Friday, March 5, 2010

Paesano's Arista

I gave roast pork another shot, and this time I went with the gourmet options. Yes sir, no more street side joints built for post-Phillies game munchies for me. Upon a number of recommendations, I hit up the new Paesano's at 9th and Christian. Of the many delicious-sounding sandwiches on their chalkboard menu, there was one that I had to try for the sake of the Adventures.

The Arista is a roll filled with roast pork cut off of a suckling pig (that I imagine they're hiding in the back somewhere), broccoli rabe of a higher quality than the mushy, diced affair at most joints, and the sharpest of sharp provolone. It looked amazing, and it's smell enticed Brian and Leah from across the table. I, on the other hand, was a little freaked out.

There it was again, that smell that only I can smell. Turns out it wasn't just Tony Luke's roast pork that I'm averse to. The odor of slightly rotted beef pierced through the strong scent of the cheese. I was hungry enough to ignore it and plunge in with a big bite. I immediately made a noise of disgust that caught Brian and Leah by surprise. "You don't like it?!"

They couldn't believe that I wasn't into this sandwich that they both love so much. I ran through my boilerplate explanation: I'm sure it's not a bad sandwich, I'm just not used to this. This is something I can confirm now that a gourmet sandwich has turned me off. Everyone who knows pork swears that roast pork sandwiches are great, and that Paeano's is one of the best ones around. My aversion to it is a lot like the common dislike for lamb that Leah described as she moved in on the uneaten half of my sandwich. It's a completely subjective thing. Perhaps it has nothing to do with my anti-swine training. But then again...

When a friend of a friend named Kate recommended Paesano's, she specifically mentioned that they had a 'whole suckling pig' sandwich. Being unfamiliar with the exact definition of the term, my imagination ran wild. What I essentially pictured was a whole piglet, deboned, and laid out on a hoagie roll. At once I felt disgusted that I was definitely going to eat this thing, and a little excited that...I was definitely going to eat this thing. The reality was a little less graphic, but it beat me out anyway. Perhaps a little of that gruesome image was with me, egging on my defeat.

I will return to Paesano's, but only to try the amazing sandwich creations on their menu that don't involve pork.

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