Man does not live by cheesesteaks alone. There IS roast pork.. AND sides.
Paesano’s has moved next door from the four-stool-counter and two-outdoor-seats it once occupied on Girard. But the extravagant new digs hasn’t changed them… except there are a few more permanent items on the menu which used to be specials… like the “Knuckle” Sandwich – with their take on the cheesesteak. This is the first time I tried one at this establishment, and it did not disappoint. Not the BEST cheesesteak (American wit) but anything they do is better than most places’ best. Not greasy at all (maybe could have used a little more grease) but subtly flavored and tender.. chopped roughly and served with EXTREME caramelized onions on a Carangi roll. $10.00 is a bargain.
My dining companion, Azi ordered the Arista – Suckling pig with sharp Provolone, long hots and broccoli rabe. We went “halfies” so each of us could fully enjoy the lusciousness of each which “hunks” just would not have accomplished. I’ve had versions with crispier “crispy bits” but this was leagues above the typical version which is as much braised as roasted. Mixed light and dark meat with an au jus that was not overpoweringly garlicky as is often the case. The broccoli rabe added a bitterness that cut the richness of the pork. Long hots added flavor as well as a tongue-tingling burn and the moderately dense, chewy Carangi roll held its own against the juice. The extra-sharp Provolone tied everything together until the last bite. There is a reason a stack of several dozen large paper napkins graces each table. $9.00 is a bargain.
Potatoes Arrosto – Cooked in pork fat, and topped with melty Provolone served as an appetizer. $3 each serving (these are not meant to be shared) is an INCREDIBLE bargain.
All of this, washed down with Frank’s Black Cherry Vishniak and Orange sodas made for a satisfying Philadelphia meal.