Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
I just got back from another trip to Philadelphia. And while there, of course, I had to try another of the city’s famed cheesesteaks. One day (after many more trips to Philly), I will have an answer for what I think is the best cheesesteak in the city of Brotherly Love. For now, I say it is Dalessandro’s.
No question, you need to head 90 miles southwest to appreciate a real cheesesteak. But I often get asked (mostly by international visitors), where to get the best cheesesteak in NYC. I have a few suggestions (Phil’s Steaks, Shorty’s), but my newest discovery will definitely be the most controversial.
I tried a play on a cheesesteak at the vegetarian hot spot Superiority Burger. I’ve been very impressed with some of the dishes Brooks Headley has turned out at this tiny East Village storefront, but have been least taken with the buzzed-about veggie burger. Yet his masterpiece rarely gets talked about. Amazingly, it is a vegan cheesesteak.
That’s right, I’m not afraid! A vegan cheesesteak. But instead of the bland and temperamental soy or tempeh, he uses shaved and griddled yuba, Yuba is the skin of tofu and in this vessel, it is shaved very thin and browned to an almost meaty-crispness. It also has the tenderness of thinly sliced steak.
To enhance the cheesesteak sensation, he adds gloppy cashew cheese, caramelized onions, and some pickled cucumbers for a light cold crunch. It’s served in a roll and is truly one of the best cheesesteaks I’ve ever had. Even though there’s no cheese and there’s no steak. And this establishment is definitely not in Philadelphia.
I know I sound like a crazy person recommending a vegan cheesesteak, but this chewy, meaty, spiced creation is truly spectacular. And it’s the closest I’ve ever come to my life to converting to a full-on vegan. Price: $7
|430 East 9th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A),