere, ask what their soup of the day is only to be told it’s potato leek or carrot and coriander. Yuck! And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to my dining companion, “Oh what I would give for a cobb salad!” Yes, there are sandwich shops all over London, but they skimp on the filling and the bread is always a super soft, sliced, nothingness. I know I can make all of these myself, and often do, but I’d love to be able to nip out and grab something easy and tasty from time to time.
When he heard we were coming up for the day, my wonderful brother-in-law, a Philly native himself, did some research into where we might find the best hoagie in town. Paesano’s won the internet PR war, and so we drove through some of the more down-and-out neighborhoods to retrieve a bag of sandwiches for the family. Although I was sorely tempted to get the “Arista” filled with roasted suckling pig, broccoli rabe, Italian long hots, and sharp provolone, I had to stick by my craving and order the “Daddy Wad” loaded with Italian style cured meats, Italian dressing, sweet and hot peppers, sharp provolone, tomato, onion, and arugula.
The sandwich was everything I’d hoped it would be all of those many months of yearning in London. I think it’s the fresh ingredients, lovely sesame seed encrusted rolls, divine meats, that make Paesano’s the legend that it is. We all remarked that the sharp provolone on their sandwiches was so much more substantial tasting than the usual cheese on subs. Plus, it was worth a trip in for the show “Flemmy” put on (especially if you’re of the female persuasion). When I asked if I could take photos he started his performance, and offered me a little slice of bread slathered with their spicy cheese spread while we waited. It was sort of like having my Sopranos inspired sandwich prepared by Tony himself. With some chips on the side and a root beer, I was perfectly sated….but still sorely tempted to drive back up there to try a few more of their specialities!