Ever pick up a fistful of meatballs with your bare hands only to get beaten back with a wooden spoon? That's why God/ Sarcone's/ Amoroso's invented bread. Soak up stacks of hot ground, sliced, brined, and slow-roasted meats-wrapped-in-other-meats the right way, with our guide to five Philly sandwiches that can't be beat, then have a look at the greatest sandwiches of all time from anywhere.
Roast Beef, Nick's Old Original
Hit up South Philly's OG RB shop for hand-carved, slow-roasted goodness piled up on the outs (meaning the burnt ends are piled among the slices) served up under a layer of au jus-soaked sharp Prov on a bun that, just like you, can hardly contain itself.
Porchetta, Pub and Kitchen
The menu changes daily, but this slow-cooked pork loin rolled in a blanket of belly is always available in some variation, like... piled with braised greens and tomato slices you can't quite see because they're smothered by the yolk of a sunny-side-up egg seeping into the garlicky other white meat as you press into the bookend wedges of grilled sourdough.
Duck Meatball, High Street on Market
The latest eatery from the Torrisi-vet-turned-Fork-chef's serving up modern Italian lunchables like this seeded semolina loaf split open and bursting with duck meatballs ladled with liver & onions and a spicy marinara sauce, flowing under a blanket of melted Lancaster Swiss cheese.
Buttermilk Chicken, The Twisted Tail
Old City/Society Hill
This Old City Southerner's buttermilk-brined bird's batter-fried, then piled high on a pickle-filled ciabatta roll and -- unlike what you're about to do with it -- split three ways.
The Banh Mi, Rotisseur
Slow-roasted rotisserie bird melts in your mouth after you crunch your way through crispily pickled red cabbage, raw jalapenos, cucumber, and hand-torn crispy chicken skin that could only taste better after you smother it with one of nine hot sauces, from banana to Sriracha. And if you really want to up your game, opt for the duck confit.
Old Original Nick's is an institution of Philly roast beef, serving up the sammies with au jus and Provolone, the way nature intended.
The Twisted Tail's a hulking two-story joint from a classically trained actor who, while touring Tennessee with his theater company, fell in love with the Deep South's food, drink, and music, and has now launched his tribute to bourbon and blues, the most notable Southern combination since Brooks & Dunn.
Pub & Kitchen's name pretty much says it for you -- this chic corner eatery in south Rittenhouse houses a homely kitchen and restaurant in the front of house, serving a simple menu of bar snacks and game- and vegetable-heavy dishes like rabbit meatballs and cornish chicken. In the back of house lies a dark, polished pub decked in black paint and wall-to-wall brown leather booths, serving up the same dishes from the kitchen plus a handful of wines, draft beers, and seasonal specialty cocktails.
You’ve never had bread quite like the ancient grains, roasted potato, or anadama on grill at High Street on Market. The New American haunt in Old City centers its menu on local grains, which High Street refines and finesses at the crack of dawn each day into the stuff of sandwiches, pastries, and pastas that bedeck the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. For lunch, it is sinful to miss out on the smoky and briny pastrami on rye, dressed with cabbage slaw, Russian dressing, and Gulden’s mustard. Opt for the pastas at dinner; they’re decidedly un-Italian and, therefore, entirely unforgettable.