The Unvegan

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The Roethlisburger at Peppi’s Subs


Peppi’s Subs, which has a few locations around Pittsburgh, has a little (big) sandwich called The Roethlisburger (or #7 depending on who you ask). I’m not sure how the sub shop attracted clientele between 1983 and 2004 when Big Ben arrived in Pittsburgh, but I was in no mood to find out when I paid Peppi’s in the Strip District a visit.

Weirdly enough, The Roethlisburger isn’t a burger at all, which makes me wonder why the spelling was changed to seem like a burger. Rather, it is a sub filled with sausage, burger meat (okay I guess that might be how it got its name), egg and American cheese. It can also come with a slew of veggies and mayo by request, but I can’t imagine why anyone would request such a thing. As I awaited my sub, I couldn’t help but notice that Peppi’s is perhaps the most yinzer place in existence in terms of the decor and the people the frequent the place. Nonetheless, I was eager for my sub.

Blackish and yellow.
Blackish and yellow.

As it turns out, sometimes American cheese is a good thing. At least that was the case with The Roethlisburger, whose ingredients were literally and figuratively held together by the cheese. It helped to maintain a sense of balance within the sub and physically kept the ingredients close to each other to ensure maximum flavor in each bite. On the outside, the roll was actually pretty perfect. Inside, the sub seemed to personify Pittsburgh even more than it personified Ben Roethlisberger because the colors that stood out were black char and yellow cheese.

Sure, the eggs could have been runnier and the burger a bit more rare, but this was a divey sub in a divey sub shop named after a gropey quarterback. In short, I was pleased and would happily eat a #7 anytime.