Tuesday, June 5, 2012

3J's Cafe

1822 Spring Garden St ( Entrance on 19th St)
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 496-1006

3J's is one of those spots that I pass all of the time, but never stop in. Well, until now, that is.

It has a similar feeling to Palm Tree Market, which is one of my go-to lunch spots for a good, reasonably priced sandwich.

I decided that one panini, and one hoagie would be a good barometer for the general sandwich offerings. Someone told me that the Flame panini was where it's at, so I gave that one a run, and for good measure I threw in an Italian hoagie.

For something called "The Flame Panini" I expected less green, and also something with some kick to it. Red peppers would have been a much more appropriate choice, as it wasn't called "The Verde."

Roasted chicken breast, homemade spicy mayonnaise, Monterey pepper jack cheese, spinach, green peppers and avocado on grilled white Italian bread. It was okay, but lacked anything to make it stand out, and the lack of spicy mayo didn't help matters. There was plenty of cheese on it, but that was about all I can say about this one.

The Italian hoagie was similarly lackluster.


Mixed pepper, ham, prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni, sharp provolone cheese, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers, red onion, pickle with oil and vinegar or Italian dressing. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't all that good. The bread was falling apart, the pickles(?) were overpowering, and the carelessly thick-sliced red onion was far and above what any rational person would ever want raw on a sandwich.

I guess to put it in perspective, if we weren't in Philadelphia, the greatest sandwich city in the world, this would probably pass as decent. Fortunately, however, we ARE in Philadelphia, so there are literally thousands of other better options.

So basically, if you are on this very block, you might want to stop in. However, I would probably have walked right past and gone to Feder's, and got some pita and dip instead. Also, why doesn't 3J's use any of the awesome spreads they sell next door? That alone would be enough for me to go back in. Harrisa and turkey panini, hell yes.

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