Invented on the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1930s, the Philly cheesesteak is the iconic sandwich of this Rocky city. So much so that Philadelphia now boasts more than 2000 restaurants dedicated to serving this meaty indulgence.
Love this style of sandwich? Well Vancourites, you’ll be happy to know that Vancouver now has its very first Philly cheesesteak restaurant, The American Cheesesteak Co. “A contemporary take on the cheesesteak sub shop, The American Cheesesteak Co. was founded on a passion for cheesesteak—a delicious concoction of beef and melted cheese that has become a sandwich of legendary proportions.”
Who’s behind this much needed addition to the Vancouver food scene? None other than Canada’s “main” star chef, Anthony Sedlak. You know talented Chef Sedlak from hosting four seasons of the Food Network series, The Main.
Located in downtown Vancouver on Davie & Howe, The American Cheesesteak Co. offers banquette and counter seating inside, while a large, covered outdoor dining area is also provided. Right as you enter the eatery, you’re greeted by a delicious aroma wafting from its open kitchen.
In addition to the classic Philly sandwich, the menu features specialty cheesesteaks exclusive to The American Cheesesteak Co. These creations are the restaurant’s very own versions of the venerable classics and are not available anywhere else in North America!
Bottled Sodas ($3) are a plenty at The American Cheesesteak Company because they know Coke always tastes better from glass bottles. Complimentary pitchers of lemon ice water are provided in case you get extra thirsty. And yes, they are a fully licensed establishment.
Along with our beverages, we ordered a couple sandwiches and a side of their specialty fries, which all came to just over $30. Seemingly a lot for a quick mid-week lunch, but portions were large, ingredients were top-notch, and the food was tasty. We shared ACC Fries ($4 small/ $6 large) – Hand cut daily and double cooked (for crunchiness) French fries tossed with garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese. Even though this was their small size, it was actually a very generous portion.
Two sizes (either 6-inches or foot-longs) of cheesesteak sandwiches are made-to-order, depending on the extent of your appetite. Apart from the Chicken Milanese, vegetarian Good Earth, and wagyu beef Big Shot, all other sandwiches are made with melt-in-your-mouth shaved prime rib. The three traditional cheesesteaks come with or without sauteed onions, and a choice of Provolone or Wiz. However, for ‘newbies’ they recommend ordering American cheese.
A stickler for tradition, I ordered The Philly ($8 6-inch/$10 foot-long) – This six-inch sandwich was made with straight up beef and cheese, but I did opt for the sauteed onions and Provolone. Gary enjoyed The Classic ($9/$11 ) – The traditional Philadelphia cheesesteak, but this foot-long sandwich also included sauteed mushrooms and Gary chose American cheese in lieu of Wiz or Provolone. Both cheesesteaks were fantastic and made with generous portions of meat, beautifully caramelized onions, and soft and fluffy buns.
We did not have room for dessert after our large lunches, but if you do, you can wash down your meal with either an extra thick milkshake or housemade ice cream sandwich (both are five bucks each). Overall, our experience at The American Cheesesteak Company was very satisfying, and we’ll certainly return to sample the indulgent Big Shot sandwich – ’cause who doesn’t love truffle aioli!