So what were you doing on July 14th, 2010? Well, I'm not sure of a lot of things, but I do know I was typing up my first "say cheese" Cheesesteak Round-up, comparison post. Man 3/1/2 years. Recently, I reader asked me why I hadn't done one in a while, the last one being almost exactly two years ago. You know, I'm not quite sure, but as I mentioned before, just the thought of a cheesesteak can send me off into a frenzy of Amaroso bunned binging......
A couple of things, I like mine "wit", onions that is, and wit-out "wiz", which was introduced to the sandwich sometime in the 1950's. And unlike that "owner" who didn't care for my opinion of his mediocre sandwich, claiming he knew what a cheesesteak was all about because he read about Pat And Geno's on the internet; I have actually been to Pat's and Geno's, which wasn't nearly as good as the cheesesteak I had from a shop in the Reading Terminal Market called Rick's Original Philly Steaks, which has been closed for a number of years. I did read that he's opened shop in Kennett Square.
Of course all that time means some changes; Olde City Grille has closed, Gaglione Brothers opened their second location, and for some reason the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Company keeps rolling along. One place did drop off the map and had me wondering "whatever happened to......"
Alex's Brown Bag at Latitiude 32:
When I worked in the Hillcrest area, we used to order from Alex's all the time...until it seemed that there was some degradation in their sandwiches which were coming up dry and tough. During that last visit in 2010, it just didn't seem like the same cheesesteak I had been eating over the years.
A couple of years ago, Alex's pulled up stakes and moved to PB. After my cheesesteak trigger had been pulled, Alex's came to mind so I decided to find out exactly where they were located.....which turned out to be inside the pub called Latitude 32. Cheesesteak in a Pub? Shades of Monkey Paw.
The drill here is, you can peruse the menu at the bar, but have to go to the back of the pub to place and pay for your order near the kitchen.
The guys here were very friendly; I recalled the folks when I visited 5th avenue were on the surly side. I got a 12" with provolone, which was probably more sandwich than I should have ordered.
This was a nice sandwich ($8.96), much better than the last one I had from Alex's. The Amoroso roll was nice and warm, with that mild, almost imperceptible crustiness to it, along with the gritty cornmeal. The beef was a bit more chewy than I recalled, but the sandwich was nice and moist with a milky edge brought on by the cheese. This was nicely seasoned, edging on almost garlic-salty, but was nice as most 'steaks are on the milder side.
This was better than I remembered, I'm sure to be back soon.
Alex's Brown Bag (Inside Latitude 32 Pub)
5019 Cass St
San Diego, CA
So I see a sign announcing "Best Cheesesteak in San Diego" in the same stripmall as Pho Little Saigon. A couple of days later I return to find the shop behind the sign, which turns out to be a little shop called Jin's Grill.
I was told that the beef for the cheesesteak was angus, which I thought was nice since the sandwich was south of $7, though I did add mushroom for about a buck more.
The sandwich did look nice....especially the strings of cheese stretching across the wrapper.
The was a plus/minus sandwich. The roll was cold and really detracted from the sandwich. This wasn't highly seasoned, which meant I could really make out the beefy flavor. It wasn't as oily as other versions, but then again, this meant that it was also a bit too dry and lacking in that oozy-richness that makes cheesesteaks so good.
Sort of a tweener, but well priced.
3445 Midway Dr
San Diego, CA 92110
Mon - Sat 1030am - 9pm
Sunday 11am - 8pm