Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grant's Philly Cheese Steaks

Grant's Philly Cheese Steaks is located near NE 154th and Sandy Blvd. in Portland, Oregon. One of the owners in this family-run business (Tracy) had alerted me about this place many months ago, and I finally managed to get out there in early September.

This place is really a dive right along busy NE Sandy Blvd., and I initially missed the turn when trying to find it the first time. But no problems navigating back and finding parking. The inside feels dated, complete with the vintage menu letterboards. Doing a little research, prices indeed increased over the last couple of years, but that's nothing out of the ordinary.

There are five different types of cheesesteaks on the menu, each with a half ($6.25) or whole ($11) option. #1 is the original with provolone, #2 is the Philly Philly with cream cheese, #3 is the Portland version using Tillamook cheddar, #4 uses white American cheese, and #5 brings the Kraft Cheez Whiz into the picture. You can get steak, chicken, or a gluten (vegetarian?) product. Mushrooms cost a little extra ($1.25 half, $2.25 whole).

My king-sized appetite easily meant a whole torpedo-sized cheesesteak was going down the gullet. I got the whole Original cheesesteak with provolone, adding onions, sweet peppers, and hot peppers. It came wrapped in aluminum foil, then wrapped again in white butcher's paper.

Cheesesteak came with free bag of house-made potato chips!

Original with Provolone
(Grant's Philly Cheese Steaks)
Sweet peppers!

This is another reason why the Amoroso roll has been the predominant bread for cheesesteaks over the years. Even as the delicious, juicy, minced beef oozed excess juice out of the roll, the bread refused to collapse. The perfectly melted provolone literally acted as a glue, keeping all the steak attached to the bread. Try as I might, nothing freely fell out. While this spicy-loving panda probably will opt for just hot peppers next time (trust me, they wouldn't register on the spice-o-meter here anyway), the sweet peppers were still a very welcome addition to the party. While I love the Kraft Cheez Whiz option, I've become a big provolone fan lately.

I actually told myself on the drive home that I'd save half for tomorrow. But damn, this was so good, I instinctively ate it all. Another foot-long sandwich (or roughly thereof) down the hatch. My stomach wasn't even satisfied and would have demanded another whole cheesesteak on the spot. No flinching.

Alas, my wallet isn't as cooperative. While this is a phenomenal product, I'm still left wondering if I would return to the area, plop down (at least) $11 more, and get my fill. Chances are I'd need to delve into the two-cheesesteak realm to even have a legit shot at getting full. Why does my abyss of a stomach want me poor?!

Along the same lines, my abnormally large appetite would have probably wanted more meat and cheese; this cheesesteak is again more torpedo-shaped (long and rather slim). The flavors were spot-on.

Each cheesesteak at Grant's comes with a free bag of house-made salt and pepper potato chips. They looked like the kettle chips I really enjoyed growing up. Perfect crunchy chips that I could eat again and again. While it could be excess pepper for some people, that's not the case with me. After all, I remember practically emptying the pepper shaker when seasoning my fries in high school. Would you like fried potatoes with your pepper? Yes!

Might be a bunch of black pepper for some, but not me!

Perfect chips
If by some miracle you're still hungry (****Aaron waves hand in the air frantically****), they have a few sweet treats for you! Obviously, they have Tastykake (a Philly snack food brand), but I also saw that they have "It's It" ice cream sandwiches from San Francisco. Now that's a double win!

Tastykake Cupcakes!
It's-It ice cream sandwiches!
Lastly, I found out that Drew Carney (of KGW channel 8) did a segment with Grant's Philly Cheese Steaks in April! Great stuff!

No clue why it took me so long to get down there, but I'm glad I went. Grant's indeed has outstanding cheesesteaks. They also have a nice-sized burger made with ground chuck, but with four other delicious cheesesteaks to choose from (not including the chicken and gluten options), I may need a wheelbarrow and a taxi to get me back to Washington. 8.75/10

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