Everyone knows the legendary regional classic sandwich the “Philly Cheesesteak”. A local chef, who gained celebrity status after he won Food Network Canada’s Superstar Chef Challenge and hosted his own show The Main for four seasons, had a dream to bring this classic sandwich to his hometown. Sadly, Chef Anthony Sedlak left us far too early after passing away a few months ago, but his vision and truly original creations will live on at The American Cheesesteak Co. for many years to come.
The menu at The American Cheesesteak Co. is split into traditional cheesesteaks and decadent specialties. I figured that I had to try one of each. Off the traditional menu I went for “The Philly”, and chose “The Cowboy” off the specialties menu.
“The Philly” is your standard shaved prime rib and American cheese on a daily house baked roll. It did not disappoint, the prime rib was melt-in-your-mouth tender and packed with flavor. The American cheese melted all over the top, was gooey and familiar and the roll was lightly toasted to make it crispy and warm.
“The Cowboy” is where Anthony show’s us what can be added to this classic sandwich to take it to new heights. The same juicy shaved prime rib, slathered in a spicy housemade BBQ sauce, with melted aged white cheddar, crispy fried onions and an unreal bacon mayo. The BBQ sauce is the star of this sandwich, it’s smoky and spicy and sweet, but still allows for the prime rib’s flavor to come through. The crispy onions provide the crunch, the aged white cheddar was sharp and the bacon mayo gave it something totally unique. Both sandwiches were great, “The Philly” gives you what you expect and more from a philly cheesesteak, and “The Cowboy” delivers the unexpected.
Another cool thing they do is give you the option to have any of their cheesesteak creations served as a salad on a bed of crisp mixed greens. I had “The Bifteck” in this preparation, the shaved prime rib with caramelized onion jam, double cream brie, arugula and Dijon.
I also had the ACC fries, house cut fries that are tossed with garlic, parsley and parmesan and served with a side of parmesan bacon dipping sauce. This was all topped off with a homemade chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream sandwich!
So, considering I had two different sandwiches I figured I had to have two different beers. Luckily they offer two great beers from R&B Brewing on tap, the Red Devil Pale Ale and the Bohemian Lager. I decided to pair the less complex sandwich with the more complex beer and vice versa.
That meant “The Philly” paired with the Red Devil, a traditional English style pale ale with a hoppy floral aroma and malty sweetness and “The Cowboy” with the Bohemian, which is a Euro-style pilsner modestly hopped with three types of hops to give it that North American essence.
Both pairings worked really well, the Red Devil made a great companion to the simple flavours of “The Philly”. Whereas, the Bohemian matched perfect with “The Cowboy” and all its different flavours. I decided not pair a beer with the ice cream sandwich, probably a good idea, considering they serve 22 ounce pints.
I’ll end this post with some words about The American Cheesesteak Co. right from the mouth of Chef Anthony Sedlak himself, “We want to wow people with simple flavours produced through flawless techniques, bringing to life the story behind the dishes we present at the restaurant. Trends come and go, but classics last forever.” So if you want to experience Anthony’s vision and creations then head on in for these sandwiches and these beers.
Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on AM650.
Photo Credits: Mel Yap