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Apr 18, 2012 08:19 AM

Finally made it to John's Roast Pork -- Outstanding

Well having ranked Steve's Prince of Steaks as my number one cheese steak for the past several years, I was finally able to make it to John's Roast Pork for a comparison. While I still love Steve's I must say that John's has become the king in my book. I love the way they scrape out part of the amazing roll before putting in the cheese, steak, and onion. The sandwich is not too stuffed, just perfect and the hollowed out rolled seems to envelope all the interior ingredients allowing them to meld together for a truly great treat. Next time, roast pork. Thanks John's for a great piece of Philly!

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  1. For me,Steve's and John's are tied for first place. But while Steve's is great I think I elevate because I grew up on them. In reality John's might be a little better.

    Worth noting is that at both Steve's and John's it takes time for them to cook the steak. You don't get handed the sandwich immediately like Jim's, Pat's and Geno's. They actually take the time to properly brown the meat for each sandwich, not steam the meat in a huge pile.

    8 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      This is sort of interesting to me because I think of John's and Steve's as sort of apples and oranges due to the fact that one offers sliced steak and the other offers full strips. I grew up on sliced steaks in SJ, so I enjoy them, but I also get a separate craving for the full strip style as well. I've only been to Steve's once, and I think it was a bad sandwich(I still enjoyed it, just bad in comparison to other reviews) because it had maybe 2 strips of steak. I can agree that the places that cook steaks to order are much more preferable than the places steaming them round the clock, though.

      1. re: tzanghi

        The other great thing about Steve's that I forgot to mention is that they have a liquified white American cheese that is awesome. That combined with orange wiz (the order is "both cheeses") is really sublime. I put hot peppers on too, the vinegar helps balance it all out. I agree that the meat can be a little sparse at Steve's but once I'm into the thick of the sandwich it all comes together perfectly. It's been a while since I hit Steve's but two slices is stingy, I thought it was usually four or so.

        1. re: barryg

          Love the hot peppers, too. Yea the two or three slices seemed kinda short-changed, but I'm willing to call it a mishap as that place has so many good reviews. I was told before to order double meat there next time to ensure a better ratio; I will have to try the both cheeses as well, that sounds delicious.

      2. re: barryg

        I watched to cook grill the steak to perfection and the onions were a bit caramelized, enhancing the flavor. So much better than Pat's and Geno's, agreed. I will also tell the worst cheese steak I have ever eaten in Philly was at Jim's on South St. Tasted like cardboard. I also considered the apples/oranges comparison of Steve's to John's, but in the end I just felt like John's had a bigger wow factor, maybe because that was the one I had just eaten. They are both great.

        1. re: dfishhead

          There is something about the way the cheese permeates the whole sandwich at John's that really makes the sandwich for me, though I haven't had it a lot.

          1. re: tzanghi

            Yes exactly! I told my friends that the hollowing out of the roll enables the roll to envelope the entire sandwich making the cheese blend though every delicious bite.

            1. re: dfishhead

              I agree. Some may call this heresy, but I think the SJ style cheesesteak has a one up on a lot of Philly places because with the chopped-up steak the cheese really gets into the whole sandwich. The steak is usually a down grade, though, and the bread usually isn't up to par either. Gotta love John's.

              1. re: tzanghi

                If i know what you mean, I find that most pizza shops in Philly make this style of steak--chopped meat with cheese melted through on the grill before being flipped onto the roll, which gives a nice distribution of cheese. Most places seems to use too-frozen meat that (again) causes the meat to steam instead of brown. Even though I know it kinda sucks, there is something comforting to me about this kind of steak on a too-soft Amaroso's roll with a lot of ketchup and hot peppers (needed because it's so bland)--every once and a while I just crave a mediocre pizza-shop steak. The mostly-highly-regarded Pudge's in Blue Bell makes em like this too.

                BTW if you guys haven't tried it, Cosmi's steak is pretty similar in style to John's, if you get it on the seeded roll. I can't remember if they scoop the bread but they would do it upon request I'm sure.