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Rocco's Steaks in Paoli

I just noticed that a drive through cheesesteak place opened on Lancaster Ave in Paoli. I think its the location of the former Polish Water Ice place. Has anyone tried it?

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  1. It was Tradewinds Coffee for a brief stint before closing. I am not sure if Rocco's is actually open yet, bet there is some additional detail on the ownership at mainlinedine.com. Seems like a strange business model to me.

    1. I think they are hiring people now. He had Soprano's in Newtown Sq. and other places before that....Our Deli still makes a good cheesesteak

      1. I stopped in tonight...like Pats and Gino's in Philly...meat a little fatty and not much of it...Wasn't bad if you like this kind of steak (sliced meat with cheese wiz)...But I will not go back...Our Deli down the street and John's in Frazer are far better.

        Frys where good

        4 Replies
          1. re: nolangti

            I got the menu when I went Tuesday night. Rolls are from Carangi's Bakery, which also just opened in Paoli.

            1. re: wardski

              Carangi are what John's Roast Pork uses... among the very best !!

          2. re: Omlvrn

            I must disagree , I have lived in this area for over thiry years now.
            Have tried lots of the different resturants and fast food places.

            Must say Rocco's is a great place to stop when in a hurry .
            Food is fresh , meat is of high quality you can tell by the texture and taste.
            I like the fact that he buys all his products from fellow business men.

            There is always a very friendly welcome from his staff .So stop in again you my not have like the cheesesteak but he has a great pork and chicken parm.

          3. I went to Rocco's today for the first time. I have been looking forward to the opening since they first hung the banner back in November. I have to say that I was very dissatisfied with the food and the cost. The steak was a slab like that of Pat's or Geno's and not chopped. It also wasn't hot or even warm enough to melt the american cheese that I ordered on it. The roll was ok because it was crunchy on the outside. They also did not cut the sandwich in half which made it a hassle when eatin in your car at lunch. The French Fries are the thicker type and were not fully cooked and were under seasoned. The total cost of my meal was $12 and personally that is way to much for lunch. Overall I have to say that the food wasn't that good and not worth the cost. I will most likely steer clear of this place since there are better cheesesteaks in this area.

            1. Thanks to everyone who has replied. I think I will give them a month or two to work out the kinks before I try it.

              1. I felt the same as everyone below. HUGE disappointment. You would think that a place that specializes in steak sandwiches would get it right. I guess I am going to have to stick to Our Deli for now.

                1. Too bad the initial reviews are disappointments. I was looking forward to Rocco's as well. I don't understand how a "tourist" cheesesteak (Pat's, Geno's, etc..) would make a viable business plan in the burbs.

                  Especially when good steaks can be had in the neighborhood (Phil's, Our Deli, John's Village Market).

                  1. Looks like Rocco is paying attention. I went Tuesday night when it opened and I had the same reaction. Too much roll, not enough meat. (I got a Cheese Steak with Wiz and Onions). I went over again today for lunch, and tried the mushroom and provolone. The roll is smaller AND there was more meat. Very tasty. Carangi's rolls are among the best.. Also got some fries which were very good. Worth a second chance.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: wardski

                      I have to disagree with most of the reviews so far. I thought it was pretty good. I grew up in Philly so I know what a decent cheesesteak should taste like. Rocco's is definitely Philly-style, meaning not chopped into oblivion like you find at most deli's or pizza joints. And to be a true cheesesteak, cheese wiz is a must, which Rocco's has. The sandwhich was a decent size and the roll was good. If you like the generic, pizza joint style cheesesteak, then Rocco's is probably not for you. But if you like Pat's or Geno's or Steve's Prince of Steak, or any of the true Philly cheesesteak shops, than Rocco's is for you.

                      1. re: TB15

                        Cheese wiz certainly doesn't define a "true" cheesesteak. I also grew up in the area and always had my cheesesteaks with provolone or white american. It's a matter of taste, simple as that.

                        1. re: Philly

                          But cheese wiz needs to be an option. Too many places offer just american or provolone. If a place doesn't offer wiz, chances are its going to be your typical, run of the mill, pizza parlor type cheesesteak.

