Philadelphia is well known for its cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, both of which are pretty great choices for a hungover meal. But what a lot of people don't realize is that most of Philly's well known sandwich spots also make delicious breakfast sandwiches, although many of them are "breakfast and lunch" weekday-only operations with dockworker hours (like 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.)—not really conducive to most people's hangover schedule.
All of this has changed though, when the James Beard-certified John's Roast Pork, one of Philly's greatest sandwich spots, notorious for their ambiguous "when the bread runs out" hours, recently decided to open on Saturdays.
On a sluggish Saturday morning, John's is exactly the place I want to be. Perhaps the word's not out yet—the Saturday I visited, there was absolutely no line, and service was quick and no-nonsense. The entire menu is available, including roast pork, beef, cheesesteaks and the like, but the Italian meets old school Philly sandwiches are exactly what I need when I'm still slightly drunk from the night before. Try the scrapple and eggs with American cheese and a side of cherry peppers pictured up top, or the thick cut pork roll on a kaiser bun, all cooked on a grill seasoned with 80 years of Philly's best steaks.
Pretty much anything can be turned into a breakfast sandwich at John's with the addition of eggs—cheesesteak, italian sausage, bologna—all available as a small on kaiser or a 6-inch long roll, or large on a full size half-loaf of Italian bread that will probably put you back to sleep. For something "light" I sometimes go with potato and egg with provolone—nice chunks of potato are crisped up on the grill before being folded into the eggs.
I know, Philly has some great brunch spots with lobster eggs benedict and sweet potato French toast, but after a long night of too many different kinds of whiskey, John's Roast Pork is the spot for me.
John's Roast Pork
Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.