It’s only been a little over a month since I wrote about the magnificent Italian hoagie I had from A Cut Above Deli in the western Philly suburb of Newtown Square, PA. As part of that post, I mentioned a desire to return there soon to try one of their hot sandwiches. And in the weeks since then, I hatched a plan to survey the region’s Roast Pork Italiano sandwiches. Not surprisingly, A Cut Above was one of the first places to come to mind when mapping out that project.
So I made the roughly 20 minute ride over there late Tuesday morning excited about the prospect of another great sandwich from one of the Philadelphia area’s best Italian delis.
They are takeout only and have a cramped interior that is overflowing with meats, cheeses and just about anything else one could want as part of a Philly-style Italian sandwich.
While they have a wide array of hoagies, I was focused only on their house-roasted pork on this day. A Cut Above’s version of the Roast Pork Italiano comes standard with aged sharp provolone cheese and roasted peppers, but they will substitute broccoli rabe for the peppers and I made that request.
In the absence of any indoor or outdoor seating, I settled into the driver’s seat of my car and moved it all the way back to enjoy my sandwich comfortably. Not only do they add gravy to the roast pork at A Cut Above, but this massive sandwich was wrapped in at least four layers of paper. So I wasn’t surprised that it was slightly messy to eat, but I was prepared with a newspaper on my lap to catch any stray drippings.
It came on one of the wonderful Sarcone’s seeded rolls that I’ve raved about in several past posts. This is one of the sturdier sandwich rolls out there. The crust requires a vigorous chew and it’s not too doughy. Many rolls would have been soaked all the way through and likely fallen apart with such moist ingredients on it. But not a Sarcone’s roll. It was damp on the bottom, but the roll held strong throughout and there was no leakage while I ate.
The addition of gravy kept the meat extremely moist. All of the ingredients – pork, cheese and broccoli rabe – were well proportioned and blended with each other beautifully to create a wonderful overall flavor profile.
If I had one minor complaint, it was textural in nature. I’d have preferred that the broccoli rabe was chopped into smaller pieces, as was the case at Lil’ Nick’s a couple weeks ago. But I’m extremely particular about how I like my veggies. I doubt that would be an issue for many other people, and it certainly wasn’t enough of a factor to prevent this from being one hell of a sandwich.
While I’ve posted on only a couple Roast Pork Italiano sandwiches so far, it’s difficult to see this one not being in the mix when I put together my list of the region’s best after finishing my survey.
I also am going to need to try a meatball sandwich from A Cut Above Deli at some point. Perhaps I’ll go with a meatball theme next year.
4 thoughts on “Back to A Cut Above Deli for a Roast Pork Italiano”
That sandwich looks delicious and enough for dinner too!
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You’re right. I did take half home and split it with my wife that evening.
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Looks tasty! In this instance, does “gravy” refer to something like an au jus?
I think they use pan drippings from the pork to make real gravy.