After having read Brad Tyer's "Philadelphia Story" [Cafe, April 4], in which the author describes his search for a Philly cheese steak, I am left with a sense of remorse for the citizens of Houston, who have been cheated out of a realistic rendering of the state of the steak in our fair city. But my feelings of sorrow for your readers pales in comparison to the degree of my amazement at what Brad calls a "search." Even though he probably worked really hard, looking up the Philly Steakery and the Philly Steakout in the phone book, and had to actually get in his car in order to find Jake's on the "side of the road," one is left with the sense that there's something missing here.
Well, fellow Houstonians, yearn no more. I'm here to set the record straight. Robbie and his crew at Jake's Philly Steaks have consistently turned out a good product, although I tend to agree with Brad about the bread. I used to eat there quite often before I opened my own place.
If Brad would have taken the easy way out and simply researched the Menu Guide edition of his own newspaper, he would have been able to satisfy his "gustatory" desires, and probably a few others. The best Philly cheese steak in Texas (including Houston) was right under his nose all the time, at Texadelphia Sandwiches & Sports on Westheimer at Greenridge (only seven blocks from Jake's). Texadelphia's founder is from the Philly area and knows how to make a cheese steak. The bread we use is actually imported from Philadelphia, and we top the sandwiches with six homemade sauces, including the infamous mustard blend. You can also make it hoagie style by adding lettuce and tomato, or you can choose from other favorite extras such as jalapenos, pepperoni or the more traditional mushrooms.
Anybody who brings in this letter and (after having tested all of the establishments listed above) can look me straight in the eye and tell me that mine isn't the best, I'll buy 'em a beer (age requirements permitting). By the way, if the Press is looking for a new food critic, you know where to find me. But don't ask Brad; he couldn't.
Texadelphia Sandwiches & Sports
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Editor's query: exactly what other desires besides his gustatory ones might Brad be able to satisfy at your establishment, assuming he harbors other ones?
I don't always agree with Peter Szatmary, but I did admire the opening paragraph of his review of David Mamet's The Cryptogram [Theater, "Puzzling Out Mamet," March 28]. The play was only 80 minutes long -- no intermission -- and was presented on the Neuhaus Stage, which meant that in order to leave during the production one had to literally step onto the stage. And not just one person walked out during the performance. I was sitting directly behind Peter opening night among what appeared to be a sophisticated audience (bold-face type socialites and a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright), but some of them sure lacked class. Even if you didn't know you were going to see David Mamet -- at least have some respect for the cast!
The Insider column for April 11 misidentified the savings and loan with which financier Charles Hurwitz was associated as University Savings. Hurwitz was associated with United Savings.