Freddy Does Philly: "A Cheesesteak Pop-Up" at The Shack in Santa Monica
Per Eater (http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/07/...), the Shack in Santa Monica is serving up cheesesteaks this week. Not having had a decent cheesesteak in some time, I decided to check it out. With the one entree menu, it was easy ordering. I got the cheesesteak, with mushrooms, and chips. Chips were a choice of Hawaiian brand kettle-style chips. I took it to go and ate it at the office.
I am not an authority on cheesesteaks. My favorite back in New England, where one might ostensibly be better able (by proximity) to get an "real" Philly cheesesteak, was the D'Angelo's chain. No idea on its authenticity, but I liked it. Here in L.A., if I want to get a fix, I usually pick one up from Big Jo's with a nice order of crispy crinkle-cut fries, since it's near-ish to me. I've also had them off the South Philly Experience trucks, which were decent at the beginning but seemed to have gone downhill a bit.
Without judging its "authenticity", the cheesesteak I had today was good overall, little subtle bit of heat in the peppers, well sauteed mushrooms, thick stretchy strands of cheese, and bread that stood up to everything, but while the quality and texture of the meat was excellent, large slices of tender beef rather than tiny shreds, I actually thought the flavor of the meat was rather bland. Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by it, especially for $12.
The Eater article said this was "starting tomorrow" (a.k.a. yesterday, or, if that's confusing, Tuesday, July 30, 2013) and "spanning one full week", but when I asked how long they're doing this pop-up, I was told that it would end this Friday (August 2, 2013). So, if you want to try it yourself, you have the rest of today (until 2:30 PM) or tomorrow/Friday (between 11 AM and 2:30 PM) to do so.
They're not serving The Shack menu at all. I hadn't been back in at least 5 years before today, so I don't remember exactly how it looked before, but it looked pretty gutted now as far as decor. You can see pics of the interior on this Eater post: http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/07/.... The article mentions that after they complete this pop-up, they'll move on with whatever the more permanent plans are for the space, so I assume that would mean that they're closing.