The Maestro at Eatsie Boys Cafe
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
I am beginning to think the law of diminishing utility does not apply to cheesesteaks. Less than 24 hours after my very good experience with the Big Kahuna from Jersey Mike's Subs I was already craving another cheesesteak. A positive comment from an EOW reader regarding the cheesesteak at Eatsie Boys Cafe made me game to try their version.
Scanning the regular menu I didn't see any item openly classified as a cheesesteak. Perhaps, I thought, it's a more subtle iteration. The"New Maestro," a sandwich with roast beef, melted cheddar, grilled onions, red peppers, was sort of like a cheesesteak. Was this the Eatsie Boys' stylized riff on the classic?
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I was already pretty confident in my order, but it's nice to have a sign validate my choice.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
"We have a cheesesteak, but it's usually only offered on Fridays," replied the friendly server to my query.
Oh well. The New Maestro still looked pretty damn appetizing and I guessed (correctly) its components would appease my craving for beef and melted dairy. Let's be clear this is not a cheesesteak nor do the Eatsie Boys intend to pawn it off as one.
And why would they? It's a wonderfully designed sandwich that deserves its own identity. Layers of warm lean roast beef are topped with a thick slice of cheddar then absolutely smothered in the most delicious, delightfully piquant horseradish aioli. Somewhere underneath is a pile of soft buttery onions and peppers that add their own dimensions of sweet and spice plus a few errant potato chips for some crunch and salt. Oh, and if you're dubious of whole-wheat challah (as I was), don't be--it's heartier but just as eggtastic.
In her review of the Cafe, Alison Cook remarked on the variable quality among sandwiches, noting:
There you have the two poles of the Eatsie Boys Cafe. I'm never quite sure whether I'll encounter some magnificent brute of a sandwich like the rare-roast-beef Maestro, piled high with caramelized onions, cheddar and jumpy horseradish aioli, with a manic crackle of crushed potato chips on top. Or whether instead I will pick mournfully at a fried-shrimp banh mi that sounded so promising with its pickled vegetable garnishes, only to crater under the influence of shellfish breaded and fried to a hard, overcooked fare-thee-well.
I haven't tried the shrimp banh mi and don't plan to. If the New Maestro is a pole, then consider me a stripper and I'm gonna swing on that for a while.
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