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Good Food!

Meat, Meat, My Country for More Meat! Hold the Marinara ....

Restaurant: DP Cheesesteaks
Cuisines: Cheesesteak & Hot Sandwiches, Salads
Location: 1665 Towne Center Dr., South Jordan (Map); 300 S. 83 E., Salt Lake City (Map); 1774 N. University Parkway, Provo (Map); 933 W. 500 N., American Fork (Map)
Price Range: $1.25–$8.99
Grade: C+ — See Foodie Report

When I noticed DP Cheesesteaks on Redwood Road in South Jordan, I had my kids with me and asked if they wanted to try it. They were excited, loving sandwiches almost as much as I did. It had not been open long and they looked like they were excited to do their business, but still learning the ropes. They had a menu written on a chalkboard behind the counter, where a sign declared "Order Here." Beside the register was a large rack of chips, a wider variety than a lot of the sub shops, as well as a deli case with bottled sodas, in addition to the soda fountain a little further back in the store. True to their name, they specialize in several varieties of cheesesteak sandwiches, which was a little disappointing to some of my kids, who I think expected it to be more like the Philadelphian, with a wider variety of sandwiches. Nonetheless, the thing that jumped out at me immediately was something called a Pizza Steak. So I asked the girl at the register about it and she said she didn't know much about it, "but some people order it." I was a bit disappointed at the response, but had never seen anything like a cheesesteak sandwich combined with a pizza, so I went for it. She asked if I wanted Provolone or Cheese Whiz. Once I closed my mouth at the idea of putting Cheese Whiz on marinara sauce, I opted for Provolone and made it a combo, adding soda and chips. I told them my name, and chose one of my favorites, which a lot of sub shops don't carry: Tim's Jalapeno. For my drink, I went with the Birch Beer (which is a sharper variety of root beer).

I then wandered around looking for a clean table. They were a bit busy, about half-full, and did not have a single table that had been wiped down. Fortunately, there was one that was not wet or greasy, so I stacked the garbage that the previous customer had left and put it on the empty table next to me, then started looking around. There were photos of Geno's and Pat's, two of the most famous cheesesteak palaces in Philadelphia, and some other nicknacks here and there, but not a lot to really give much ambiance. It declared that they love cheesesteak, which also went along with the name.

So we sat and we waited ... and waited ... and waited. Granted, they were in a but of a rush, but it hardly seemed to justify the wait. I glanced around and saw that a few others were looking impatient, but the place had not been open long ... so I tried to relax. The Birch Beer was good, by the way, with more of a stab in the back of the mouth than Barq's. I would definitely have that again.

Finally, one of the two men behind the counter that was tall enough to hide them working on the grill, called out my name. As I turned to look, he had the last sandwich on some printed wax paper and dropped it into a red, plastic basket. I picked up two of the trays, took them to the table, then went back again to get two more, took them to the table, then went back for the fifth. It would have been nice to have a tray to carry them. But I finally got to sit down.

First words out of my mouth: "That's ... interesting."

The sandwich was wasn't wrapped up or anything, just sitting open, the sub roll cut partway through, with sliced steak, pepperoni slices, cheese and marinara sauce poured over it. It was not mixed through the meat, just a ladle emptied over it. It was going to be messy. That did not bother me, though. I once had a manager back in my Blimpie days who said that "the messier the sandwich, the better," and I tended to agree. So I picked it up, adjusted it and my hands to try to get a good bite, and took it.

First words out of my mouth when I took that first bite: "That's ... interesting."

The Steak was good, pretty lean, albeit sliced a little too thick, which made it a little harder to bite through. The Pepperoni worked well with the marinara sauce, but did not seem to go with the Steak. For that matter, the Marinara didn't, either. It was a passable Marinara, but I had expected something more like the red gravy that is often served on meatball sandwiches. The Provolone worked, but I found myself feeling grateful that I didn't go for the Cheese Whiz. The Bread was soft and a bit chewy, which was good. There was a good amount of meat and cheese, so I was not left wanting, other than that it was a combination of flavors that left me feeling like scratching my head and saying, "I don't get it." It was like a combination pizza with hamburger on it. They didn't seem to work well together.

