For a few months now we’ve been privy to Peter McAndrews’ and Nathan Baynes’ plans to introduce an Italian Market location of their wildly successful Paesano’s Philly Style. Last week word spread that the shop was nearing an open. Hastily, lunch plans were made for that Friday. However, those plans had to regretfully be postponed. Today, after impatiently waiting for five very long days, we were able to stop into the new location on the northwest corner of 9th and Christian, on their first day open to the public.
Following in the footsteps of the first shop on Girard Ave., the owners of Modo Mio have once again impressed us with a little bit of sandwich heaven. Generously, heaven has added four new angels on its menu: The Liveracce, Bolagnese, Meatloaf Parmesan and Pesce Fritti. Aside from new sandwiches, Minestrone soup and a Chopp salad will also find their place as fixtures. With the new location comes a larger kitchen and a dining area that will allow customers to sit down, and enjoy every breathtaking bite.
Like their predecessors, these sandwiches all have an explosive multitude of flavor in each and every bite, stemming from Chef McAndrews’ slow cooked approach. The Liveracce is seared beef liver topped with sauteed onions, iceberg lettuce, roasted tomato and gorgonzola on an Italian long roll with a spread of garlic mayo. Baynes remarked that as always, the sandwiches are constantly being improved, and told us that the Liveracce will most likely be finalized with the addition of hot sauce and salami in the near future.
The Bolagnese, is something of a guilty pleasure for McAndrews, apparently, he’s eaten it forever — and we sure are glad he’s decided to release it to the public. Crispy-fried lasagna bolagnese is dotted with smoked parmesan and topped with the chef’s favorite, a fried egg. Baynes tells us that it would be delicious when paired with red wine. A subtle hint that the shop is BYO? The Meatloaf Parmesan sandwich is, you guessed it, Italian-style meatloaf with Modo Mio’s signature Sunday gravy and fresh mozzarella. Finally, there’s the Pesce Fritti a fried Tilapia fillet with lettuce, tomato, onion, caper maionese and sharp provolone.
A majority of the original menu from the first location has also been brought down into South Philly, some of the notable favorites offered include the Arista (whole roasted suckling pig, broccoli rabe, italian long hots and sharp provolone), the Diavlo (spicy chicken breast, salami, herb cheddar, roasted tomato and broccoli rabe), the Daddywad (their award-winning Italian hoagie) and of course the namesake Paesano (slow-cooked beef brisket, roasted tomato, sharp provolone, horseradish mayo, topped with a fried egg). The rumored Paesano Burger hasn’t made the menu just yet, but is sure to come sometime soon, topped with fries, pancetta, gorgonzola and an aged balsamic vinegar mayo.
With locations north and south of Center City, downtown Philly has essentially become “sandwiched” in pure bliss. The South Philly location will have its hours of operation eventually fixed from 11am to 7pm, Wednesday through Sunday. While the folks over at Paesano’s have no intention of starting a separate brunch menu, we can only imagine that this availability on the weekend might just draw some patrons away from waiting in the long lines just across the street.