I stopped reading the menu at "Pork Roll." For some reason, it made me laugh. Not knowing what to expect, I ordered one, because, really—how bad could a sandwich be with a name like "Pork Roll"?
The dude behind the counter at Giorgino's (1237 28th St. in Golden Hill) asked me if I wanted my pork roll topped with a fried egg. Apparently, that's how it's done on the East Coast, where the sandwich was born. Here, the version with an egg is called "Egg Roll" ($6.73).
Also known as the "Jersey Breakfast," it's just what it sounds like: a hangover helper. Four circular slices of Taylor ham are fried on a flattop grill, then a layer of white American cheese goes down, followed by the fried egg and even more cheese on top. The hot mess of contents meets a Kaiser roll, and, somehow, it fits perfectly within.
I don't know about you, but I always expect a sock to the gut with East Coast specialties; those folks have a winter to get through, so they're allowed to eat like cavemen. The Egg Roll is no exception. Next time, I'll get it with half the amount of meat because Taylor Ham is rich (and delicious) like Spam and probably just as nutritious.
It's wise not to bite into an Egg Roll for around three to five minutes. The slippery, fondue-like cheese surrounding the egg is a blowout waiting to splat onto the table. After a short amount of time, the cheese will congeal, acting like glue so you won't have to pick up the pieces of your sandwich.
My favorite bites of the Egg Roll were the final ones, because I could really taste all the flavors without the distraction of it being scalding hot. The consistency of the meat is somewhere between sliced, baked ham and fried Spam; I liked that it was more crisp and meat-like than the spongy, albeit tasty, canned stuff.
There's more to Giorgino's than just the Pork Roll and the Egg Roll. It's most known for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches on the one and only Amoroso rolls, flown in from the City of Brotherly Love.
The thinly sliced beef tastes great any which way, but it's hard getting into a cheesesteak that doesn't have a trace of Whiz. But, the same guy who sold me my Pork Roll said that the Works Cheesesteak ($7.43)—with grilled onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and white American cheese—is the best seller.
I'm curious to try the burgers and hot dogs. The quarter-pound Angus cheeseburger—with fries—is only $6.04. I know for a fact that the fries are great; they reminded me of McDonald's, but thicker cut.
Giorgino's is a modest neighborhood joint that's easy to miss on a drive by. Inside, it recently got a facelift; it's bright with a wrap-around bar and a big screen. They also deliver with a minimum purchase of $20 to $25, depending on your location, which averages out to a couple sandwiches and some fries. Bust this idea out on your next couch-potato date night and see what it gets you for dessert.