Tag Archives: cheesesteak

The Dip

Apparently, the folks behind the incredible steak sandwich at 4 Charles Prime Rib have ventured out into the world of fast casual cuisine, opening up a sandwich shop on St Marks called The Dip.

The anchor of the small but focused menu is their French Dip sandwich, which is what I tried when I went.

Sandwiched between toasty garlic bread is a good sized portion of good quality shaved beef, melted gruyere, and diced cherry peppers. The horseradish cream sauce and jus come on the side. This will run you $16.50, before tax.

 

This was a killer sandwich; one of my best bites of the year. The dip and the sauce were both full of robust flavor to the point where you just want to keep on dipping.

The sandwich itself would be great on it’s own too though. You don’t really need the dip or the sauce if you don’t want them. The bread is fresh and flakey. The meat is textured yet tender. The cheese is melty but not molten. The peppers provide both spice and sweet. It’s perfect. And no, there’s not as much meat as the version at 4 Charles, but it’s also half the price here at The Dip.

There’s a bunch of other tasty sounding shit on the menu too, like fried chicken sandwiches, grilled cheeses and some limited-run specials. Eventually I’ll try them all. In particular, the Chicago hot dog looked great.

THE DIP
58 St Marks Pl A
New York, NY 10003

Shari’s Cafe & Pies

This roadside stop in Red Bluff is like an improved mom and pop style Denny’s. We stopped in mainly to try the pies, but we couldn’t resist trying some of the savory items too.

First, the marble rye patty melt:

This was nice, and I liked the idea of it, but after coming off of the perfect patty melt at Pinecrest Diner in SF, we were underwhelmed.

Philly Style Prime Rib Dip

This was okay. Nothing to go nuts over, and a bit light on the meat. The fries and tots were good though.

Now on to the pies.

The butterscotch pie was probably the most well liked at the table. Really great texture and flavor.

I wanted more from the s’mores crunch pie, but ultimately I would house these, slice after slice, with ease.

The strawberry and rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream was perfection. I usually don’t love fruit pies but this one was fucking fantastic.

Definitely stop here if you’re driving by. Stick with the pies!

SHARI’S CAFE & PIES
128 Bell Mill Road
Red Bluff, CA 96080

Mr. Beef

My wife and I hit this joint on the way home from a speakeasy next door called The Drifter. I couldn’t resist with a name like Mr. Beef.

With a no-frills interior and a simple flat top griddle in back, this was a no brainer joint that I had to try.

We took a sandwich to go, with the dip sauce on the side.

Not too bad, but I would have liked a better giardiniera with more than just celery. The spicy peppers were nice though.

Meat quality wasn’t as good as Portillo’s, but it’ll do the job if you’re in a bind.

MR. BEEF
666 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60654

Portillo’s

Portillo’s is a Chicago mainstay, so it was only natural that it was our very first stop on a trip to Chicago last weekend.

We ordered two Chicago classics, the Chicago style hot dog (poppy seed bun, sport pepper, yellow mustard, relish, pickle, etc), and the Italian beef sandwich (shaved beef with giardiniera).

The dog was pretty much perfect. I would have liked more sport peppers, but hey. No complaints otherwise.

This was my first time having a proper Chicago Italian beef sandwich, and I was blown away. The dip into Italian herb infused gravy is the perfect way to finish this sandwich, and the spicy giardiniera is the perfect way to get pickled flavors into it. I added some shredded mozzarella for good measure. This is different from a Philly cheesesteak for sure, but I like it much better. It’s more about the beef!

We also tried the chocolate cake shake and the frozen custard, both of which were great desserts.

PORTILLO’S
100 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654

Warren 77

This joint puts up some solid pub food. I came in with a group of food bloggers to help them promote their Stanley Cup game night specials (the joint is owned by an ex-NY Ranger). Anyway, here’s what we had:

Wings

These are breaded and served lollipop style. I liked them, despite generally having less of a preference for breaded wings.

Nachos

Stacked high with tons of toppings. Really good.

Boneless Chicken Wings

For the vagina in your group who doesn’t want any bones. Still good though – and also breaded.

Fried Pickles

A little too salty for me, but I liked the texture and sauce.

Philly Cheesesteak

I loved that this was on a hot dog potato bun. They said they usually serve it on different bread but ran out. I say stick with the hot dog bun. It was great. Low budget and tasty.

