Rax Roast Beef

rax logo two

Rax valiantly fought to be a national player in the “sliced roast beef” market for a very long time, but they never really managed to break out of the Midwest region. It was always a tough product to sell–“sliced roast beef” sandwiches have always been pretty far down the fast food pecking order, perpetually trailing behind cheeseburgers, pizzas, fried chicken, tacos and even foldable cardboard boxes filled with shrimp fried rice. Some people, in fact, shudder at the thought of a “sliced roast beef” sandwich. It just doesn’t appeal to them. I once even heard, and I’m extremely sorry to have to repeat this, some impolitic sexists refer to female private parts as “sliced roast beef.” Is that really the kind of thing a person wants to eat? Er, well, maybe some people…

In any case, “sliced roast beef” was a tiny market to begin with and when you have a tiny share of a tiny market, you’d damn well better have some brilliant management. Rax, apparently, did not. In the realm of “sliced roast beef,” Arby’s was always the king, Roy Rogers the presumptive prince, and Rax was just some dumb stable hand shoveling around horse dung all day.

That rather unappetizing image aside, I personally enjoyed the meals I had at Rax the few times I ate there, always on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, back when that thoroughfare led the nation in number of adult bookstores per city block. It was always a convenient place to fuel up before walking down the street to visit the peep show booths, but that’s hardly the clientele a restaurant needs to draw from if they plan on one day rubbing elbows with McDonald’s and Subway. So Rax, and their take on the “sliced roast beef” sandwich, disappeared.

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