What makes the perfect cheesesteak?
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 dripingly 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.