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Love that Brisket

I never thought I'd find a sandwich at the Reading Terminal Market that I loved more than DiNic's Roast Pork with Cheese and Greens. Then the Best of Philly mag prompted me to try their brisket...

So good!!!! Tender brisket, onion gravy, and that sharp provolone cheese. I talked about my new discovery with some friends yesterday and woke up knowing what I'd be having for lunch. Today I got the end piece- jackpot!

I highly recommend you all try this new gem of a sandwich.

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  1. Hmm. Exciting. The problem is, how do I overcome the black-hole-like gravitational pull of the pork sandwich? I've tried before to order other things on the menu, but every time I belly up to the counter at DiNic's my willpower melts away and I end up ordering exactly the same thing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GDSwamp

      I solve this problem by dragging my boyfriend along and making him share a pork and a brisket. I dream about these sandwiches.

    2. Love That Dinic's Roast Pork! Cheesesteak/ shmeezesteak! The best sandwich I have had in Philly is the Roast Pork at Dinic's!
      Like GDSwamp it is hard to imagine ordering anything else there but will try to try.
      By the way: Devil's Alley at 19th and Chestnut which is a very spotty menu (some good and some so-so)has a killer smoked Brisket , cheese and grilled onion sandwich.

      2 Replies
      1. re: phillydoc

        Ooh. Okay, I'm trying that today.

        Agreed that DiNic's RP is the porky jewel in the Philly sandwich crown. My close seconds are the hoagies at Sarcones and the sliced cheesesteaks at Steve's Prince of.... Any of those three is well worth the nap I have to take after eating one.

        1. re: GDSwamp

          My favorite roast pork in the city is Tony Luke's - the roast pork italian with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe. To me, Dinic's is second best (we're talking such a high level here, that even second best is transcendant). I've never made it to John's, but hope to one of these days.

      2. While we're on the subject: How about the Hoagies at Primo's? Not shabby at all! Some folks object to the hardish, sesame seed roll but I think it is just right as a holder of all hoagie innards: imparts a flavor of its own. Love the sandwiches at Gusto, and the only hoagie I have found worth driving to the shore for is the White House Sub at Atlantic City. The unsurpassed king of hoagies-its in the roll!

        2 Replies
        1. re: phillydoc

          Agreed about the bread. Before Philadelphia I thought hoagies/subs/grinders/heroes were totally boring, but this city has an amazing array of perfectly made Italian rolls that make for transcendent sandwiches. So far, Sarcone's is my far-and-away favorite, but I'll check out Primo's and Gusto asap.

          1. re: GDSwamp

            Johns' Roast Pork uses rolls from S. Philly bakery Carangi's freesh every day. This is the only bread I think stands up to Sarcone's. Conshohocken Bakery makes some might good rolls too though ..

        2. At Primo's I like their hoagie w/turkey and jalapenos. Agree, the bread is really good.

          Gusto's a takeout standby for us. Just had it Saturday night. Usually I get the roast pork w/greens and provolone (it's no Dinic's, but not bad at all) or the meatball. Meatball is on a large sesame seed roll with marinara and cheese (and when I first moved here and asked for the meatball sub, my request was met with confusion, it seems, 'meatball sub' is not as universally descriptive as I thought).

          I was once able to repress my primal, pork-gobbling urges and order the brisket at DiNic's and, alas, they were out, thus fate forced me to return to my swiney master.

          1. Can't imagine why no one mentioned John's Roast Pork. It is, easily, the BEST meal in Philadelphia. Also, Primo's uses Sarcone's rolls for their hoagies, so it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between the two hoagies.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

              Hmm. Then I can't imagine why people would be down on the bread (as phillydoc mentioned).

            2. Yes. John's is by far my favortie pork also. I rave about it so much I figured I'd stay out of this one, but here I am. I mentioned before but there is a place in the Italian Market called George's. Not the one on the west side but the one next to Esposito's on the east side. They don't have spinach or broccoli rabe, however they do have some very tasty pork. It's cubed, not sliced. The rolls aren't as good as John's but the sandwich itself is my 2nd favortie behind John's while Dinic's rounds out the top 3.

              1. Finally tried the beef brisket and was not feeling it at all. The brisket itself was good not great by any means, but there was barely enough to cover my roll, I actually had to spread the beef with a fork to get some in every bite and I still couldn't manage to do so. Overall it wasn't horrible, but I would not recommend nor would I order it again.

                1. I thought the brisket was ok but not great myself. My sandwich had plenty of brisket though, but they put some type of broth on it that didn't add much to it. When I have brisket at home, it's usually with gravy on it, so it was not what I was used to, and it seems that brisket is easy to overcook.

                  As an aside I also tried the pulled pork at DiNic's once too, and was also underwhelmed. I think it's a matter of eating something good when I could be eating something better (i.e. roast pork with greens and provolone).

                  1. Last month I took a trip from NYC specifically to eat at the market (& write about it). Here's my take on Dinic's:

                    After Delilah’s I moved on to Dinic’s for the main course. Dinic’s is famous for its hot roast beef and roast pork sandwiches. Like the cheese steak, the Italian roast pork sandwich with greens is a South Philly specialty. I had roast pork on my agenda, but then I saw a sign announcing that Dinic’s brisket sandwich had been voted best sandwich in Philly by the readers of the City Paper. I’m a brisket man, so I couldn’t resist. I was glad I had succumbed, as it was a stellar sandwich. The brisket was hearty and savory, with the flavors of tomato, garlic and onion. Here my minor complaint is that the meat was too lean, so the larger pieces tended to be a little on the dry side. The mushy parts with the tomato broth and onions mixed in were more satisfying.

                    . . .

                    [the next day]

                    Then it was back to Dinic’s, this time for the roast pork. I ordered it with greens, which turned out to be sauteed spinach with flecks of crushed red pepper (apparently Tony Luke’s, in South Philly, uses broccoli rabe, which sounds fantastic). This was another world-class sandwich. In fact, I’d easily place Dinic’s on my short list of great sandwich spots. When it came time to pay, Joanne, the counter woman, asked if I had cheese on my sandwich. “I never eat cheese with my pork,” I told her. “It’s not kosher.”


                    1. Whenever I think of really good brisket, I think of the long gone and short-lived Hesh's on Juniper, near Locust (the place that used to be Frankie Bradley's). It was cut thick, very tender, laced with garlic, and piled high on real Jewish rye. Even my Mom doesn't make it as good!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Cruz

                        for great brisket (Jewish-style, not smoked BBQ style) go to Kibbitz and get a half-brisket sandwich with a side of gravy, one of my favorite lunches.

                        I didn't dig the sauce on the dinic's brisket. i also managed to try the italian style pulled pork, and it was tasty porky goodness but i don't think i'd get it again. I guess either of those two sandwiches would be a great sandwich in any other neighborhood, but given their proximity to such sandwich greatness they don't stand out. and don't forget the rib sandwich from the amish rib stand in the northwest corner.

                        1. re: joypirate

                          I've got the rib sandwich on my next trip wish list. The potato wedges from the rib stand were great.