$100 Philly Cheesesteak
When I lived near New Haven CT, and would go to a social gathering, an inevitable age-old conversation would come up: “Whose pizza do like better Pepe’s or Sally’s?” When I moved to Boston, the same conversation was, “Whose cannoli you like better? Mike’s or Modern’s?” Now that I have moved to Philadelphia, and the conversation here is, “Whose cheesestake do you like better? Pat’s or Geno’s?”
Not too long ago, a local up-scale restaurant had a brilliant marketing idea and created an indelible and fascinating new add-on for the local conversation: “Have you heard about the $100 cheesesteak at Barclay Prime restaurant?”
My fiancée loves these conversations about local food lore, and when she first heard about this intriguing food oddity, it captured her attention, and she has been taking about it ever since. When her friends at school noticed this admirable and persistent fascination of hers, they decided to buy a gift certificate for her to experience this strange and exotic culinary mystery.
So, Friday night we went and she had it. It was a brioche roll filled with shaved Kobe beef, lobster, and garnished with shaved truffles and melted Taleggio cheese and accompanied by a half bottle of Champagne.
I don’t eat meat, but from what I hear the combination made for an over-the-top, rich, decadent, incongruous, epicurean Frankenstein that was less than the sum of the parts. Fortunately, the cheese steak was just one part of a larger experience.