Johnny Paisano’s was one of the first cheesesteak joints that I reported on here. I loved the first steak that I took out from them, but there was an issue with the second one. It was assembled haphazardly, with the meat and cheese distributed very unevenly. I had a feeling that was not their norm and decided to give them another shot to see if my first experience was more indicative of their cheesesteak artistry and whether they should get serious consideration for my eventual list of the Philly region’s top steaks.
As a friend was up from Washington for lunch, and I knew Johnny P’s had seating and a pleasant atmosphere, I suggested we go there. It turned out to be a good decision.
Although I referred to Johnny Paisano’s as a “cheesesteak joint,” that’s not really an accurate description. They have a wide array of Italian sandwiches and entrees. The below photos are only a portion of their menu.
In fact, my dining companion decided to forego a sandwich and ordered soup and spaghetti with olive oil and garlic, which came with a salad and an ample supply of very good garlic bread.
He also took out a roast pork Italiano sandwich, which comes on a long roll with broccoli rabe and sharp Provolone cheese, for later and informed me via email that it was heavenly.
Of course, I didn’t really need to look at the menu, as I knew I’d be ordering a cheesesteak with fried onions. I didn’t specify the cheese, but I’m pretty sure it was American.
The seeded roll was outstanding, as was everything ensconced within it. I’ve had plenty of cheesesteaks with more meat, but the meat, cheese and fried onions were perfectly proportioned – and distributed. And the chipped beef was extremely tender and chopped just the way I like it, meaning not too fine. Most importantly, the overall flavor profile of this steak was right on the money.
Eating the sandwich there, rather than unwrapping it at home also made a positive difference. I’ve mentioned in other posts that steak rolls tend to get a little soggy when they are wrapped to go.
I’m glad I gave Johnny Paisano’s another shot. While I can’t say for sure that it will make my Top Ten list, it will certainly receive serious consideration. And the fact that it’s so close to where I live means I will definitely go back. Aside from the good quality of the food, the staff couldn’t have been friendlier. It was a great way to spend a couple hours catching up with a friend.