Double Cheeseburger

This was nice and basic too, but well executed. For $11 this is a great deal (fries were $3 extra, shoestring style, and  very nicely cooked). Their “77 Sauce” is like a Big Mac sauce. Dig it.

WARREN 77
77 Warren St
New York, NY 10007

Pat’s v. Geno’s

The classic Pat’s / Geno’s rivalry has been done to death, so I’m not going to write a treatise here. I’m gonna tell you how it is plainly: Both are highly overrated, but they’re worth hitting at least once just to do it.

My wife and I tried one sandwich from each place, the same exact way: cheesesteak with wiz. No onions, no mushrooms, no other cheeses. Why? I wanted to test the meats out. $10 each.

PAT’S

Pat’s gives you more meat and more cheese on a superior bread.

However, that meat is riddled with chewy wads of fat. I’m a champion of rib eye fat, but this was no bueno. We spit pieces out several times throughout the process of eating our respective halves. Also, the quality of the meat seemed a bit shitty. You can just taste it. I think they also cook too much at once, because it had a steamed, rubbery texture as opposed to a nice griddled crisp.

GENO’S

Geno’s has the better ambiance, if such a thing can even be assessed.

Geno’s also had better meat quality, although that quality was still sub par on the whole. On the other hand, Geno’s didn’t give enough cheese on the sandwich. Lame.

So each had a benefit and each had a negative, but both were overrated. I think these places suffer from too much business. They make so much quantity so far ahead of time to deal with crowds, that they lose quality in the process.

In the quest for cheesesteaks, I suggest hitting Shorty’s or Wogies here in NYC. They’re better than these two joints by far. A buddy who grew up outside of Philly tells me that the better cheesesteaks are found in local pizza shops anyway down there, and that Shorty’s and 99 Miles to Philly are apparently pretty close to the real thing here in NYC.

PAT’S
1237 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

GENO’S
1219 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Ando Delivery Service

Ando’s Community Manager reached out and offered me some credit on David Chang’s new food delivery service app in order to gain feedback about a few menu items. I’d tried a few things that my wife brought home, but that was a few months back and I’d only tried them after the food sat for a few hours in the fridge between lunch and dinner time.

The way Ando works is that between 11:00am and 2:00pm you can order up some great fried chicken and various sandwiches for delivery in midtown. But the trick is that you have to order early, because sometimes they’re completely sold out by 11:30!

I was working with a $25 credit. Me and a buddy at work split an order of fried chicken and a Philly cheese (which they call a “NYC Cheesesteak”). We ordered at 11:00am on the dot, to avoid any sold out items. The food arrived to our office, literally, in eight minutes. They threw in a free cookie from Milk Bar too, as you can see.

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When we first read the description of the fried chicken box on the app, “thigh and leg,” we thought it wasn’t going to be enough food for us. And at $12 for two pieces of chicken it seemed a bit pricey. But the pieces of chicken were big and filling.

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The battered skin is absolutely delicious on these babies. It’s got a little spice to it, but not too much. It’s super crispy and stays crisp even if it’s in the box for a while, or refrigerated for a few hours. The meat underneath is extremely tender and juicy. This is one of my favorite fried chicken boxes in the city, and it’s much better than the stuff Chang serves at Ma Peche, in my opinion.

The chicken also comes with coleslaw as well. This brightly colored slaw was nice and sweet, with just a touch of savory. It wasn’t too watery either, which was nice because I dislike watery slaw. While I’m generally not a huge coleslaw guy, this version was pretty good.

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As for the cheesesteak, at $12 we both felt like it was a little expensive, especially considering that there were a few gristled bits of fat that I had to pull out of my mouth. The flavors, however, were great. The cheese is evenly melted throughout the sandwich, the bread isn’t greased up or destroyed from too much juice, and the onions are nicely cooked. It’s just a bit small and expensive, but then again this is David Chang’s food, so that is what justifies the price. Keep in mind, this is only $1 more than a Shorty’s cheesesteak, which is one of my favorite in the city.

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Overall the food is very good; even the cookie was soft and delicious. Our food came to $24, and with tax and tip we were at about $30. We were full and satisfied for about $4 or $5 after the press review credit was applied. I definitely recommend this service. The chicken is pretty great, and has a unique flavor with a wonderful crisp.

