The Cheese Steak Shop is one of Roseville’s newest eateries having opened just over a week ago. They are located next to Mas Mexican, by Mikuni and Century Theaters. Jersey Mike’s used to reside here and I was extremely bummed when I showed up one day to find that they were gone. Not long after I had discovered the Cheesesteak Grille on Sierra College I learned that this new shop would be opening in the summer. I’ve looked forward to it as my interest in a good cheesesteak has rapidly grown since having my first one not long ago.
From what I had read on the Roseville Patch, Reddit and other tidbits I found here and there it looked like they were striving for an authentic Philly cheesesteak experience, from the famous Amoroso rolls, imported peppers and Tasty Kakes. I believed this would be The Cheesesteak Grille’s closest competitor. I brought along my personal cheesesteak expert, Justin, last Saturday to see what he thought.
We arrived at about 1:3o in the afternoon to a very light crowd. Waiting behind the single person in line I started to look at the menu, well, try to look at the menu would be a better way to put that. They opted for 2 large LCD panels as their menus. I’m a big fan of this trend. I like the way they look, I like that they can easily be updated without McGyvering an expensive printed menu on the wall and most of all I like how dynamic they can be made (see movie theaters or mall food courts for good examples). Here however they simply displayed a static, mostly text based menu that was way too small to comfortably read from behind the counter. I ended up snagging one of the printed to-go menus to look at. (Update 3/7/13: They have moved the LCDs so that they now hang just over the counter and angled down at you and are much easier to see. In addition they also have a large printed menu on the wall and what looked like most of the menu printed and displayed on/around the counter just in front of the register.)
I hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before so I was particularly hungry. I was almost immediately drawn to The King of Philly. It’s their mid-sized (10″) cheesesteak with 50% more meat & cheese. Justin ended up ordering the same thing. I skimmed over the premium cheesesteaks for a moment but decided I wanted to stick with the classic. I’ve had a few different styles of cheesesteak including the blue cheese variant at the Cheesesteak Grille. While they can be interesting, I think I prefer the standard in most situations, so I went ahead with the King of Philly. When asked if I wanted hot and/or sweet peppers I initially asked for hot peppers, then went ahead and said to put both on. I ordered curly fries, a soda and grabbed a Tasty Kake to finish it off. I never got a chance to try them at the Cheesesteak Grille since they were sold out the few times I went there. I was a bit put off by the $2 price but was determined to see what they were all about.
After I filled my Dr Pepper up and sat down I noticed how unchanged the dining room was from the Jersey Mikes days. It seemed they had the same tables, trash bins and even napkin dispensers. Our cheesesteaks came out within about 5 minutes and they were steaming hot right off the grill. I dug into the fries, which were also very hot, while I let the cheesesteak cool down a bit. I usually like to dip curly fries in ranch. I was not offered any and didn’t think to ask for some but these were very good on their own and I tore through them very quickly. In true Justin fashion he was nearly done with his cheesesteak by the time I was just getting started on mine.
Justin’s Cheesesteak without peppers:
The Amoroso roll was pretty hefty with the extra steak and white american cheese. It was soft yet sturdy, and on the inside was soaking up the excess juices, making it extra flavorful. The steak itself was absolutely fantastic. It was savory and juicy, and there was enough in the roll that it threatened to fall out unless I payed attention and held it at just the right angle while I ate. The white american was well melted and creamy throughout the roll, save for a corner or two sticking outside. A nice amount of grilled onions added a nice little flavor and texture to the whole thing. I found the peppers to be way too strong and overpowering and by the end I had removed pretty much all of them. I wanted to taste the cheesesteak and it wasn’t happening with them on top.
Finally I moved on to the Tasty Kakes. They had several to choose from and I randomly grabbed Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes. These were little disc shaped pieces of white cake with a thin layer of sweet peanut butter on top and coated with chocolate. They were decent, a bit like a light version of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup with cake in it. Ultimately I think they are a bit overhyped and certainly not worth $2.
I happened to stop here once more today for a quick bite before running some errands and was informed that on Wednesdays, sides and desserts are half off. I figured for a buck it would’t hurt to give a different Tasty Kake a shot, so I picked up the Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes to take home for later. These ones tasted a lot more like the Hostess cupcakes which I’ve often heard they are similar to. I wasn’t really impressed by these either. $1 is a better price to try them out, but I doubt I’ll find myself ordering them again.
The Cheese Steak Shop is high on my list as far as a solid cheesesteak goes, either tied with or just slightly edging out The Cheesesteak Grille. Justin said he liked Cheesesteak Grille better saying he felt they give you a bit more cheese there but that this was still a good one. Menu visibility improvements are needed, but otherwise I’m really happy with this new shop.