Cheesesteak Bread


Cheesesteak perfection begins with the bread. Let's talk about the bread for just a minute. POP's bread is baked in Philadelphia by the world famous Amoroso Baking Company which has been in business since early in the 20th century. Amoroso recently perfected a method of baking their famous cheesesteak rolls to perfection, flash freezing them, and delivering them anywhere in the world within hours. We thaw the product at room temperature for two hours and it tastes as though it was made at the bakery this morning. This assures you of the best quality baked cheesesteak roll anywhere.

Of course, it costs a lot of money to buy bread in Philadelphia and have it shipped to Las Vegas, but we figure that the bread is such an important ingredient for the most delicious cheesesteak, that we insist on serving only the best.

What makes Amoroso bread special is not only the family secret recipe that the Amoroso family keeps closely guarded, but the Amoroso taste can’t be duplicated even if anyone in Las Vegas had the recipe. The unmatchable taste, texture, and consistency could not be duplicated for two simple reasons.

Number one is the mineral content of the water is different in Philadelphia than it is in Las Vegas. The mineral content of the water and how it interacts with other ingredients in the baking process is a key component of how the sandwich tastes and the consistency and texture of the roll.

Number two is the elevation. Las Vegas, at an elevation of 2200 ft, presents some inherent problems in the baking process which one doesn't have at sea level, as in Philadelphia.

We serve a nine inch Amoroso roll and we go through something on the order of about 100 cases or so of bread every week at our store. A case consists of 4 dozen rolls, so it's easy to figure how many delicious cheesesteaks are consumed at POP’s every week.

We slice the bread after it arrives at POP’s and just before we serve the sandwich to our customer. Something to keep in mind as a customer: if you’re ever ordering a cheesesteak or hoagie sandwich, ask if the bread is pre-sliced. Pay attention to whether the bread is pre-sliced or sliced as the sandwich is prepared. If the sandwich bread is sliced early, before the sandwich is made, then the bread tends to be more dry. Even if the bread is sliced only minutes before the sandwich is prepared, the bread tends to get dry and crumbly and you don’t want that complimenting your cheesesteak.

You should insist that the bread be kept in a whole loaf until just before the sandwich is served, which essentially means at the same time the meat is being cooked in front of you on the grill, the bread is just being sliced.

You also don’t want your sandwich roll sliced too deeply. The deeper the slice, the more likely the hinge will be subject to break, leaving you with a two part roll -- MESSY! Our cheesesteaks are drippingly delicious so that hinge becomes moist, not only from the steak itself and the marinade that’s coming from the steak, but from the cheese and the vegetables that we incorporate into your sandwhich. You don’t want the hinge on the roll to break for obvious reasons.

You don’t want your cheesesteak served on two pieces of bread. You deserve a great cheesesteak served on one piece of bread with the ingredients piled high as in a pocket or sleeve so that you can fully enjoy your sandwich.

We also warm our bread on the grill prior to serving. This gives it just the right temperature for the sandwich. Cheesesteaks are a comfort food, so our hot sandwiches are hot and our hoagies are cold, unless, of course, you want your hoagie served hot.

The bread is sliced, the sandwich made, wrapped, and if you are going to eat it here, it is served in an open basket. We double wrap your sandwich in a special triple waxed paper to keep it fresh longer and to prevent the bread from drying.

The bread should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It shouldn’t crumble. The consistency should not be dry, nor the texture too chewy. There’s only one perfect cheesesteak bread, as far as we’re concerned, and we have tried dozens and dozens. No local bakery, nor anyone else can duplicate the Amoroso roll. That’s why we serve them.


Cheesesteak Meat


The second key ingredient is the meat. Just because it's listed second does not mean that it’s not as important as the bread, because it absolutely is. To achieve cheesesteak perfection you’ve got to use the perfect meat.

At POP’s, the meat comes in what is called “commodity style”. This means that it is very thinly sliced. It comes in 10 lb boxes and there are two stacks in each box. There are roughly 130-150 slices per stack.

The steak is sliced extremely thin. It is not much thicker than 2 or 3 sheets of paper. The secret to Philly steak meat is in the way the steak is sliced.

There are a number of different types of meat that can be used. We use sirloin steak. Some people serve a ribeye product. The reason we don’t use ribeye is because the ribeye contains a streak of gristle, and while we make every effort to serve the perfect cheesesteak, no one can guard against serving that piece of gristle now and then. That's why we use sirloin, which has no gristle. If you ever bite into a piece of that gristle from a ribeye steak sandwich, you may never want another cheesesteak. There are places in Las Vegas who serve ribeye and invariably, if you eat enough cheesesteaks there you will catch one with the gristle in the ribeye.

Our meat is chunked, formed, tumbled, marinated, and flash frozen prior to shipment from our vendor in Philly. POP's has a special marinade specification which we require of our supplier in Philadelphia. POP's meat is cut in Philadelphia, marinated to our exclusive and proprietary marination in Philadelphia, packaged in Philadelphia, then shipped from Philadelphia. Again, an extensive, but authentic process.

Slicing is extremely important. The steak can not be completely frozen, nor can it be thawed. The specific razor thin slices are the result of properly slicing the steak in the exact semi-frozen state.

