Saturday, January 7, 2012

Generous portions at The American CheeseSteak Company

The American CheeseSteak Co. on Urbanspoon
I was out and about with the Food Bloggers today with Food Persuasion and Posh Pudding on our way to Loving Hut Express, we passed by The American CheeseSteak Co. on Davie.

If you've never been there, it's a pretty small space with a very open kitchen. From the street and in front of the counter you can watch the cooks prep your food on a griddle. It's a great selling point and what you see is what you get, so there's no surprise when you get your order.

The prices here are very good for the portion you get: Basically $8-10 for a 6" sub, +$2 to supersize it to a 9" sub. You get so much filling that some of it is guaranteed to fall out of the sub. The subs come in a basket. Curiously, there are service stations with steak knives. To me, this doesn't really add up since you don't automatically get a plate even if you wanted to knife-and-fork your sub.

Their fries are double-fried, but even before any frying, they go into water with vinegar, which breaks down the starch and makes holes in the potato so that when they are fried the oil can penetrate the fry. The end result is said to be a crispier fry. Strangely enough, although the fries were really decent -- not oily at all -- they weren't particularly crispy on the outside. At least not in the way that some fries are crunchy crispy on the outside.
To try it yourself, you can read some research here or try Emeril Lagasse's "perfect French Fries", which uses a soaking-then-double-fried method as well.

At The American Cheesesteak Co. we tried The Cowboy and The Good Earth.

The Cowboy ($10 / $12; shaved prime rib, crispy fried onions, homemade spicy bbq sauce, bacon mayo and aged white cheddar) could have been great, but I thought the ingredients were just too separate. There's a lot of meat here, so there's no complaining about the price. However, it felt like everything was too layered: Meat at the bottom, onions folded in nearer the top, and then all the sauces and cheese sitting on top of all that.
There's a good amount of sauce, but it was all on top. Combine this with a really thick sub that you probably have to tackle by biting one end on top then on the bottom and you get one mouthful of some meat and all the good stuff on top; and one mouthful of just bread and meat. Fortunately, the meat itself is tender and moist, so that's not so bad and it's not like you're struggling with it so much even without any flavouring from sauce. All the sauce on top, though, meant that you got a salty mouthful there. If at least the BBQ sauce could be more mixed with the meat there would be a less night-and-day experience to eating the sub.
The BBQ sauce was also quite sweet and not much spicy kick to it. And overall, the sub gave a heavy feeling after eating it, possibly from the generous amount of meat to begin with.

The Good Earth ($9 / $11; sautéed portobello and forest mushrooms, roasted red peppers, sautéed onions, crumbled feta and pesto mayo) is a sub that I think seriously needs to be re-engineered. There is a decent amount of mushrooms, but they gave out a lot of liquid even after being prepped on the griddle. Then the whole thing was blanketed in a heck of a lot of feta. The taste was boring and more or less dominated by the mushrooms. The pesto mayo was somewhere in there but didn't have enough of a presence to provide any kick.

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