Nouvelle Philadlephia Cheese Steaks
- Tom Steele
For a late lunch, I just enjoyed an intensely delicious "cheese steak" variant at a new place called Irving Irving, on Irving Place on the northeast corner at East 17th Street.
A plain, but very fresh ciabatta is split and filled with thinly sliced rare steak, lots of caramelized onions, and a wedge of Velveeta (I guess--I haven't had Velveeta in a long time, but it seemed to be, cheddary whey with Russian dressing notes?). This is placed between the searing plates of a sandwich press until grill marks form on the bread. Thus, 25 or so years late, Nouvelle Cuisine is visited upon the Cheese Steak sandwich. I know it sounds a little obnoxious, but it's actually worth a detour!
Yeah, Caitlin, that's where Picnic lived and died. Remember their home-made yodels or ding-dongs or whatever they're called? They got sued for using the TM name. And then Rosie O'Donnell got involved and re-named the desserts "Cutie Patooties." Gee whiz.
Anyway, the overhead must be murder, given the swank location.
I'm not sure how Irving Irving is doing--I went there at 3 in the afternoon, not exactly prime time, and it was nearly empty. But I'd heard about the place from two different people who told me they go there regularly and that it's popular. Given the quality of their sandwiches (there's a MEAN flank steak sandwich in addition to the cheesesteak I described yesterday), I really hope the place makes a go of it.