The marinating process is another important aspect in serving the best and tastiest cheesesteaks. POP's actually goes through a dual marinade process prior to shipping. Once received and cooked, we complete the process with a third marination, all of which are customized to POP's exact specifications.

Not all cheesesteaks are created equally, nor do they all taste the same because the meat is not prepared the same way. It may not be the same meat. It may not be same quality. It may not be the same cut. The most famous cheesesteak company in Philadelphia uses Australian beef. At POP's, we only use the finest American raised beef.

Our standard serving size is 8+ oz; however, we don't weigh our beef on scales as do most other restaurants. POP’s employees are encouraged to eyeball and feel the weight of the beef and to always over-estimate, which is kinda the old way of doing things. POP's grill masters are very experienced, so they can get the right amount of meat into the sandwich so that it looks right, tastes right, feels right and satisfies. Umm, umm, umm, oh so delicious!

The meat is cooked at 350 degrees, then maintained for periods of 15 to 20 minutes. When the cheesesteak is ordered, it is pulled from the marinade and re-heated on the grill to the perfect serving temperature. Remember, it was only cooked 15 to 20 minutes ago and placed into the final marinade.

It’s very important that the meat goes through the final marinade process. Something to keep in mind; most steaks are not marinated, while others have varying levels of marinade. Still others have different types of marinade. So, you have to find the one that you like best. We found the one we like, and our customers really enjoy. That’s very important, to you and to us!

Another commonly used steak is called the "breakaway". We don’t prefer these, and we don’t serve them at POP’s. It’s a convenience item, and generally people who serve them don’t serve a lot of cheesesteaks in their restaurant. They can be kept frozen until they go on the grill and once there, they are guaranteed to fall apart and become semi-steak looking within 90 seconds. They look like a little tiny steak when they are on the grill. If you observed them being prepared, you would see how they fall apart and are just not the quality, care, and taste of the steaks we prepare.

Because POP's serves the favored commodity style of steak, which is a flat, paper thin steak, we employ the “hold and push” technique in order to pull the steak apart for better consistency, as well as, ensuring as little bruising of the meat as possible. If you go to a cheesesteak restaurant and you hear the spatula going, “Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop!”, and clanging against the grill, then you should question whether you should order their cheesesteak because with every chop the meat is being bruised. Our push pull technique assures you don't hear “Chop! Chop! Chop!”, but more importantly, an unbruised, better tasting cheesesteak sandwhich.

Cheesesteak Cheese


All of POP’s cheeses are the finest Wisconsin and New Jersey cheeses available. POP's cheesesteak cheeses include: provolone, white American, cheddar, Swiss, pepperjack, and of course the original Kraft Cheez Whiz, which is manufactured in Philadelphia.

 

Thumann's Deli Provisioners is POP's exclusive vendor for the finest quality cheeses available. Thumann's products are more expensive, but like everything else, better quality equals better taste.

Cheesesteak Veggies


All of POP's fine vegetables including green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, etc. are all prepared on site and are cooked with your sandwich. Lettuce and tomato are purchased fresh everyday.

Everything is fresh with the exception of mushrooms. The reason we don’t serve fresh mushrooms is because we have found that there is actually better consistency and better quality in a canned mushroom as opposed to a fresh mushroom. Also, there are fewer issues with food safety, as opposed to a fresh mushroom. Less labor in terms of washing and slicing the mushrooms is required by using the canned variety. POP's has tried fresh mushrooms and canned mushrooms, finding a bigger waste with the fresh mushrooms because of the shorter lifetime before turning dark, thus becoming less appealing and less appetizing.

Sometimes, when the red bell peppers, orange bell peppers, and yellow bell peppers are in season, we utilize those to introduce more color into the sandwich. You can view photos of our sandwiches in the gallery, illustrating our fully loaded sandwich. We're certain proper preparation and presentation equals culinary exuberance. What else can we say?

We have a very unique situation in that our grills are not obscured from public view. When you approach the order window you'll find you’re standing about 3 feet from the grill master. The only thing between you and the grill master is the order screen allowing the steam and sumptuous aroma to roll out as you observe your cheesesteak being specially prepared. Everyone behind you will be enjoying this indescribably wonderful aromatic experience.

How to Order a Cheesesteak
Ordering your POP's cheesesteak is an experience in, and of, itself. After savoring over all the items on the menu and identifying the sandwich you prefer, tell the grill master directly the corresponding number of your preferred sandwich. His response is always “would you like that wit! or witout!”?

If you prefer onions on your steak say, “wit!”, and if not, simply say “witout!”. If you don’t understand the number system, that’s ok. Your grill master will answer any questions and assist you in the creation of your perfect cheesesteak.

The cashier listens as the grill master repeats the order back to the customer, and rings up the order. The cashier is instructed by the grill master as to whether you want our famous french fries, great chili cheese fries, awesome sweet potatoes with cinnamon coconut dipping sauce, mouth watering onion rings, batter fried southern style fried okra, or our newest, fabulous beer battered deep fried green beans. The grill master's sole function is to prepare your sandwich properly and deliver the professional, courteous, prompt service which you deserve.

 

 




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