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Apr 9, 2008 07:42 AM

Di Nic's at Reading Terminal

Went to Di Nic's yesterday at RTM and couldn't decide whether to get the sliced roast pork or the pulled pork. Decided to try the pulled pork. The flavor was ok and the meat was tender but I was underwhelmed by the sandwich as a whole. Is the sliced pork better?

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  1. The roast pork is the sandwich to get with provolone and broccoli rabe or greens and is the one they are famous for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluehensfan

      Thanks for the advice. I was in Philly for a tournament a few years ago and I split a roast pork sandwich from there with a friend and it was kinda meh. But yesterday I was back again for another event I decided to give them another go. I got lucky as they had just pulled another pork roast out and it was really hot and fresh. I got it with the provolone and rabes and it was quite tasty, juicy but without any fat or gristle. If I hadn't walked directly over to the nearest table and chowed down I think the good roll would have gotten soggy fast. I could barely finish the whole thing, I needed to drag my friend John away from the tourney to share with me!

    2. After having read many a post pimping this oh-so-wonderful sandwich, I tried it myself during my last visit to Philly. The meat on the counter looked lovely -- alas, that was apparently the roast beef. I ordered the 'magical' roast pork sandwich, and watched with horror as limp, soggy meat slices were pulled out of a bain marie..... wow. Most underwhelming experience ever, well, maybe equally underwhelming as any cheesesteak. Sorry, but this has nothing to do with chow-worthiness. Nostalgia sounds more like it, which is fine, but besides the point.

      I regretted not getting the pulled pork sandwich as I imagined that it just *had* to be better than the floppy, tasteless meat I had on a floppy, tasteless "bun". Judging from your post, I didn't miss anything....

      Btw, I didn't even finish mine. Carried half of it around for 3 hours in the city hoping for a hungry homeless person I could give this to, but ended up tossing it.

      7 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Got to Tony Luke's. It's the best in Philly.

        1. re: linguafood

          Did you get it plain or w/prov & broccoli rabe? I suggest trying it again at John's Roast Pork. Flavorful meat on a great Carangi roll.

          1. re: lawgirl3278

            I got the cheesesteak a few years ago on South St., forget what it's called -- Jim's? In any event, I find it hard to believe that any cheesesteak, regardless of who prepares it, will be a culinary revelation. I continue to believe that this is something people grow up wit' (no pun intended), and thus like it or even crave it.

            I was excited about the DiNic's sammich, and I am guessing my expectations were blown completely out of proportion by the comments on this board.... yes, I had the provolone, no rabe, but peppers. Come to think of it, the peppers were probably the best part of the sandwich, because they TASTED like something. Other than that, just a sad, sad let-down -- limp, sorry excuses for sliced pork (could've been chicken, ya know?), limp, soggy bun...

            I understand, it's a regional thing. That's probably why I just don't *get it*.

            The panino from Di Bruno's I got for my drive back home, otoh, was freaking awesome. I would like to permanently move into that store.

            1. re: linguafood

              I always preferred DiNic's roast beef w/ sharp provolone, long hots and horseradish to the pork. If you get a chance, try Tony Luke's roast pork with sharp provolone and long hots. It is one of my all time favorite sandwiches.

              1. re: linguafood

                Perhaps for you Philly's famous roast pork sandwiches may be an acquired taste (perhaps say like a fine wine?) I have enjoyed them from day one and eat at least one a week.

                But seriously, how could you have carted the sandwich around for three hours without running into a single homeless person?

                By the way, the prepred food at DiBruno's tends to be hit-or-miss (IMO) so don't be shocked if everything you taste there is less than ethereal.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I grew up with cheesesteaks and don't like them. I also hate Rocky. But i love di Nic.'s. What time did you go?

                  1. re: Dib

                    'T was Sat. around 2:30 p.m. I had stopped at the Oyster House on Sansom for a half dozen of Blue Points for breakfast. I was surprised not to run into a homeless person within 3 hours after leaving RTM, but so it goes (this in reply to bluehensfan).

            2. Funny, I just knew I'd get slammed for this opinion. I do indeed enjoy all kinds of fine wine, but that's kinda off topic here.

              It's not about trying to be superior, phneale, as I find pleasure in the simplest foods -- it just so happens that DiNic's roast pork sandwich or Philly cheese steak will never be one of them. Accept that. De gustibus non est disputandum, mate :-D

              PS: And, bluehensfan -- I really actually liked the panino I got at DiBruno's -- parma, mozzarella, tomatoes, all of that toasted on delicious bread.... simple pleasures, and full of flavor.

              10 Replies
              1. re: linguafood

                I do believe you liked the panino...I will make note of that for when I eat there next...the upstairs is very hit-or-miss that's all. Everything always looks great but sometimes the taste does not match. They have a great cheese selection though!