The best thing about the experience was that I left full.

My second visit, for various reasons, did not take place for quite some time. Since last I had been there, they expanded into the space alongside, tripling their seating capacity. I took that as a good sign: they were doing good business. Then again, it was 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, and there were people seated at two of the many tables ... yet still, some of them were needing wiping down. Did I just miss a big rush? It was hard to say.

I went to the "Order Here" sign and went with one of my staples when reviewing sandwich shops: Pastrami. The menu board said it consisted of Pastrami, Provolone, Pickles, Mayo, Mustard, Lettuce and Tomatoes. Sounded good to me. I ordered a large and made it a combo, because they still carried my Tim's Jalapeno and left my name. There were three tables needing wiped down in that smaller portion of the dining room, so I was able to find a clean one more easily.

Unlike the first time, they called my name rather quickly, considering it was a hot sandwich. I got up and walked over and, before I even picked it up, I stared at the sandwich, appalled at how little meat was on it. I looked at the man who made it, the alarm clear on my face, I even lifted one of the incredibly thick Tomato wedges and looked at him, with a look like, "That's it?" on my face. He looked annoyed, then turned his back on me and walked away, not even saying a word. Not the way to start a meal. When I sat down, I continued moving the one-inch chunks of Leaf Lettuce and half-inch thick Tomato slices, looking for the meat. It was a single layer of meat on the whole sandwich, and it didn't even reach from end to end.

First words out of my mouth when I took that first bite: "No meat."

DP Cheesesteaks Pastrami with a Single Layer of MeatMy first bite was a gob of Mayo, a gob of Mustard, a chunk of Leaf Lettuce (including the center spine), and a chunk of Tomato that was better suited for a salad. However, the Bread was soft and chewy, and seemed to be of much better quality than the first time I had eaten there. The Bread was really, really good. So I took another bite.

First words out of my mouth when I took that second bite: "No meat."

Again, all I got was a gob of Mayo, a gob of Mustard, a chunk of Leaf Lettuce, and a chunk of Tomato. I sat it all down to wipe off my hands, just to minimize how much Mayo and Mustard I got on my cheeks (no kidding, it was that much), then picked it up again.

First words out of my mouth when I took that third bite: "I broke it."

DP Cheesesteaks Pastrami with a Single Layer of MeatThe Sub Roll was cut too far through and it had split into two pieces. Not a problem, if not for the gob of Mayo and Mustard, which made it all a sloppy, slippery mess. However, on bite three, I did get some Pastrami and Provolone Cheese. It was lean, peppered on the edges, the cheese was partially melted, and the meat was probably good quality, although it was difficult to know for sure, with how little was on the sandwich. The amount of meat on that large sandwich would have been light on a sandwich half that size. The Leaf Lettuce needed to be cut down more, preferably shredded, particularly since the spine was being included. The last piece of Tomato was not only a half-inch thick, but was also an end piece, so biting into it did not cut through, but made it flip up into a V shape.

As I ate, I watched a girl who worked there wandering around trying to look busy. She walked down the tables, dragging a wash cloth across them with one hand, like a child. Then she went over to wipe down the top of the garbage can, which was so full that its door wouldn't close, but did not empty it, push down its contents, or even pick up a few pieces of trash that fell down in front of it. Not only did she need training, she needed training in how to fake being trained.

The best thing about the meal was the bread. The Bread was excellent. There were Tim's Jalapeno Chips, as well, which was good. But I spent $9 on a sandwich that should have cost $5 (and that's being generous).

In the end, I don't think that I will go there again. There is a Fire House Subs in the same complex, which was far superior in quantity and at least double the breadth of menu. Want good cheesesteak, go to the Philadelphian.

FoodUtah.com Foodie Report

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     food·ie (fd)
     noun. Slang.  A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.