                          1. re: TB15

                            That's your opinion and you should stick with Rocco's, Geno's and Pat's.

                            1. re: Philly

                              I agree - cheese wiz is usually reserved for the tourists.

                              Real cheese (american, provolone) is for the locals.

                        2. re: TB15

                          If you want to get technical, cheese wasn't actually part of the original sandwich for many years. I think it is more fair to talk about preference at this point, rather than try and talk about a simply meat + roll + cheese sandwich in absolutes. Geno's and Pat's are now held in high regard by most people I know, so holding them up as the standard bearer, regardless of origin, doesn't say much. It is sort of like an Italian claiming all american pizza is terrible because we make it differently. It's just different, that's all.

                          Back on topic, glad to hear they are using Carangi's, can't wait to stop in.

                      2. Just finished my first sandwich and was prepared to be very disappointed. The rolls are killer. Carangi makes a seriously sick roll. Nice about of chewyness to it. Tastes like a roll made by someone who knows what they are doing. Huge asset. The meat was as described, not chopped, 100% sirloin according to the menu. I found it to be a touch greasy but free of any stringy fat. Lots of great flavor and overall a pretty impressive bite. The fries were about a 5/10 in my book. Just not my favorite kind. I feel like I have had these at other pizza joints and there is just something about them that doesn't do it for me.

                        Expectations should be set properly before ordering. You aren't getting a Bravo cheesesteak that has been chopped and dried out to smithereens. It will seem like there is less meat on the roll due to this. I don't think this is a bad thing, many will. The flavor was much better than many of the local varieties on the main line.

                        I hope they survive (and fix the fries) because i was impressed. Menu also had other S Philly faves on it (roast pork, chicken cutlet, etc).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nolangti

                          Matt, you just made me want to squeeze these guys in before 2010 for the blog! I'm going to try to get there next week...maybe follow it up with a trip to TJ's after lunch.

                          1. re: weeare138

                            If you do, let me know and I'll meet up with you (for both).

                        2. Just thought I'd add our two cents, for what it's worth....

                          We ordered a cheesesteak w/o onions, (American cheese) from both Rocco's and Our Deli. Please note that I'm not the resident cheesesteak expert; my husband is. We thought that Rocco's was the best of the two, hands down. The cheese melted perfectly onto the well-seasoned meat, and don't get me started on the roll....really great!

                          1. Can you actually eat in, or is it just the drive through?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: leepinleemur

                              It's just a drive thru. But they're really quick!

                            2. I tried their cheesesteak last night (american cheese, no onions). The bread is fantastic. There was a decent amount of meat but it wasn't overflowing or anything. It was pretty tasty, but I've definitely had better. A nice touch with the cheese is that they have a crock-pot full of american cheese that they ladle on. I've attached a photo of my sandwich, and here is a link as well:


                              Also, their roast pork sandwich was pretty yummy as well. A friend of mine got that and let me have a bite.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: ckoles

                                Checked it out last night, and agree with most of the recent posters. Great bread (love Carangi bread, too bad about the attitude at the Paoli shop), nice meat (they gave us a little extra because we ordered mushrooms and they were out). Also a pork sandwich with broc rabe, which beat the one I had had from Tony Lukes.

                                We aren't much cheesesteak / pork sandwich people, but when you have a craving, Rocco's is the best I've seen around here.

                                1. re: FrancisdeR

                                  I hope they find a way to get their rolls from somewhere else b/c I don't think Carangi will be open very long based on their debacle on Xmas Eve and the generally poor service on other days (I will expand in a separate post).

                                  Looks like the consensus is Roccos's is pretty solid and strong alternative to some of the current options in the area. I wonder if they will garner a strong enough following to survive (I'm still surprised Tradewinds didn't last).

                                  1. re: nolangti

                                    There's no doubt that Carangi has some retail service issues (although it very much depends who you get, the owner himself is very accommodating), but their bread is fantastic. In our bakery-deprived area, I was extremely happy to have them open up. I assume their relationship with Rocco's is a wholesale one (ie they deliver a batch of bread every morning) so Carangi's service issues should be irrelevant.

