Aaron Proctor may have left St. Louis, but the quest he inspired continues.
A commenter on a previous post suggested Jersey Mike's Subs (8567 Watson Road) in Webster Groves. This is the only St. Louis -- or Missouri, for that matter -- outpost of a New Jersey-based chain. According to its official Web site, Jersey Mike's started in 1956 as a single sandwich shop on the Jersey Shore.
I had "Jersey Mike's Famous Philly." You can order this with beef or chicken. Since we're on a purist's quest, I didn't have a choice. (Not that I would have selected chicken, anyway.) Now that Cheesesteak Quest is nearly two months old and I've seen the damage it's caused to my waistline, I opted for the regular size, which costs $5.95. (The giant size costs $3 more.) The cook grilled it on a flattop behind the main sandwich assembly line.
The roll was on the soft side and unremarkable. The meat, sliced appropriately thin, was tasty, but I wished there had been more. The cheese -- Provolone, I believe, though it wouldn't surprise me to discover a little American was mixed in there -- had melted to just the right consistency and had a nice tang.
The "Famous Philly" comes with both onions and bell peppers, and I think these accounted for the definite note of sweetness the sandwich had. With more meat, I think this sweetness would have been an excellent accent; as it was, I got tired of it.
Still, not a bad cheesesteak at all. On the 0-to-5 scale, I rate it
In case you're wondering, these are the standings right now:
1. Penn Station 2. Natural Fact Deli* 3. Jersey Mike's 4. Lenny's
(* - More a steak-and-cheese sandwich than a cheesesteak, but awesome.)
The quest continues.