Editor’s Note: Intel’s Pennside Drive-In is now closed. The last day for the restaurant was August 22, 2021. A new restaurant – GiGi’s Drive-In (from the owner of Gino’s Cafe) took over a few weeks later, bringing back most of the staff and menu from Intel’s.
Some weeks, doing this blog is easy. Other weeks, getting out and doing a review seems next to impossible.
This was one of those weeks.
The thing is, we actually had a plan. We knew where we were going, and I even had a good idea of what I was going to get when we got there. What we hadn’t anticipated was arriving at our desired restaurant only to find the parking lot completely full. (We’ll save that story for another review).
So we found ourselves on the east side of Reading. Our plans were thrown out the window, and we were hungry.
We needed a place that was fast so we headed out Carsonia Avenue to Intel’s Pennside Drive-In.
It was my first visit to the Pennside, but stepping inside, it felt like a place I had been before. From the checkered floor tiles that harkened back to D&J Sandwich Shop to the retro booths that could have been plucked from Schell’s, CeGee’s or any other similar restaurant that pre-dates the term “fast-casual.”
There’s two parts to Intel’s – the dinner and the dessert. While Julie and I would have loved a cone of soft serve, a towering sundae or a fresh-made milkshake, we needed to get through dinner first.
Pennside’s dinner menu is more robust than many similar restaurants. In addition to burgers and hot dogs, there are also hot and cold subs, including tuna burgers, chipped sausage sandwiches and a variety of steak sandwiches.
Julie decided to go with a traditional Berks County-style cheesesteak with meat sauce and onions while I went with the chicken steak, a lighter version of the same thing.
The small hoagie rolls were packed to capacity with the finely chopped steak. We had seen the steaks go on the flattop grill. They looked like Steak-umms or something similar, and we weren’t mad about that because the sandwiches tasted great.
The closest comparison we could make was to V&S. They were meaty and just a little greasy with just enough marinara sauce and onions to pop every few bites with flavor.
We split a small order of French fries as well. They were your average thick-cut fast food fries. Nothing special, but a good go-with for the steak sandwiches.
One of the big pluses for the Pennside is value. For our two sandwiches, fries and two bottled drinks, we spent just $18.
Unfortunately, we didn’t save room for dessert. Next time, I think we’ll skip the fries in favor of ice cream. That seems like a fair trade.
Next time, we’ll plan our trip better. And I’m sure there will be a next time.
Price: Very Reasonable
Intel’s Pennside Drive-In
916 Carsonia Ave
Reading, PA 19606
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Don’t they own the land behind the store? I recommend they put in a Mini Golf there. There just are not enough of those.
Not sure, but I like your thinking!