It was our last morning in Philadelphia until next year and the Food Dudes were not going out without having one last fling. We wait all year for that savory sandwich that’s got people drooling in Philly. We count down the days and cross them off the calendar as the moment grows closer…but our moment was here and now, and we couldn’t leave the “City of Brotherly Love” without having that final taste of a Philly cheesesteak linger on our tongues.
The place was Spataros, located inside of the Reading Terminal Market. For those who are not familiar with the market, it is an enormous indoor farmers market of sorts that’s open all year around, and open every day. There are places you can shop at and get groceries, or food stands where you can grab lunch on a quick break. I want to work in Philly just so I can take my lunch break there.
Spataros is located right in the middle of the market. All around you will see other venders cooking up ready to serve dishes and sandwiches. Running down the middle of the food court is a section of chairs and tables, which usually fill up around lunch hours. Being that we were in Philly still, the right thing would be to utter those magical words when getting your sandwich, “One Whiz wit.” That’s the universal language for every cheesesteak joint in Philly when ordering a “Philadelphia cheesesteak with Cheese Whiz and onions.” (Say it like that and you may end up ON the griddle).
We’re almost regulars at this point and know the proper way to order and then we walked around the corner where we were able to watch the cook serve up our food from a fresh piece of ribeye. When he was done, he handed us our sloppy but delicious sandwich. If you order a cheesesteak and it’s not sloppy, it’s probably not good.
The moment I sat down, I tore into that sandwich like a kid opening gifts on Christmas morning. It was just as a traditional Philly cheesesteak should be, EXCELLENT! It was hot and gooey, with cheese running down the sides of the bun, big chunks of excess steak falling onto the plate. The bread was perfectly soft, best for absorbing cheese and steak juice. It’s nice when you can sink a good bite into a sandwich and cut through everything. I couldn’t have asked for more in a farewell to Philly lunch. There was so much excess steak left over that Rob and Andrew started clawing at it like wolves on a fresh kill.
I recommend that if you are shopping at Redding Terminal Market and want lunch, squeeze Spataros into your schedule. It’s a good bet and you just can’t go wrong with a cheesesteak. And make sure you get it sloppy.