The next big South Jersey foodie story is coming from the most unlikeliest of places… the Home Depot in Lawnside NJ. Rocco’s Italian Sausage and Cheesesteaks is setting up its 11th Home Depot location in Lawnside… which will be the first of many open in New Jersey.
Rocco’s started out featuring delicious Italian sausages sandwiches, and over the years grew the menu into also offering amazing cheesesteaks and breakfast sandwiches.
Philadelphia based news website BillyPenn.com listed the Rocco’s Italian Sausage sandwich on it’s 2019 list of the 10 essential Philadelphia sandwiches!
They are a real deal Philly foodie experience… coming to New Jersey!
Scroll down for more info, and also… I did a video! YouTube link at the bottom.
So for those who regularly shop at the Lawnside Home Depot store over the last few decades, seeing a food grill stand out front is not uncommon. And if you’ve recently seen the new store being constructed you probably thought it was interesting.
But you likely weren’t aware that it was one of Philadelphia’s essential sandwich shops… opening soon at the Camden County home improvement store.
Read on for more, and my experience trying their sandwiches today in South Philadelphia!
The new Lawnside store is hiring for full and part-time positions. They have sign with phone number in the window. If interested stop over to get the number (I don’t want to put someone’s cell number on blast!)
Rocco’s Italian Sausage and Cheesesteaks – New Jersey
Across the river in Philadelphia, Rocco’s is a well known and widely respected sandwich shop. A very familiar site at almost all of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Home Depot stores.
Rocco’s is more than just a convenient place to eat while shopping for the latest deal on lumber or tools, they are a destination for tasty Philadelphia hot sandwiches.
They have been featured in a variety of area news media outlets, and are regular a part of social media conversations as a top place to grab a delicious bite to eat.
Philadelphia news website BillyPenn.com in 2018 wrote an interesting story about Rocco’s, giving the behind the scenes details regarding the history and growth of the eateries.
They also listed Rocco’s in an article about the 10 Essential Philadelphia sandwiches you must try… presenting Rocco’s slow cooked, flavor bursting sausages at the Home Depot stands as something so delicious people likely find excuses just to go to Home Depot and get a sandwich!
Today I made two different Rocco’s visits.
First I stopped at the upcoming Lawnside location which is currently under construction, and actually caught up with the head guy of Rocco’s… Dan!
Dan gave me a quick rundown of the history of Rocco’s, how they’ve grown, and their future plans which heavily include locations in New Jersey.
Rocco’s was started by Dan’s father Rocco Guardino, whose first entry into the food business was as a kid buying soft pretzels wholesale and selling them in the neighborhood and at busy street corners.
The Rocco’s sausage stands at two Home Depot locations started in 2006.
When son Dan entered the business years later, he introduced the concept of franchising the locations to accelerate the growth of Rocco’s.
Dan tells us the Lawnside NJ location is part of the franchise model and he is helping build out this new customized stand, which offers an indoor customer area to keep customers out of the elements while ordering and waiting for their food. (They do not offer indoor seating)
But while Lawnside is a franchise location it’s clear that Dan is very hands on and treats each store as one of his “babies”…. he was on site on a Saturday helping with the interior construction of of store to be owned by one if his franchisees!
The Lawnside building interior is fully framed out, and Dan says next they’ll be putting up the drywall. They now maintain a small inventory of necessary items such as the grills… safely tucked away in a Rocco’s warehouse. No “pandemic-era” shipping delays for Rocco’s!
They are hoping for a February opening in Lawnside, but as I mentioned this is the first of many New Jersey stores to come.
Dan says they’ve seen a lot of success with the new franchises and now they are really in a position to escalate the growth of Rocco’s throughout all of the Delaware Valley and beyond.
They now have a franchise sales team in place working with franchise buyers, Home Depots and the municipalities to grow the business into a full Delaware valley sandwich juggernaut.
Rocco’s South Philadelphia – Taste Testing
My second visit of the day was to head over to the Home Depot in South Philadelphia, on Columbus Blvd Where a Rocco’s location is set up out front of the store.
My understanding is that there are core items offered at all locations (Italian Sausage, Cheesesteaks and Breakfast sandwiches) but each location can have variations of other items in the menu.
The South Philly location has a similar design as to what is being implemented in Lawnside, with an indoor ordering and waiting area.
The South Philly store had four employees working in the space, one at the front counter, and three people make cooking and making sandwiches. (Although South Philly appears to be custom built in place, where as Lawnside will be a newer modular building shell)
As soon as I walked in to Rocco’s South Philly, the delicious aroma of steak, sausage, peppers and onions filled the space and my senses!
Rocco’s features a menu of a few core categories but they offer a lot of variety in the mix.
As mentioned they offer Italian sausage sandwiches, cheesesteaks (beef, chicken or Portobello mushroom), and they also offer breakfast sandwiches which is a perfect match for the early morning construction crews who stop at Home Depot to pick up their lumber for the day.
I ordered both a cheesesteak (light fried onions) and the signature Sausage, Pepper & Onions sandwich.
They were both on a large 12 inch roll, and had a large amount of steak and sausage. Very hearty sandwiches with fresh ingredients and a delicious seeded roll.
Almost surprisingly the pricing model was simple and fair. $10 for each sandwich (tax included) and a combo which includes a soda was only $11.25 total.
I dove into the cheesesteak first and there was a lot of meat on the sandwich, especially considering the $10 price. It was the perfect amount of cheese and onions on a delicious softer Italian roll.
The sausage sandwich took me back 35 years ago to my days working in Brooklawn New Jersey at one of the Pats cheesesteaks franchises, where we also offered sausage pepper and onion sandwiches.
Just the scent of onions and Peppers cooking on a grill is a happy sensory overload, and I can understand why the Rocco’s sandwich is considered one of the best Italian sausage sandwiches in the area. An amazing bite.
For the sandwiches the also offer a variety of styles including Cajun, mozzarella, BBQ’s, jerk, garlic, teriyaki, pizza, Buffalo and fajita.
And of course they have all of the traditional favorites from fried onions, sweet Peppers, hot Peppers, marinara, and more.
Paid extras include extra cheese, mushroom, bacon, and they even offer hot dogs and hot dogs with cheese.
Their menu stays within their range of a grill, so they did not offer French fries, at least at the Delaware Ave location.
I’ll be back in Lawnside to try them out when they open!
Rocco’s Lawnside and South Philly Experience Video
Direct YouTube link of embedded below
Links and Location
Rocco’s Italian Sausage and Cheesesteaks (Opening Early 2023)
Home Depot – Lawnside
310 White Horse Pike Suite 1
Lawnside, NJ 08045
Rocco’s Columbus Blvd Facebook
1601 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia PA