Disclaimer: Although I will be revealing some harsh truths about the stinkiest sandwich in Philadelphia. I would like to point out two facts: 1.) It is partially my fault that the sandwich smelled so bad. 2.) The sandwich was delicious.
In the Fall of 2022 I found myself in the midst of a fling with a delightful Northern Liberties resident. The fling was short lived, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the last time I ever saw her – I stunk up her apartment with the most pungent sandwich I’d ever encountered. When I say that the sandwich stunk, I mean it dominated the room. Her poorly ventilated apartment became a prison to the stench of garlic and Italian cheeses.
I ordered the “Breaded Chicken Cutlet Sandwich” with broccoli rabe, onions, provolone and sharp provolone from Rustica on N 2nd St. Every single piece of that sandwich has an odor of its own. The broccoli rabe was covered in garlic, onions are notoriously so smelly they make people cry, and provolone is potentially the most pungent fromage on the market.
You may be thinking to yourself, “a sandwich of that composition would obviously stink up any room.” But let me tell you, upon watching a movie – I was asked to put the half of a sandwich I was not eating in the fridge, then was promptly asked to brush my teeth after finishing one half of the sandwich! This sandwich stunk in unique and impressive ways.
Let me tell you I was mad and thought this woman was being dramatic, so I kept the other half of the stinky sandwich wrapped up in the fridge until a friend picked me up in Northern Liberties to take me to Wildwood for the rest of the weekend. Being the kind and non-wasteful person I am, I brought the second half of the sandwich with me across state lines. In the car I told the story of my stinky sandwich and chided Rustica for ruining my fling with their odorous delicacies.
My friends thought I was being hyperbolic, they doubted how stinky a sandwich could be. They, much like you dear reader may think I’m joking around about the pure stench that this chicken sandwich exuded. Then after a long night of drinking in North Wildwood, I turned to my married friends and said “You may have love in your life – but I’ve got the stinkiest fucking sandwich you’ve ever smelled.”
I unwrapped my sandwich, placed it on a plate, cut it in half, and then microwaved it. Immediately, this godforsaken sandwich had stunk up an entire family shore house damn near 100 miles from where it was forged. My buddy Jon agreed that he’d eat half of the half sandwich I had left, he was intrigued by the aroma that now filled his in-laws home. His wife shouted from the other room to eat it as quickly as possible because she could smell the sandwich from the shower. She exclaimed that I should “throw the trash into the ocean” so that the scent did not permeate her home. (we did not throw the trash in the ocean)
Jon and I ate the sandwich, both agreeing that the stench and the flavor were at odds. Although the sandwich destroys every environment it’s deployed in and keeps women far far away, it was truly delicious.
I dare anyone in Philadelphia to find a stinkier sandwich that does not include disgusting ingredients such as tuna, mustard, or anchovies. Don’t believe me? Get the exact same sandwich from Rustica in Northern Liberties and watch the women exit from your life. If the women stay around through the Stinky Sandwich, it’s meant to be.