It is with a touch of embarrassment that I need to confess to having bitten off more than I can chew. In early February – at the bottom of this post – I committed to surveying the Philadelphia region’s Roast Pork Italiano sandwiches (R.P.I.) while continuing to do the same with cheesesteaks. That was a mistake.
First of all, it turns out there are far more shops and restaurants in the area that serve roast pork sandwiches than I had realized. I always associated the R.P.I. with South Philly, but they are all over the place. While I could be wrong, my suspicion is that this is a relatively recent phenomenon.
I’ve written about the influence of social media – and the Facebook cheesesteak groups in particular – on steak trends, such as the increased use of seeded rolls and Cooper Sharp cheese, not to mention overstuffed sandwiches. I wonder if the popularity of the R.P.I. spread throughout the region in a similar manner.
Whatever the case, I’ve determined that there are far more roast pork sandwiches within an hour of me than I can or have the desire to eat. While I still enjoy a good R.P.I. very much, unlike cheesesteaks, they are something I can best appreciate periodically rather than weekly – or even monthly.
The last couple times I went for a roast pork, it felt more like a duty than something I was eager to do. I’ve also been refraining from having other types of sandwiches to save the limited number of heavy meals I can eat in any short period for steaks and R.P.I.s.
Blogging shouldn’t be a chore, and I want to be able to follow my cravings.
With all that in mind, I’ve concluded that I can only handle one Philly region sandwich survey at a time, and I’m not prepared to end my cheesesteak project.
This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up eating R.P.I.s altogether. There are still a few more high profile ones that I intend to write about at some point. I’m just letting go of the notion of trying to get to most of them or putting out a top ten list.
Speaking of surveying cheesesteaks, I’ll be returning to that endeavor Friday. A friend and I will be splitting one each at a pair of places that recently upgraded their rolls. It’s unlikely that I’ll have time to post the report on that before Saturday.
* The top photo is of the cheesesteak and Roast Pork Italiano that I had at Giacomo’s Italian Market in Quakertown, PA.
5 thoughts on “Blog Notes: Something Has to Give”
The better part of valor is discretion.
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If you want to do another survey of another food item, why don’t you pick something not as ubiquitous in your area, something that maybe a lot of us who don’t live in the Philadelphia area would find interesting to learn about?
Or you could write about something that is geographical in nature. You could pick one of several highways that lead out of Philadelphia (e.g., U.S. 40) and tell us what culinary delights can be found within a 50-mile radius of the city. Such an idea could serve as a guide for people who might want to visit your city’s area. Just an idea.
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Thanks Louis. I think I’m going to stick to one survey at a time. And I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to end the one I’m doing for cheesesteaks. But I would like to hit at least a couple places on some of those old NJ highways and roads that we’ve discussed before at some point before the fall.