Our first big excursion for Staycation 2013 was to venture out to John’s Roast Pork, in the Pennsport neighborhood of Philadelphia, to try their famous sandwiches. As the name suggests, they are most well known for their classic South Philly roast pork sandwiches, but they are also quite well known for their cheesesteaks. Their hours are limited, and it’s a bit of a trek, so that’s what’s kept us from trying them up to this point. We took the subway to Snyder Ave. and then walked another mile or so the rest of the way. We split 1 roast pork sandwich with sharp provalone, and 1 cheesesteak with American & onions. We enjoyed both sandwiches, but neither was our favorite in town (our tops at the moment are Dinic’s for roast pork, Tony Luke’s for cheesesteak, and Say Cheese Philly as a close 2nd in both categories). Overall I’m really glad we tried John’s to satisfy our curiosity, but for the effort we probably don’t need to do that again anytime soon.
We walked about 3 miles home, and we stopped for a cold beer twice along the way, once at 2nd Street Brewhouse and once at Pub On Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.). Of the two we especially enjoyed P.O.P.E., though in the spirit of staycation it wasn’t exactly new, as we’d been there once before.
After cooling off and resting at home for a bit, we ventured back out for the evening. We started off at Stateside, where we’d had dinner last year, but had never had cocktails at the bar before. We each ordered the Stateside Boulevardier, which consists of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Stateside’s own housemade apertif, and domestic vermouth. It was truly an excellent cocktail.
Following our pre-dinner cocktail, we walked over to the Italian Market to dine at Villa di Roma. We’d been wanting to try a real South Philly red gravy kind of Italian-American place, and Villa di Roma was recently highlighted in the 2013 Best of Philly, so we thought we’d give it a shot. One thing that was awesome straight off the bat is that we were able to get a huge carafe of house Chianti for only $20. Tom got a lasagna, and I got an eggplant parmesan with spaghetti. It was simple comfort food, but very satisfying, and the service was very friendly.
Since it happened to be Thursday, we closed out the evening with our usual Thursday night place, Rex 1516. Tom had an IBF Pick Me Up and a French 75, and I had an Arneis Grappa and a Fascination. It was a very filling and fulfilling first full day of staycation!