Philadelphia is the Birthplace of Liberty. And if having the right to exercise one's own free will means creating a sandwich with deep-fried lasagna on it, well, God Bless America.
I'm joined on this special road edition of Sandwich Monday by a reporter you hear often on NPR, Joel Rose, and a friend and sandwich eater, Leo Voloshin. They took me past the cheesesteak and roast pork joints to Paesano's in the Italian Market district.
- the Arista, a roasted suckling pig sandwich that Bon Appetit Magazine called one of the best meals under $10 in the country
- the Paesano, a brisket sandwich with roasted tomatoes, pepperoncino, horseradish mayo, sharp provolone, and a fried egg for good measure
- the Bolognese, the one with the breaded, deep-fried lasagna on it, along with smoked mozzarella, and a fried egg
Leo holds up the Bolognese.
Leo: You really have a full day's worth of meals here. A fried egg for breakfast, a cheese sandwich for lunch, and lasagna for dinner.
Joel: Except you eat it in 15 minutes.
Ian: Whoever was creating this sandwich looked down, saw the lasagna and red sauce, and rather than removing anything, they thought the problem was that it didn't have enough stuff on it. Hey, how about a fried egg?
Joel: It's just a shame they used bread, instead of two pieces of deep-fried lasagna.
Leo: I don't know if that's the most flattering angle to photograph this sandwich.
Joel: There isn't a good angle.
Ian: Well, later, we can just Photoshop the pictures of us that reflect we ate this sandwich.
Joel: They say the sandwich adds 10 pounds, you know.
That is a normal sized quarter and an abnormal sized sandwich.
Joel: It says "whole roasted suckling pig" on the menu. I thought it would be a whole pig, just sitting on the sandwich.
Leo: No, that's not a whole pig. That would be a big sandwich.
Joel: Yeah, a whole roasted suckling pig is probably five sandwiches.
Ian: It's a weird way to measure a life, you know, instead of good deeds or something: how many sandwiches are you worth?
Joel: I like to think I'm worth a lot of sandwiches.
Leo: You're probably worth 40 sandwiches.
Joel uses all his might to lift the Paesano.
Joel: Brisket, with sharp provolone. It's like a Jewish Cheesesteak.
Leo: I don't think there technically can be something called a Jewish Cheesesteak.
Joel: But if you could, it would be this.