ANDO
Food Delivery App
Available on iTunes

Wogies

Wogies is known around town as having some great Philly cheesesteaks. I had been to the one in the west village once before. When I was downtown to meet a friend at a bar, I noticed a new Wogies location down by Rector Street on Trinity. I gave it a shot on my way home.

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I tried a chicken and regular Philly cheesesteak, both with wiz, American and onions.

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Pretty tasty. Only down side is that the cheese was not evenly distributed throughout the meat. It was mostly packed into the back of the sandwich, where the top and bottom sandwich bread meet, at the crease.

This other one I tried from the west village location was a cheeseburger hero. Pretty good, though heavy on the lettuce:

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WOGIE’S
39 Greenwich Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Shorty’s

Shorty’s is a Philly cheesesteak joint on 9th Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. They’ve actually got three other locations, but this is their flagship spot. I’d been in here once before and had a pretty damn good chicken cheesesteak. But this time I ordered a regular cheesesteak with American AND wiz, because I’m an animal, and onions, of course.

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That shit was so ooey and gooey that it would make Peter North drop his jaw in awe. I asked my buddy, who is familiar with genuine Philly cheesesteaks, if this compares to the famous Pat’s and Geno’s. His response was that this is pretty good, and that they do a very close job to the authentic style found in Philly.

We also tried regular and Italian flavored (parmesan and herbs) fries. Both were really good but if I had to choose a favorite I would say the Italian style was a little better. The cheese makes it pop.

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Anyway, if beer is your thing, the place has a great happy hour special. Every bottle, can or draft is $4 until 7pm during the week. That’s pretty great, so get on it.

SHORTY’S
576 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

1 2 3 Burger Shot Beer

I’ve walked by this joint on many occasions. Today I finally had the time to go in and see what it’s all about.

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The name comes from the daily specials offered: $1 burgers (sliders), $2 shots and $3 beers – ANY beer on tap, other than the ciders. Not fuckin’ bad!

The joint is set up like a college style sports bar. Lots of TVs throughout, with seating at the bar and along the opposite wall.

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They even have some drinking games like the wheel of death pictured below, along with beer pong, and there is an outside drinking area in the back as well.

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So I came with a coworker and we noticed outside that if you bring a friend you can get their daily lunch special in a two-for-one deal. The daily lunch special is three sliders, fries, and a beer for $7. Normally that will cost you $10 if you order the items separately, on their own. With the “bring a friend” special we got six sliders, two beers and two fries for $7. AWESOME!

The beers are probably only 10oz, but they don’t restrict you on the draft options, which is nice. I got a Hoegaarden and my buddy got a Rebel IPA.

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The sliders are nice and tasty. They come topped with American cheese and grilled onions, nicely jammed between a mini potato bun. Deeeeelicious. I can easily put away a dozen without even blinking.

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The fries needed salt. They were decent, but seasoned with a salt substitute sort of thing. Perhaps paprika and some other herbs. The portion size is a bit small if you were ordering separately at the full $4 price tag.

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Since I’m a fat fuck, I also needed to try some other items. First was this Philly cheese steak. It comes with finely sliced steak, ooey-gooey cheese and onions on a hot dog style bun for $5. I ate the fuck out of this thing. It was way tastier than the sliders, for sure. But maybe you can get a better one at a larger size for just a few bucks more down at Shorty’s, nearby on 9th Avenue in the 40s.

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Wednesday is double wing day. When you order wings, they double it for free. I recommend that Wednesday is the ONLY day to try the wings here, as they are small (which I actually like, but most people do not) and don’t come with many per order (four or five), at a price tag of $7. Since we came on a Wednesday, our order was $7 for nine or ten wings. They’re breaded and fried crisp before they are tossed in the Hell’s Kitchen wing sauce, which is a standard mild to medium spice level. If you get these on a non-Wednesday, you’ll probably feel like you got ripped off.

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Overall this is a great place to grab some grub and suds, especially on a nice day, since the place has an open and airy feel. Go with a friend during lunch to get the most bang for your buck. That two-for-one special on the $7 lunch deal is amazing. Just add some more sliders to the order to get a real filling meal out of it.

1 2 3 BURGER SHOT BEER
738 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019