John’s Roast Pork (May 2014)

Couldn’t resist! Had to go back to an old favorite, namely John’s Roast Pork in Philadelphia. This is the best joint for a roast pork sandwich or a cheesesteak in Philadelphia. Be sure to following the signs when you arrive:

Follow the signs at John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Follow the signs at John’s Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

And here’s a look at the many tasty options you’ll find inside:

The tasty options at John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

The tasty options at John’s Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Inside you’ll find a line, but it moves fairly quickly as they people behind the counter crank out the culinary hits:

Inside John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Inside John’s Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

I enjoy the cheesesteaks here as well as the roast pork. Hard to tell you which is best. This time I had a large roast pork and put some hot peppers on. It isn’t pretty, but it is tasty, as you see in the next photo:

Large roast pork sandwich at John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Large roast pork sandwich at John’s Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

And if you don’t know where this place is, here’s a map to show you exactly:

Map showing location of John's Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Map showing location of John’s Roast Pork, Philadelphia.

Easy to find. Bring a hearty appetite because there’s always plenty to eat!

DiNic’s Roast Pork, video

Located in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, Tommy DiNic’s roast pork sandwich was voted the best sandwich in the USA by none other than Alan Richman. I decided to try it for myself. Here’s the video:

That’s a darn good sandwich. Every element is perfectly cooked. Flavor pops from the first bite to the last. There is a long line, too, proving it’s not just me but a lot of people who think DiNic’s does a fine job. There’s also roast beef and beef brisket, both of which I need to go back and try. Stay tuned here for a follow up, also on my YouTube Channel, lenswork4.

Driving to John’s Roast Pork, Phila

Last year, I posted a video showing the roast pork sandwich at John’s in South Philadelphia. People have been asking me how to get there, so just like those videos I make in Aruba, here’s one showing you how to get there, starting on I-95 northbound near the Philadelphia Airport.

Just in case, please note that John’s Roast Pork is located on the corner of Weccacoe Street and Snyder Avenue in Philadelphia. If you’re looking for the best roast pork sandwich and/or cheesesteak, John’s is the place. Enjoy it all and be prepared for a nap afterward.

The Best Roast Pork Sandwich

If you want the best roast pork sandwich (bar none and I’ve had them all over the world) you have to go to John’s Roast Pork at the corner of Snyder Ave and Weccacoe Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. I was introduced to this place in 1991 by my pal who worked on the river long before I did. He said, “Let’s get some real food.” He wasn’t kiddding. This place is on a wedge of land that used to be the edge of a massive railyard, part of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This yard served the Port of Philadelphia (and was immediately adjacent to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Greenwich Yard). The B&O is gone, as is the Pennsy, but John’s remains. Here’s a first look:

Now, don’t get to thinking about Philly Cheesesteaks. I’ll get to them in another post, and yes, John’s makes the absolute best cheesesteak (again, bar none, and I’ve had them all over the world, too, thank you very much). Sticking with the roast pork… you’ll be glad to know that the Bucci family, which owns this place, roasts the pork Italian style. It takes hours. Then, in the morning, they slice it, leave it in pans of the natural juices, and by ten thirty AM, the line starts to form. By eleven or so, a hungry customer has to wait over half an hour. And when the bread runs out, that’s it. Go early or go hungry! Here’s a photo of the beast:

Some of you might be thinking that it doesn’t look like much. First off, that bread is the seeded kind (on the side leaning away) with a strong enough crust to hold in the juices but soft enough to be easy chewing. The bread alone is a masterpiece. Inside you have the roast pork, provolone cheese, and hot peppers. I would have more photos but people in this part of Philadelphia think you’re weird when you take pictures of your food and they’re probably right. I was hungry, too, very hungry. This sandwich stood no chance against that. Anyway, the pork is never dry. Every bite is a flavor explosion without being overpowering. All the subtlety is there. And the thing is so filling, you don’t eat until the next day.

Here’s a photo of Vonda Bucci and I. It was Vonda and her husband John who started this place as a wooden shack that served the railroaders and others in this area back in the 1930’s.

These days Mrs. Bucci works with her son John, Jr., who right now is battling some tough health issues, but he’ll be back. For more than half a century this family has been feeding us and we’re always grateful. Of course, I have pre-paid my open heart surgery that will come sooner or later from eating like this. By the way, that fork in my pocket is to pick up anything that might fall out of the sandwich in the process of demolition. Don’t forget, the best roast pork sandwich in the world is that much better when consumed with an ICE-COLD Coca-Cola.

When next you’re in Philadelphia and you have a hankering for one huge meal, try John’s. Forgot those other places that are famous for various reasons. John’s is the real deal. The New York Times and Gourmet Magazine, among other publications wrote the place up, which is another reason for the huge crowds in the last several years. That aggravates us regulars a little, but we have to make room for the rest of the hungry world. It’s only right. They should not be denied a taste of the best. ENJOY!

Published in: on June 24, 2008 at 9:22 pm  Comments (5)  
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