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  I know -- it's truly a deli wonderland. I could just spend hours looking at all the food. I'm a sucker for stores like that, and can spend just as much time at Dean & DeLuca's (though it's been a while).

                  We didn't eat upstairs as it looked uninteresting and we wanted something to go.

                2. re: linguafood

                  It's true that there's no accounting for taste, but that's not really the position you're taking. As far as I can tell, your earlier posts assert that cheesesteaks and pork sandwiches are, in some empirical sense, just not that great, and that only people who grow up eating them think they're special (a sort of region-wide version of, "My momma overcooked everything and now I love overcooked food"). So you're not saying that everyone's taste is different, you're saying that your own assessment, in this case, is based on the real merits (or lack thereof) of these dishes (floppy, tasteless, horror-inducing), while native Philadelphians are overvaluing their local sandwiches out of a delusional feeling of nostalgia.

                  I moved to Philly two years ago and I love DiNic's pork sandwiches (spinach and roasted peppers, sharp provolone, lots of banana peppers) though I find that they're only amazing every third or fourth visit. The rest of the time they're just "very good." I also think the cheesesteaks at my favorite place (George's at the top of the Italian Market) offer a transcendent eating experience. There are a couple of other places I've tried that make, to use your word, 'magical' cheesesteaks, but the truth is I'll eat just about any cheesesteak and be glad I did.

                  So: didn't grow up here, love the sandwiches.

                  1. re: GDSwamp

                    I don't know what it is but I'm right there "wit" ya on George's. Must be the patina on that little grill. I grab a cheesesteak with a little sauce every time I go to the Italian market before I head around the corner to Fiorella's for some sausage.

                    1. re: Den

                      Mm. I'm pretty heavily into Fiorella's as well - they've got a nice coarse grind on the meat that I think makes for a very special sausage. Haven't tried the liver sausage yet; I hear that it's a winner.

                    2. re: GDSwamp

                      Well, given that we all have personal tastes and preferences, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't like everything other people like, and vice versa. Taste is subjective, and I've found the hyped pork sandwich to be a let-down. And I am not interested to give it 3 or 4 more tries in case the experience improves somehow. There's enough good food to go around.

                      1. re: linguafood

                        I had Tony Luke's roast pork today (sharp provolone and long hots, gut the roll) and it was crazy good.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            no need for sarcasm. you should give Tony Luke's a try before giving up on the roast pork sandwich.

                            1. re: brightman

                              I actually wasn't being sarcastic. In fact, I am quite happy that you have found yourself a nice ol' pork sandwich that you genuinely enjoy. I would simply like to reserve the right for myself to NOT be a fan of it. over and out.

                  2. I've gotten the sliced pork sandwich, and my reaction was like yours.
                    It was good, but nothing special. I sat and ate it and thought about all the better options at RTM, that would have to wait for another day.

                    1. Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion and their likes and dislikes. However, I have been going to DINic's for many years now and have always found their sandwiches to be excellent. In fact, I would rate their roast pork (not the pulled pork) the best in the city ahead of John's and Tony Luke's. I have also had roast beef and pulled pork at DiNic's and thought they were excellent sandwiches as well. I also like the fact at DiNic's that they people who run the stand are always very nice and I understand they put a lot of effort into their sandwiches. Anyway, just my .02

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: YoccosFan

                        I was in Philadelphia this weekend and had the pulled pork with rabe at DiNic's. Threw some yellow piquant peppers on top. Expected true delishesness and was underwhelmed. Kinda boring tasting. Same with the much heralded cheesesteak at Jim's. Eh. And yes, I've been to all the others..Pat's Gino's, Tony Lukes, etc. Cheesesteak and pork sandwiches: two Philly chow institutions that never fail to disappoint.

                        1. re: Big Fat Moe

                          Sounds like you're a glutton for punishment if you keep trying roast pork sandwiches and cheesesteaks despite disliking them so much...if you don't like the pork (and next time I'd get the roast...not the pulled but that's me) at DiNic's, Tony Luke's, or John's or wherever, you're probably not going to like it anywhere.

                            1. re: Big Fat Moe

                              have you tried the roast beef or roast pork at nick's (20th and jackson)? guaranteed you'll love at least one of them, as long as you don't mind being a messy eater.

                              tip - try their gravy fries too....but eat them fresh, don't take them home.

                            2. re: bluehensfan

                              I don't know about BF Moe, but I was born and raised in the Philadelphia burbs and now in my 50's I didn't really take to cheesesteaks or Italian roast pork until the last several years. I think early on it must have been the mediocre suburban rendition of the sandwich. It wasn't until I found places like John's, George's, Tony Luke's, Steve's, etc. that had the right combo of good steak, well prepared and with good rolls that I really got it.