2001 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Pagano's is a DiBruno Brother's type place that caters to white collar workers in Center City. I wrote about the outpost of it here last year, but felt a trip was deserved to the main location.
They get awfully busy during lunch, and the office workers swarm the "gourmet" foods offered.
There is a large salad bar, one at which (unfortunately) I will never be able to eat. Every time I have ever tried to take the healthy route, my food eyes have ended up costing me AT LEAST $15. For a damn salad. I guess I like heavy vegetables.
They also have a pizza station, that includes stromboli's. It looked good, but I was here for sandwiches.
You get into the appropriate line, and try to decipher what you want on this particular occasion. It didn't take me too long. Although I changed my choices a couple of times on the way to the front.
Most of the sandwiches are pre-made, but they will dress them to order.
Always a sucker for chicken cutlets, I had to try the sharp prov and spinach with a side of sauce.
This one did, however, look like a salad even I could get behind.
They dress hot sandwiches according to your requests.
Also, don't forget to grab a side of pickles. They are delicious.
I started with the Italian classico. It had the traditional assortment of cured Italian meats on it, but they were definitely of higher quality than usual.
The crusty roll was really, well, crusty. It was good though. Different than I am used to. The proscuitto was also quite good. Deep crimson in color, it was tender and packed with rich pork flavor.
The other meats and sharp provolone were also quite tasty. I think the roll might have been a bit overkill, but luckily I had oil, vinegar, AND mayo to lube it up. A solid Italian, though it was a bit steep at $10.
The chicken cutlet/parm, didn't fare quite as hot. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't the best I have had. The sauce was incredibly bland, and nothing about this sandwich "popped". It was very one note.
The cutlet itself was pretty good, but again, without any spice or enough salt, no contrasting flavors, it just didn't "cut" it. It could have also taken a bit of a pounding - more surface area and less (dry) breast to cut through with every bite.
I would go back to Pagano's, but probably only if the Kennedy Food Garden was closed. I think the couple of dollars less per item make the difference, but that's just me. Pagano's is certainly good enough, and if I worked in one of these buildings I would probably be here quite often. Has anyone had the pizza?