Nick’s Original Roast Beef – Springfield, PA
I’ve only recently discovered the joy of drinking beer. About fifteen months ago, I enjoyed my first glass of Yuengling, and a large part of that experience is due to the wonderful mess that you see pictured here.
This, my friends, is the roast pork sandwich at Nick’s Original Roast Beef in Springfield, PA. If you’re wondering about the roast beef, it looks largely the same and is just as addictive.
Nick’s is the place we always go to for lunch when we are on our way to the airport, whether to fly out or to pick someone up from out of town. Located about five minutes off of I-476, it’s about 20 minutes away from Philadelphia International Airport, and where else can you get a decent quick lunch with that degree of convenience? Not Center City, that’s for sure.
Nick’s has been around for over 60 years, with the original location still in operation in South Philly and the Springfield spot open for 10 years. We’ve been to both, and the experience is identical – go to whichever is closest for you.
As with most institutions, there’s a way of ordering your food at Nick’s that makes it possible for any one person to order a pork or beef sandwich that’s a good variation on the one being eaten at the next table.
First, let me lay down the basics. At their essence, a sandwich at Nick’s is a stack of meat on a kaiser roll, with gravy. Ordering it as a ‘combo’ just means slapping a slice of provolone on it. Then it gets more complicated from there.
Overboard, which is how we like it, is with extra gravy. Not just a small dollop, mind you. I’m talking a sandwich that is so literally soaked in gravy that the bun just barely holds together. Yes, it sounds disgusting until you try it. The opposite of Overboard is Wet, which means less gravy (but, why?).
Operation means digging out the excess bread from the bun so that it doesn’t interfere with the meat, cheese, and gravy.
On the Outs means the inclusion of the crusty bits of beef from the outside of the roast, in other words, the best part, where the vitamins are, etc.
A Topper is a small portion of sauteed broccoli rabe, which, if you’re eating roast pork, is probably required by law.
The last bit of advice I have to give is this – get the gravy fries. They’re perfect fries to begin with, but you throw some meaty gravy on them, and they become something else entirely. What’s happening in my mouth? Something wonderful.
And, as you may expect, all of this pairs brilliantly with beer. We had tried a few beers here and there in the past, but it was this one singular moment last year, with this one beautiful mess of a sandwich, where everything clicked and beer suddenly made sense.
And, once I get around to offloading the camera, I’ve got a slideshow where beer is making a lot of sense to me. Lots and lots of sense. As you can tell, I’ve started my Charleston trip recap, starting with the place we ate right before leaving town.