Tuesday, 21 February 2012
A solid day in Austin,TX was all I had. I checked out of my hotel room at the Sheraton around 12pm, left my luggae in hotel storage, and headed towards downtown for lunch. I walked around and browsed different menus. I stumbled upon Wholly Cow Burgers on Congress and 7th Street. “Local Grass-Fed Beef” called my name. I opened the door to find a line of 50 people long. The extended line might discourage some customers, but I stood my ground. Patience makes a good meal better.
I scanned the paper menu, thought deeply about my choice, but couldn’t set my heart on an entree. When the order girl reached my place in line, I asked her for guidance. She directed my attention to the “Wholly Cheesesteak Batman”, a chicken sandwich, or a burger. “Most people learn towards the cheesesteak." The description of a "Philly Cheesesteak with Thinly-sliced Grass-Fed Beef grilled with Onions & Smothered in Gooey Cheeses" lured me in.
As a Redskins fan, I naturally oppose everything Philly. I’m always searching for the best cheesesteak outside Philadelphia. I don’t dislike Philly since I have several friends from the area, but it’s always satisfying to find something that might displace Philly’s ownership of the cheesesteak. In Jersey you might discover a competitor in the summer, but that’s another story involving a place called Voltacos.
I ordered the “Wholly Cheesesteak” and answered yes when she asked me if I wanted it "filthy and trashy." When you add these two adjectives, chopped up jalapenos, onions, mushrooms, and red bell peppers join the party. Don’t fret or worry whether or not the trashy additions are sauteed, because they are far from raw.
I paid, sat down towards the front, and waited. Before it arrived I constantly wondered if “gooey” cheese description would stand true. I unfolded the white parchment paper and there it glistened.
My doubts disappeared. Every inch of the sub roll and meat were covered with cheese. The melted cheese oozed out. Cheese lived everywhere. I somehow managed to put down this beast sub but it left its cheese marks on my hands and face. Other customers peered at me with suspicion because I looked like a wild mannered child. This was the first time in a long time that I barely managed to finish a meal. I forced the last cheesy bite down. The cheese, tasty meat with the veggies and onions, plus the right amount of kick with the jalapenos fed me for the entire day. I couldn’t eat again until I was in Houston eight hours later. The Wholly Cheesesteak certainly matches up well to its Philly brother. It seems like no matter how far I travel away from Philly, their mark and inspiration follows me.
What's the best cheesesteak you've eaten outside Philly? Do you think Philly should own the title for the best cheesesteak? If not, tell me why.