Thursday, June 16, 2011

Philadelphia Cheesesteak - part deux

Ok, Eddie's Famous Cheesesteak and Grille is not about Philadelphia Cheesesteak.  I believe Ed Sutter, proprietor of Eddie's, would like you to know this.
So there's this guy named Eddie, see?  And he wanted to start a cheesesteak restaurant and immediately be world famous, right?  So what did he do?  He posted a lot of information out on the internet, on facebook, on YouTube and in the local papers, saying how "Eddie's Famous Cheesesteak and Grille" was coming to Merriman Valley in Akron, and it was opening May 24.  No wait, May 26.  Well it will definitely open on June 7.  Ok, missed that date, but look for the grand opening...well, in Eddie's defense he began to post on Facebook that he would open "soon".  Just 7 days ago, the front of Eddie's looked like the picture above.  But, before long, "soon" became YESTERDAY!  And today, on his second day in the cheesesteak business, I visited his FAMOUS Cheesesteak and Grille facility in the Valley. 

When you first walk into Eddie's, you face their grill and menu board.  It borrows a little from Chipotle and a little from the Diners that dot the northeast of the United States.  There are three friendly guys working the grill, chopping and grilling and smiling away.  "Welcome to Eddie's, what can we make for you?"  There are three friendly young ladies working the fries and checkout.  Everyone is smiling and the air is electric with nerves and good vibes.  The smell of roast beef and onions is heavenly.  And then Eddie bursts through the doors from the kitchen.  "How are you?", he asks.  "Welcome to Eddie's."  All in a double-time pace, he's one fast-moving bundle of frenetic energy, talking to the girls, checking on the grillers, over-seeing the customers at his tables. 

So what do we do at Eddie's Famous Cheesesteak and Grille?  We order the Gotcha - Eddie's Cheesesteak with a kick, and the Gyro. 
The Gyro was a two-fisted, fully-evolved gyro, bursting with lamb, greek yogurt, special spices, grilled onions and cool lettuce.  Two hands could barely contain the sandwich.  At times it was a little gruesome to watch my lunch date try to eat.  The smile on his face after each mouthful made it a little easier.
The Gotcha (This is only half-size. The full-size Gotcha sandwich is one pound of 100% grain-fed Midwest cow, sliced, chopped and grilled to perfection.  Same for their full size Cheesesteak Sandwich.) is their Cheesesteak Sandwich, kicked up a little notch.  They added jalapenos and banana peppers to the succulent roast beef, grilled onions, provolone and mozzarella, then served it up on the softest, whitest sandwich bun I've eaten in a long time.  There was just enough juice to keep the meat moist, but not enough to sog out the bottom of the bun.  Eddie knows Cheesesteak!  For a little extra kick, I added steak sauce and curry ketchup from his condiment bar.  The Gotcha was great - just look at all those onions and peppers making friends with the bun and the cheesesteak.  It's a party in that aluminum foil, about to meet up with your mouth! 

In between bites of sandwich, I tried the fresh-cut boardwalk fries.  In this batch, about 80% of them were hot and perfect.  The other 20% tasted lukewarm and either too crunchy or too soggy, as though they had been left behind under the heat lamp to stay warm while the better fries left with happy customers.  This is only a short-term problem.  As they develop a regular clientele, they'll be able to manage their production better.  The really good fries were a clear indication that they know what they're doing, it will just take a little time to work out some kinks.  These Fries will taste great with vinegar or any of Eddie's special fries condiments:  ketchup, curry ketchup, kicked-up ketchup or steak sauce.

Long story short, on their second day open, Eddie's got a few issues to resolve.  Today, they could only accept cash because the credit card companies hadn't completed whatever it is they have to complete.  The front door sticks a little on the tile.  The bar (yes, they will be serving beer, maybe other adult libations) is about 90% of the way finished, and the staff is still a little unsure.  But these are all manageable problems that will most likely be resolved before the end of the week.  The most important thing anyone wants to know about a new restaurant is - Is it good?  Today's answer is a resounding yes it is.  Eddie and his team can put together some delicious sandwiches.  They also serve fresh salads. 

So let's give this guy Eddie some credit.  Before he even opened his doors, he called his cheesesteaks FAMOUS (not in small letters, in BIG, BOLD CAPITAL letters).  And then he's late opening for his grand opening.  Eddie S from Munroe Falls, Ohio - you've got chutzpah!  It's why I went to Eddie's three times, before finally, on the 4th try, they were open.  A few bumps and rough spots in the service, but nothing that time and experience can't fix. Go for the Cheesesteaks Baby, and keep going back! Good food and good service keep people coming back.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Eddie reads this and gives you a free whatever-you-want-from-the-menu thank you ;-)