1:15PM | 1/22/2022
This is one of those businesses where I can’t quite figure out what they want to call themselves. The sign on the building is “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks, Salads & Subs”. Google Maps shows “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Salads”, and their website shows “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Subs”. See Kelli’s Cookies for another example of this naming madness. Anyway, I stopped here yesterday for lunch. This is located in the blue-roofed shopping center on Douglas across from Target/Raley’s.
Bruchi’s is a smallish chain almost exclusive to Washington. This and the location in Sacramento seem to be about as far south as they have come so far. A location in Boise is the only other one I see outside of WA.
I came into this one with somewhat lowered expectations. I recall when it first opened years ago I stopped by to see how their cheesesteak stacked up against The Cheese Steak Shop and Cheesesteak Grille. All I know is that it wasn’t memorable enough to come back since.
Out front they’ve put in some artificial turf with a couple tables to sit at. I thought it was a nice little touch. Inside is a medium-to-large dining room, with maybe 1 or 2 tables too many in the main section, leaving it looking slightly cramped. The light fixtures were a bit dusty but otherwise the place felt clean and well kept.
The menu is split up into 5 sections: Cheesesteaks, Salads, Subs, Burgers, Sides/Drinks. I wanted to give their cheesesteak one more try. I decided to check out the 7″ Peppersteak (Lean steak grilled with jalapenos, peperoncini’s, melted white American cheese, mayo & spices)[$7.95]. I made it a combo with fries and a drink for $4.50 extra. I was handed a cup, which I filled at the Coke machine and then grabbed a seat. My food was brought out in just under 10 minutes.
My first impression of the tray of food was “oh no, crinkle fries, the worst kind of fry”. My coworkers and I have had a number of conversations lately about how we all hate this kind of fry and how they are usually incredibly bland. I was therefore thoroughly delighted when these turned out to be pretty damn good! They were cooked great and had just the right amount of crunch and a soft center. They were generously seasoned with salt. I admit that I got up immediately to get ketchup when I saw that they were crinkles, thinking this would be the only way to enjoy them. First off, they were perfectly good on their own. Second, had I not gone for ketchup I wouldn’t have found a condiment next to the ketchup called “fry sauce”, which was very tasty and took them to the next level. I’m guessing based on the color and flavor that it is a ketchup/mayo blend of some kind. The fries were great with both or no sauces.
On to the Peppersteak. Upon first unwrapping this it kind of settled on the tray totally split open, making it look deceptively light on fillings. Once I had it in my hands though it felt decently substantial. My main takeaway with this is the type of jalapenos they use, which are the kind that come packed in a brine and are incredibly potent with that spicy and almost sweet flavor and aroma. I’ve never been much of a fan of these. Give me fresh sliced and grilled/roasted jalapeno any day over this. However, once again, I was kind of won over on these. They jived really well with the pepperoncini’s. The steak itself was average to above average. It provided enough of the savory balance needed against the peppers and the creaminess from the white American cheese and mayo. I will note that this felt light on cheese, and that I love the balance achieved at The Cheese Steak Shoppe.
While Bruchi’s didn’t blow my socks off it didn’t really disappoint either. I left full & satisfied and it felt like a pretty good value to top it off. The service I encountered was minimal but polite and professional. I think it’s worth a return. If ordering a cheesesteak I would probably stick with the less traditional variants like the Peppersteak. For a standard cheesesteak I’ll still go to Cheesesteak Shoppe or Grille. I am curious about the subs and burgers here. Anyone try them? Leave me a comment!