                                    1. re: FrancisdeR

                                      I too am extremely happy that they opened up. It breaks my heart to buy some of the bread that the supermarkets put out and I am more than willing to travel a few extra minutes to go to Carangi. I highly recommend the Italian Wedding soup also. Big thanks to the folks in this thread who brought Carangi to my attention.

                                      Still haven't made it to Rocco's yet. Wonder what they do on Monday when Carangi is closed?

                                      1. re: ShakenNotStirred

                                        Rocco recieves his rolls from a well known bakrey in the city.
                                        I have been in on a Monday and I perfer these rolls much more then Carangi's

                              2. Is this the same Rocco's that has a restaurant on 113 in Phoenixville?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: gardens4me

                                  I don't think so. A comment on MainLineDine had said "It is a new venture by Rocco Desiderio that formerly owned Ristorante Verona in Frazer."

                                  1. As a final fling before restarting my diet I went today.

                                    American, with, hots and ketchup on the side. $8.00
                                    Roll was very good, a little too small, but very fresh and a crunchy crust.
                                    Meat was very good, real sliced rib with a little fat, was very tender, not stringy.
                                    A very nice portion of meat, sliced not too thin and layered well.some salt and pepper while grilling would be good.
                                    Ok fried onions and the pre melted american was nice.
                                    Very good overall, maybe a little pricey for the size, $7 for sandwich, .50 for cheese, .50 for too few hots that came in a 2oz cup. should be free.

                                    Its been a while, But I think Anthonys up on King St has a Much larger, very good ch.steak for the same price, Chopped style if I remember right, so maybe Anthonys can get away with a little cheaper meat and can give more quantity.

                                    Bottom line
                                    Certainly one of the best quality (sliced meat Style) cheesesteaks I have had and I am a former Philly local truck driver.
                                    I'll go back to celebrate my next 25 lbs gone. ;)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: seagulls1

                                      one of the best steaks I have EVER had, ever. The rolls were fantastic, and cheesesteak full of flavor. Tried the roast pork and also delicious, and the bun held the juices together just perfectly. The staff was quick and friendly, too, which goes a long way. going back for sure, this place should be around for a long time. Surprised it took someone this long to do cheesesteaks via drive-thru.

                                    2. give em time to work out the kinks all in all not bad a little pricey

                                      1. Just cause you offer Wiz does not mean you can use the title Philly cheese steaks. If Pats n Genos made them like this, they would have gone out of business long ago.
                                        I live less then five minutes away from Rocco's. My wife and I called ahead. We order 1 with wiz n fried onions another with plain just American cheese. Then when they told us it would be ready in 5 minutes we added an order of cheese fries. Out the door I went before my wife even completed the order.
                                        I knew the whole deal was bad after I paid ($18.50!) and was handed bag full of luke warm foods. WTF I got these warlocks home and it was a total fail on their part. My wifes American cheese was not even melted and I had never been given a sloppier sandwich in my life. My wife then commented that hers tasted like a nose bleed (um yum) Meat was sub par to say the least and if Wiz is not heated to a proper temp it can be horrid. The onion is a key piece that needs proper prep. I had asked for fried onions but I got mostly raw poorly chopped onion. We really wanted Rocco's to come through and deliver but like so many other places a quick turn around has replaced quality. I also had the pleasure of eating at Sopranos their other shop of shame in Marple Newtown n should have known better. I'm sure you can tell that I will not be returning to a wanna be Genos/Pats at Steves Prince of steaks prices. At least at Steves its actual filet! These people really need to learn what a cheese steak is before they continue.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: igetscrazyboutmyfoods

                                          Every new food place always needs to work out the kinks and time to see what the customer is looking for.
                                          The funny thing about it all, is they all know each other and ask for suggestions . Geno knows Rocco , Rocco knows Pat and so on so on.
                                          They are all in competion but they give their help to each other

                                          1. re: stabler

                                            I have had each of the sandwiches that Rocco's has to offer and I think they only get better each time I try them. Their roast pork sandwich is the best I have ever had. I look forward to each visit. Great job!

