Spataro’s Cheesesteaks Partnering with Poi Dog’s Kiki Aranita to Create Guava Katsu “Hawaii-Inspired Cheesesteaks” at Philadelphia’s Iconic Reading Terminal Market
When his father, Domenic M. Spataro, ran Spataro’s Cheesesteaks, now owner Alex Spataro said there was one thing the second-generation cheesesteak slinger was known for: wearing an aloha shirt.
Since taking over the business in 2018, Dominic’s son Alex Spataro has always wanted to introduce a Hawaii-inspired Cheesesteak to his Reading Terminal Market outpost’s sandwich offerings, but only just recently figured out a way. Spataro has partnered with Poi Dog owner Kiki Aranita, whose Guava Katsu will be the highlight of a new Hawaii-Inspired Cheesesteak at Spataro’s, available beginning Monday, September 27th. From each sandwich sold, $1 will be donated to SEAMAAC, which brings crucially needed support to tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees in the Greater Philadelphia area. Learn more at http://seamaac.org.
“A Hawaiian-like cheesesteak has always been on my mind, and this idea just came about by luck after discovering Kiki’s delicious product line,” said Spataro. “A lightbulb went off and we did some testing, and decided this new sauce she’s releasing would be the best way to go. It really is a delicious addition to a cheesesteak, and I’m sure my father would love it.”
“I’ve been working on the guava Katsu for some time now, and this is a really exciting way to introduce my newest product,” said Aranita. “When Alex reached out, I was honored. We did some taste-testing, and the combination of the sauce and the seared, seasoned cheesesteak meat really just worked perfectly.”
Aranita was forced to close Poi Dog in the summer of 2020 due to COVID, but pivoted to a thriving retail business, where her Chili Peppah Water (CPW) and Maui Lavender Ponzu sauces and spices are being sold throughout Philadelphia and beyond. The Guava Katsu is her newest retail item, and it will be making its debut on the new Spataro’s cheesesteak, which will also include Reading Terminal Market’s Giunta’s Prime Shop Angus top round, Cooper sharp American cheese, and fried onions on a crispy Carangi Baking Company roll.
Spataro’s, which opened in 1947, is located within the heart of Reading Terminal Market just under the red neon Liberty Bell sign. The business is open Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.