A truly rainy afternoon in Denver made yardwork impossible and a visit to a brewery and food truck likely. Although Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks is not a truck (it is a small trailered food stand), they are a regular fixture at area breweries. Saw the notification over Facebook that Pride of Philly would be down at the Copper Kettle Brewing Company, located near the intersection of Mississippi and Leetsdale in southeast Denver, and went that way immediately.
Pride of Philly offers a variety of cheesesteak options, including a thinly sliced ribeye or chicken option for the meat, with a choice of cheese (American, provolone, or whiz) and toppings which included onions, mushrooms, peppers, and cherry peppers. He was also offering a Korean style cheesesteak and a “bacon” cheesesteak which came with slices of bacon on top.
Going the classic route, sort of, I went for the ribeye meat with peppers, onions, mushrooms, cherry peppers, and Cheez Whiz. The sandwiches were ready in just about 5 minutes on a quiet night at Copper Kettle, and the service was friendly and more than efficient. Ketchup was provided upon request.
I paired this sandwich with Copper Kettle’s Mystery Man IPA which is a Belgian style Fresh Hop IPA made with local “Mystery X” fresh hops from Voss Farms in Arvada. Copper Kettle describes these hops as an unknown varietal, with strong citrus flavors. This was the best fresh hop beer I can remember tasting, ever. Delicious. Not that this is a beer blog (there are a number of good ones around in Denver), but you should avail yourself of this fine fresh hop ale before it’s out of season.
About the food. The cheesesteak was served on a fresh roll that was about 7 inches long. This is shorter than a lot of cheesesteaks you’d find, but I actually liked that because it meant I wasn’t about to explode from eating a bunch of red meat, bread, and cheese. Pride of Philly’s ribeye steak was excellent. Sometimes with cheesesteaks, you can get meat that is not up to par and tastes like cheaper cuts. This was delectable meat – good flavor and texture.
Upon the confirmation/recommendation of the purveyor, I went with the Cheez Whiz which is the obvious best choice for authentic cheesesteakery. Diced up with the meat were the mushrooms, peppers, cherry peppers, and onions. The level of dicing was pretty impressive, and these ingredients were mixed in with the meat in a “chopped salad” style – every bite had every flavor. The Whiz was distributed throughout and coated everything in this thing. My only regret with my selection of cheesesteak additions was that I didn’t ask for jalapenos.
At a mere $6, this is an outstanding value for what amounts to a custom quality steak sandwich made into a cheesesteak format. I do not think it was super authentic based on what I’ve had in Philly (everything I’ve had in Philly always has more dry meat, less even distribution of cheese, and the type of bread differs). But, I think this is a welcome improvement or variation on the classic. As noted above, each bite was flavorful and I didn’t get one of those bites of just bread and plain meat. This looks messy in my pictures, but it was surprising easily eaten without a fuss. With a bit of care, even with the Whiz, you can nearly avoid dripping a mess all over the place. I actually liked that this wasn’t served on trays or on plates or anything, but just on a sheet of serving paper. Saves on trash generated, cuts costs, and was unnecessary in this particular setting. If I had to eat this standing up, I might have wanted a tray. Fortunately for my T-shirt and overall cleanliness, I didn’t have to attempt this.
Ahh, dang. I am getting hungry just writing this thing.