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America on a Roll

Owners of the new Canonsburg eatery say they want to change America 'one sandwich at a time.'

I’m a fan of the classics — simple feats of sandwichery goodness. And you get that at America on a Roll, Canonsburg’s newest place to grab lunch or dinner.

Willie Nixon and his wife, Pam, opened the shop earlier this month with the hope of “changing America one sandwich at a time” (the mission statement of sorts is printed prominently on the menu).

When a co-worker and I visited for a business lunch looking a bit conspicuous, we opted for the North Jefferson Avenue eatery to try what we heard were some new culinary options on the borough horizon.

We settled into a spacious table, where we had enough room for our laptop computers and various other electronic devices.

We were both hungry when Pam came over to give us the skinny on the menu, suggesting an item called the Hot Diggity Dog (named to honor Canonsburg native Perry Como’s hit) and briefly described some of the other offerings.

The menu is simple to digest: There are specialty sandwiches (regional favorites ranging from the Philly Cheese Steak to the Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich to a Louisiana Shrimp Po Boy), hamburgers, hot dogs, sides and drinks.

We went with the Hot Diggity Dog. When the menu says ‘best dog you’ll ever eat’ you kind of have to bite, right? We split it and both were happy girls we did. With two slices of bacon and coleslaw, it was nothing healthy and nothing but awesome.

I’ve long said that bacon pretty much makes everything better, it added a crunch to the dog, and the coleslaw brought the whole conglomeration together. Pam made sure to tell us that all the dogs served are Nathans, and that the buns are specially made for the shop.

We also sampled two of the specialty sandwiches: Louisiana Po Boy and the Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich — both of which were ample sized, and made with love. The shrimp, which Pam said were hand breaded every day, were crispy without being greasy and the remoulade sauce added the necessary kick.

My dear friend’s pulled pork sandwich was huge, but the house-made barbecue sauce and tender meat made it worth the gorge, not that either of us were able to finish all that food. Still, we gave it the old college try.

Nicer yet, perhaps, was the friendly service and bright, open space that serves as the eatery's dining room. With big tables, and little background noise to drown out conversations like some busy lunch locales, I’d go back for a business lunch anytime.

And the prices are fair, with specialty sandwiches averaging about $7, hamburgers in the $5 to $8 range and hot dogs ranging from $1.85 (for your traditional ketchup, mustard, relish, onions mustard variety) to $4.95 for a Chicago dog.

Sides such as their hand-cut regular or sweet potato fries, coleslaw and broccoli rabe round out the menu.

Willie and Pam both say the restaurant’s offerings will continue to expand, and that they are using Facebook to help promote specials.

Here’s what you need to know if you go:

Where: 117 N. Jefferson Ave.

Phone Number: 724-514-6579

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

On Facebook? Like them here.

Andrea Bosco March 15, 2011 at 04:24 PM
As the dear friend/co-worker who indulged in the huge pulled pork sandwich, I can truly say it was DELISH. Perfectly-written review, A! Now I'm hungry!
Nadeen Steffey March 15, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Wishing them MUCHO success in downtown Canonsburg!! :)
Nancy Griffin March 15, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Sounds good will have to take my teens.

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