Discreet Diner | Piggy Joe's Gourmet Eatery

Posted: September 09, 2007

With a name like Piggy Joe's, I knew it had to have ribs. The Discreet Diner loves barbecue - anything on the grill.

So, with a deputy in tow, we headed over to Piggy Joe's Gourmet Eatery in Moorestown.

Surprise! No ribs. The name refers to roast pork.

This place is not fancy. It's an eat-in/takeout restaurant where you order first, get your drink, then find a table. A staff member will bring your food over, or somebody might just call out your number for you to pick up your order at the counter.

The menu made my mouth water. It has mostly sandwiches, some platters and "panzoni," stuffed pockets made to order. And there are lots of vegetables here, served as sides, sandwiches and salads.

We decided to eat family style on our lunch visit and selected the Southern meets Italian roast pork sandwich ($6.50); the roast beef sandwich with American cheese on half and sharp provolone on the other ($6.25); a cheesesteak panzoni ($4.50); and a side of zucchini chips ($2.75).

In this area of the country, we are fortunate to have South Philly, home of the Philly cheesesteak and home to some of the best roast pork sandwiches ever. How did Piggy Joe's pork stand up? Very well, indeed. The Southern meets Italian sandwich was a long, soft torpedo roll filled with tender and juicy pork, sharp provolone and broccoli rabe. The flavors blended for a spicy kick.

The cheesesteak panzoni was a good effort. It's like a panzarotti (born in this country in Camden), but baked, not fried. The dough was filled with the steak meat, American cheese and onions. It had good taste, but the offering was way too doughy for me.

Since the roast pork sandwich was so good, I looked forward to the roast beef. It was the same long torpedo roll filled with the meat and cheese. The American cheese half was a little dry and needed condiments. The sharp provolone half was a little better.

The zucchini chips were great! They were thin slices dredged in batter and spices and fried. Served with a marinara sauce for dipping, it was a welcome substitute for the ubiquitous french fry, also on the menu in several varieties.

This being a "gourmet eatery," I had to try the desserts. We selected bread pudding ($3.50) and hot brownie with ice cream ($4.50). The bread pudding was very good, served warm with whipped cream. It had a hint of banana. The brownie was a good, gooey mess as the ice cream melted. Both desserts were very sweet and nice contrasts to the sandwiches.

OK, there were no ribs. But there's plenty here to satisfy the hungriest meat eater and veggie lover alike.

Discreet Diner | Piggy Joe's Gourmet Eatery

401 Route 38, Moorestown (In the K Mart Shopping Center)

Phone: 856-222-9922

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Reservations: No

Handicapped accessible: Yes

Parking: Lot

Children's menu: Yes

Cocktails: No

The Discreet Diner is a member

of the Inquirer staff and welcomes your comments. E-mail discreetdiner@phillynews.com.

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