Roast Pork Italiano from Nick’s Roast Beef in Old City

Located next to the Old City bars I tried to get into back when I was underage, Nick’s Roast Beef is actually a bar itself but, as the name indicates, a purveyor of sandwiches and other bar snacks and lunch basics. Not being the biggest lover of roast beef, I picked something similar that I figured Nick’s would also do right.

The pork italiano ($7) is a loaf of italian bread topped with slices of roast pork, spinach sauteed with lots of garlic, and sharp provolone. The spinach probably could have spent about half the amount of time in the saute pan, but it was garlicky enough that I was still glad it was included. The pork was moist and its flavor held its own enough to compete with all that garlic, but for an additional pork power boost a container of jus is thoughtfully included, as is a container of nose tingling horseradish sauce.

If you like the idea of eating lunch at a dive bar, Nick’s is your place. But if the day drinking locals scare you, there is always the option of take out.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Flavorful pork sandwich
  • Full bar, plus a snack, lunch,and dinner menu
  • Casual, neighborhood vibe

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I don’t want lunch from a dive bar

Nick’s Roast Beef, 16 S 2nd St, 215 928-9411



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    That’s a dive bar? What are my haunts on Kensington Ave, then? ;-P

    I had the roast beef sandwich at Nick’s a few months back, when a power surge blew out the electricity in our building for almost a week. I remember it as solid, but nothing life-changing. If I ever find myself there again, I’d probably go for this.

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    So getting in around 10 last night, I wanted to pick up something on the way home. I really wanted to wander Chinatown and pick out a new (to me) place, but my laziness won out. Too cold, and I didn’t want to walk 4 or 5 long Center City blocks from the subway. So remembering this post, I jumped out at 2nd Street instead, and walked a few feet down to Nick’s for a Roast Pork Italiano ($8) and a pint of Kenzinger ($5 – kinda ouch, but it’s Old City so yeah).

    Good sandwich, I enjoyed it. I didn’t notice the greens being particularly garlicky, though that may just be because whenever I’m making something at home I tend to quintuple (at least!) the recommended amount of garlic in any given recipe.

    Took the sandwich to-go, and I managed to save about half of the large cup of jus and about 2/3 of the small cup of horseradish sauce for scrambling into eggs for dinner tonight. Now that’s value!

    I’m definitely gonna remember this place for the future, as I often get home late on Sundays from out of town. For a while there I fell into a Shake Shack rut (which is not a bad thing, of course!), but it’s good to know this place is another, and more convenient in case of rain and / or laziness, option for late night Sunday sandwiches on the way home…

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