Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jake's Sandwich Board Review

After giving the GF's brother and cousin a cold, blistering tour of Philadelphia's historical sites, we had to stop for a cheese steak. Would we go to Jim's? Pat's? Geno's? No thanks. I knew if there was any place that could redeem Philadelphia by providing a decent Philly's Best type cheese steak - it would be Jake's Sandwich Board.

When you enter - be prepared for the gauntlet of different types of sandwiches. Jake's doesn't pigeon-hole itself as a cheese steak only type of joint - in fact the 50/50 (half bacon, half pork) is one of the monster creations that this place houses. While the three of us all got cheese steaks, we were drooling over the other options as well. To make up for our lack of sandwich diversity, we ordered fries, potato pancakes, and chocolate-covered bacon as well.

Jake ($8.50)
Fried onions, provolone cheese

Jake's cheese steak is a solid iteration of Philadelphia's iconic sandwich, but alas - it is still no Philly's Best. The meat is plentiful however, which is appreciated. I prefer grilled onions that aren't diced up. The sesame seeded hoagie roll does add an unexpected toasty element, but apparently you can order them unseeded as well if that's your pleasure. Overall though, the sandwich was a bit dry. Jake's does carry Siracha hot sauce table-side though if you need that extra kick.

French Fries ($1.50)

Jake's fries were nicely fried and crisp - perfectly done. The innards were deliciously creamy. A bonus? They were not overly salted! It's also sold at a great price point as well for what I considered a healthy amount of fries.

Potato Pancakes ($4)

While the fries were great - the clear star of this show were the potato pancakes. As you can see - they were seasoned very well - some chives even? In any case - they were amazing!!! These potato pancakes were actually flattened, mini hash browns - I was thinking that they would be like latkes. I'm glad I was wrong. I would seriously come back just for these bad boys. True story: I talked these potato pancakes up the rest of the day - I must have brought them up at least five times. They came with a spicy chipotle mayo-type sauce that was a simply perfect complement to these perfectly fried potatoes.

Chocolate-covered bacon ($2)

At first I thought they had mistakingly left out this part of our order. Apparently though, these are made ahead of time and are put in the fridge/freezer. When we were done with our meal, we received these nicely wrapped packages. Which opened up to reveal these ...

Two thick-cut slabs of bacon - covered in chocolate. This 'treat' was more unique than tasty. In fact, only the GF's cousin finished these. In my estimation, the bacon was too chewy - I was hoping and expecting more of a crisp crunch. I definitely got the whole salty-sweet dessert thing (which I love), however texturally, this was not a hit. It's not a good thing when you need to unclench your jaw after trying to eat this dessert.

Cherry Soda ($1.50)

They have a variety of sodas here - including unique ones such as cherry. Bonus? They offer free refills! The cherry soda was definitely a hit.

And if you haven't heard about the Jake's Sandwich Board challenge on the Food Network, you may want to check it out yourself!

If you can down 3 pounds of sandwich, an entire box of Tasty Cakes, 4 Philly soft pretzels, 24 peanut chews, and a cherry champ soda in under 45 minutes - you can earn your place on the wall.In fact, if you fail - you still earn a spot on the wall - as a failure!

Last tidbit - apparently you can order all the sandwiches in a bowl without the bread, in a salad, or on a haystack of fries. Genius. 

Overall, Jake's hits the spot on so many levels (did I mention the potato pancakes?). While the cheese steak still isn't the best I've ever had, it gets the job done for the most part. I can't wait to come back for the Mensch, which contains slow-roasted brisket. And yes - for some more potato pancakes!

Jake's Sandwich Board on Urbanspoon

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