                                          2. re: igetscrazyboutmyfoods

                                            You took the words right out of my mouth, cheap meat, poorly prepared ingredients, to even utter Pat's, Geno's, Steve's, Philips or any other S.Phila shop in the same sentence is a sacrilege.

                                          3. Save your money, go to Our Deli or Anthony's in Malvern.

                                            Roll was great. There's an 1/8" piece of fat on every large course piece of meat. Not much of it either, and the cheese is just placed on the roll next to the meat where it really doesn't melt. The cheese ends up semi-transparent and limp. The meat wasn't even hot, despite the fact the establishment had two customers before us. For us the sandwich was not enjoyable. Even better we ordered fries with cheese wiz, they forgot the wiz. I called up and told them, an uncaring snotty girl said it wouldn't happen again, then hung up. She's right, it won't happen again. It was a shame I was really nice to her on the phone, their customer care s_cks! Go to a place that cares, there are plenty in this neighborhood.

                                            1. I have been reading through these comments, and felt it necessary to respond to set some things straight. I do not place much faith in some of these "reviews" as they seem to be from people who have their own agenda.

                                              Rocco's Steaks has an "open architecture"-ie, A LOT of windows. You can actually, if you get out of your car (park on the side of the building, I did) see your sandwich being made! If you do this, you would see that the meat is grilled ONLY when a sandwich is ordered! It does NOT get sliced (which dries our the meat) and left in a heat lamp or get microwaved! You would also notice that when they grill, they use 100% Olive oil, from Italy; not grease, lard, or anything else. Also, folks, I am especially fond of their steaks, so I have been back many times. EVERY time, there is 9 pieces of this wonderful Top Round (NOT Sirloin) on every sandwhich I ordered, and the cheese, whether Provolone, american, or Wiz, is put directly into between the layers of meat! I see some people complaining, even mentioning other establishments (Our Deli-what a joke, I tried their steaks twice, both times, I left 3/4's at the table, paid the waitress and left! If the person who wrote this about Our Deli being superior, is reading this, I am sure that Rocco would have no problem doing a taste test with random people!

                                              I understand that each person has their own idea of what is a perfect steak, however, not everyone is going to like it the same way! Personally, I enjoy the crisp edges and soft center of the whole steak slices, not the grisly and dried out shredded beef, the makes me feel like I just a "Steak-um" sandwich! This is exactly why there is Pat's and Geno's!

                                              Personally, I have had cheesesteaks all around the country, including local favorites like Gaetano's in NJ, Primo Subs, the Peppermill, Capriotti's, Our Deli, etc. Some of these have been better than others, but I prefer Rocco's steaks the best. I reside in Glenmoore, so it is quite a hike to Malvern to get them, but I do it, because I enjoy them. Although, now that I think about it, I never did try their Chicken Cheesesteak...well, I guess I am going there today.

                                              If there is something about the sandwiches that dissapoints you, did you by chance let the staff know, and allow them to remediate, or did you just bop online because it is anonymous? If I don't enjoy something, I at least let the staff know. If that is the way they serve something, then I remember that.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Desmodius

                                                you have made many good points in your review. I agree with you on most of them. Everybody has their own definition of a good cheesesteak. I love that Roco is close to where I live. I have ordered there many times.

                                                Usually I get my cheesesteak from Chinks, Fruscos, or Steve Princes if I'm in the city of Brotherly love. But living on here in the Burbs Roccos is fine without the drive.

                                              2. I have tried Rocco's cheesesteak and, today, the roast pork sandwich. I found them both to be fairly high quality.

                                                The roast pork was very good. Perhaps not as wet as others. It also had a spice that I can't identify that made it less plain than others ( aplus for me.)

                                                I think Pat's or Genos cheesesteaks are ovrerated and I have never been a fan of the wiz ,so if they are your favorite or gold standard than you may not enjoy.