“u no u luv it. lol :-)”
That’s the tagline pasted on the homemade posters throughout V&S Sandwiches on Lancaster Avenue, one poster promoting the shop’s chili cheese fries, another advertising hamburger and chicken sliders, limit 125 per order.
There is a lot of love to go round at the many V&S locations scattered throughout Greater Reading. Hot and cold sandwiches, salads and pizzas that have made V&S one of the most popular restaurant chains in Berks County.
A neon sign hangs high in front of the Lancaster Avenue location, beckoning diners to try the shop’s Italians, steaks and pizzas. The retro-looking sign fits perfectly in front of a restaurant that is very much a time capsule, itself.
Red picnic benches sit atop sheets of Astroturf in front of the building. Inside, a large sign reminds patrons of the restaurant’s cash-only policy, another leftover from a bygone era of dining.
During peak hours, V&S operates more like a New York City deli, with customers taking a number and waiting to be called just to place their order. Be ready when your number is called as indecisiveness can back up the line quickly.
Though there are about two dozen sandwiches to choose from, my eyes never left the “specials” board. The steak special is a simple sandwich: steak, sauce, onions and peppers (the cheesesteak special is available for an extra $0.10).
Delivered on a cafeteria tray, the steak special looks less like a sandwich, and more like a pile of steak meat. The roll is stuffed so full that it is nearly impossible to close.
The onions and peppers are mixed in with the steak, but the thick sauce is heaped on afterward. Some bites are heavy on the sauce, others are lacking, but all are delicious.
The meat is very flavorful on its own, not like the frozen steaks you would pick up at the grocery store. I also caught the hint of a banana pepper or two mixed in, adding just a kick of sweet heat.
It was only after I finished that I noticed the puddle that had formed on the table, the combination of a soft roll and a thin paper plate having done very little to dam the flow of grease.
Of course no sandwich lunch is complete without an order of fries. The small bag holds a deceptively large amount of the fast food staples.
Compared to a chain like Subway, V&S is a steal. The steak special costs right around $3.50—that for a sandwich that is longer than a standard six-inch with twice the meat. For our two sandwiches, a shared order of fries and two drinks, our bill was right around $13.00.
And there again, printed on my receipt: “u no u luv it. lol”
It’s true. I do love it.