We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!
Is this really the country's best cheesesteak? According to Restaurant-Hospitality.com, the answer is yes. They named the Tex-Mex Cheesesteak at Antone's (2424 W. T.C. Jester and 4520 San Felipe) the country's best in that category. That will no doubt rile a few folks in Philadelphia, but what else is new?
I figured, given our love of sandwiches around here, this "best in the country" sandwich deserved a try and, I'll be honest, it was not a disappointment.
One of the first sandwiches in this long running list of Houston's best was the classic Original Italian po' boy. It may be the most singularly recognized Houston sandwich that exists. I've also eaten the fine cheesesteaks at Papa Genos, in this particular case going for the Chicken Philly.
But what of this sandwich mash up? The key to the whole thing is execution. It's just a well made sandwich with all the flavors you would expect from a sub with that name.
We all know and love the Royal Bakery sub rolls. I would love to have them shipped to my house weekly if I'm being totally honest. But I wondered how they would hold up under the weight of something with the potential to be a big hot mess. It stood up to the gooey interior like a champ, remaining slightly crispy on the exterior and soft inside.
What made the sandwich were all those familiar ingredients cooked to perfection. The marinated and grilled sirloin was sliced thin and left perfectly tender. Grilled onions and a medley of peppers — some spicier than others — provided much of the heat and texture while the chipotle mayo and pepper jack cheese melded everything together.
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This is a pretty spicy sub. It's that back-of-your-throat heat that hits you a few seconds after you've taken a bite but doesn't stay with you. It's exactly the spice level I appreciate: enough to make you feel it, but not so much that it overpowers the other flavors.
It is a mess of a sandwich with juice from the meat, cheese and mayo oozing out of every nook and cranny. Unlike the other po' boys at Antone's, this comes in a box rather than wrapped in wax paper. But damnit, that is as it should be. Just grab some napkins and you'll be fine.
Honestly, I don't know if this is the best cheesesteak in the country. I haven't had enough of them to be the judge. At the very least, it's got to be the most interesting. And it is a hell of an homage to one of the great classic subs done Houston style and that alone is worth giving it a try.
If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.