Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dinic's vs Katz's vs Primanti's

Adam Richman
In early March I reported that Adam Richman was back at the Reading Terminal Market to tape a segment at DiNic's for a new show: Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. The show's first episode on June 6 (9 p.m., Travel Channel) will feature DiNic's in competition with Katz's Deli of the Lower East Side and Primanti Brothers of Pittsburgh.

Each episode will feature three competing sandwiches from a given region, with America's best crowned in the finale from among the 10 regional winners and two "wild cards" voted on by viewers. In the case of the June 6 installment, it's sandwiches of the Northeast.

For the first show Richman will sample Dinic's roast pork with aged provolone and peppers, forgoing the greens. Katz's entry will be a corned beef-pastrami combo on rye with cole slaw and Russian dressing. From Primanti's he'll try the Cap & Egg, a behemoth featuring capicola, runny egg, cole slaw, tomato and hand-cut french fries on sliced Italian bread.

That's pretty stiff competition for Dinic's, especially Katz's, where I usually go for the straight pastrami on rye with mustard. Nonetheless, Richman's combo is well-known to deli enthusiasts in New York and New Jersey. At one deli I frequented, the pastrami-CB with russian and slaw was known as the "No. 5" combo, where at another it was the "No. 4". Who's to quibble over a number, it's a great combo sandwich.

I've never been to Primanti's, though I'll have to add it to my wish list. Still, to me it sounds like the "Cap & Egg" looses it when you add the tomatoes, slaw and fries: not just simply too massive, but out of flavor balance.

So I think it will come down to a battle between DiNic's and Katz's. The conventional wisdom says Katz's -- by virtue of its celebrity, the "When Harry Met Sally" scene filmed there, and that fact that it's the New York City entry -- will run away with the prize for this episode.

While I love a good pastrami sandwich (and Katz's makes a great one), I'll be rooting for our local hero. The roast pork that Tom and Joe Nicolosi and crew concoct can go toe-to-toe with Katz's anytime. Their brisket and pulled pork aren't too shabby, either, and I've got friends who skip all of that in favor of the sausage with peppers.

The second episode, at 9:30 p.m. the same night, will be a battle of Gulf Coast sandwiches: a shrimp po' boy form New Orleans, and two entries from Tampa, a variation on the Cuban, and a Grouper reuben.


albert said...

Out of those three, I'd actually pick the Primanti's. I'm a huge fan of the pastrami, but not with corned beef and most definitely not Russian and slaw (especially if it's a mayo slaw). The roast pork at DiNic's isn't even their best sandwich in my opinion. I think their Italian style pulled pork is their best offering, and the best sandwich in town.

I was shocked at how much I liked the Primanti's sandwich when I went out to PGH over the summer. I had the Genoa salami and it was delightful. There's an odd balance in the crazy mess of a sandwich. Add a splash of Louisiana style hot sauce and you're golden.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Dinic's. They do have the BEST roast pork I have ever had! Get me a roast pork loaded; I'm on my way!

Kevin S. said...

Dinic's makes a great roast pork, but John's on 2nd and Snyder is the Best

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