Street/Fell St., SF
hearing at Chances
have a friend named Jay. He's the one who likes pizza so much. I'm
not sure what his feelings are on the cheesesteak but I know I'm a
makes an okay enough sandwich but it's not what I want in a cheesesteak.
First of all the bun is not right, some
sort of French
roll, toasted, why toast it? Maybe 'cause it's not the soft melt
in your mouth kind of roll you get at the Cheesesteak Shop, where they
don't need toasting to cover up a mediocre bun. Then the meat,
they boast Niman Schell natural beef, which you think would be tasty
after they attempt to spice it up in some mysterious way it just ends
up being blander than bland -- a little salt and pepper would have
gone a long way. I had Jay's Original Cheesesteak which, like
all the other CS's, will cost you $5.75 and comes with mayo, mustard,
tomatoes, pickles, and grilled onions. Sounds more like a sub
sandwich than a cheesesteak. As a sandwich it was okay, but as a cheesesteak
was pretty bad.
The "basket" of
fries, at a buck-fifty, was more like a single serving, leaving me
wanting more. The "basket" of
onion rings, at $2.50, was similar: not enough of 'em for the
serving to be called a basket, although they were nice, crunchy,
I look forward to
a cheesesteak, it's definitely a treat, not something I have everyday,
so when I have one I want it to be
Cheesesteak did not deliver. As I think I've said it wasn't bad,
or maybe I did say it was bad, it was just blah. If I make my
way to Jay's again I think I'll try a burger: $5.75 including fries. Maybe
my friend Jay will join me and try the Pizza Cheesesteak, hold
the pickles, hold the mayo. One more thing, watch the cashier,
somehow there was an extra cheesesteak added to our bill, not saying
it was on
purpose, mistakes happen but I'm not paying for them.
from Philadelphia, or anyone who's ever lived East of the Mississippi
river: If you want to get all bent out of shape, drop by Jay's Cheesesteak
for one of their "cheesesteaks." You'll be hopping mad! Because
what they're calling a cheesesteak is about as far from an authentic
Philly cheesesteak as you can imagine. Not that they don't have their
merits, these sandwiches, but they sure as heckfire ain't no cheesesteak
Had high hopes, as
we so often do. Mainly because they were throwing down with the Niman
Ranch beef, which should mean tasty, natural-style
beef from happy free-ranging California cows. Sadly, they sauce and/or
season the "steak" too much to appreciate that. I swear there
was some kind of cinnamon or cloves or something going on. Coriander?
I suspect a Mediterranean influence. At any rate, NON-TRADITIONAL cheesesteak.
Plus, by default the cheesesteaks come with mayo, mustard, lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, and grilled onions. No mention of peppers anywhere.
I got mine with everything but pickles -- had to draw the line somewhere.
And if one can forget the word "cheesesteak," it's not bad
for $5.75. Decent amount of beef and all that. Slightly skimpy on cheese
perhaps. I don't recall a choice of cheeses, either, but I guess we
the default. White American? Provolone? Hard to say. The bun, as you
may have guessed, is not the proper soft torpedo roll, but a French
roll of some sort. Which is FINE..but a point of contention when it
to cheesesteak authenticity. I think most will agree that that roll
ideally comes from the Amoroso
Had some fries, too,
which were not bad but also perhaps a bit skimpish portionwise at $1.50
for a "basket." I
mean, "basket" sounds
like, you know, enough for two people at least. This is really a
side order of fries, and I think it wouldn't kill them to throw a
in the basket for a buck and a half. Then there were the onion rings,
also decent (crispy, big, juicy) but at $2.50 a "basket," also
One reason to go
to Jay's Cheesesteak would be if you are a vegetarian. Yes, they have
Seitan cheesesteaks. Not
Satan, the dark lord of evil,
I'm talking about the "vegetarian
wheat meat." Made from gluten or something. We failed
to try it, but don't let that stop you. They also will do an avocado
and cheese version, among other veggie options.
So, I'd advise cheesesteak
purists and Philadelphians to steer clear of this joint unless
you can pry the word "cheesesteak" from
your brain while you're eating. But then, can anyone pry a word from
their brain? Probably not.
in an eating slump that left many reader-eaters fearing for our health,
we reached back for basics, like a slugger might after long hitless
summer days. I'd rather not admit how long it had been since we all
ate together. And, truth is, I don't even know. What was sure is that
things had gotten away from us. So we called on another cheesesteak
-- the subject of our very first reviews -- to bring us back.
we looked for it in the wrong place. Call it a cheesemisteak.
we sat waiting for our 'steaks and baskets of fries and onion rings,
I listened for that telltale rat-a-tat of spatula on grill,
but all I
heard was some clunking. However, later they got to it, and as it
turned out, maybe they got to it a bit much. What wound up in our buns
kind of unconventional, but I kind of liked them) was much closer
to a Sloppy Joe in a sub bun. When I bit in, reddish viscous sauce
out with every bite. That doesn't happen with your standard cheesesteak.
Maybe they were saucing up the meat during the rat-a-tat? Not to
say this isn't allowed -- innovation has its place. But the end result
just didn't add up. The elaborate assemblage -- it featured Niman
and non-traditional trimmings like mayo, mustard, pickles, and tomatoes
-- wound up bland. By the second half I was slogging through, eating
just to finish.
end, what you've got is a cheesesteak that's less than the sum of its
parts, one that fell way short of bringing
back our streaky
brash early steak days. Where do we look for them now?