govinda’s gourmet vegetarian – chicken cheesesteak

Sometimes I really miss having meat. More particularly, I miss having burgers and occasionally cheesesteaks. I heard Govinda’s had a popular soy chicken cheesesteak. It wasn’t too far from the office for lunch, so that’s where I went last week.

Govinda’s chicken cheesesteak comes on either a sesame or whole wheat roll, with mozzarella or soy cheese, grilled peppers, olive oil, and hing. The chopped soy chicken is cooked with the peppers on the grill where they top it with the mozzarella. Despite how it looked, it thankfully wasn’t dry. It had some good flavor, but was lacking something. There were so few peppers that it seemed nonexistent in the sandwich. I also believe this sandwich could benefit from a much meltier cheese.

They have a pepper steak amongst many other sandwiches on their menu. Has anyone ever had em?

Govinda’s Gourmet Vegetarian
1408 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
215.545.5452 (take-out)

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sketch (vegetarian visit)

My housemate has never been to Sketch. We made sure to change that fact this past weekend. Part of me was upset I couldn’t have a burger made from meat, but the other part was looking forward to trying their vegetarian/vegan options that they had to offer.

On the burger side of the menu, the only options (for me) are vegan burger and seitan. The vegan burger is a housemate patty made from several different types of beans and spices. I asked about the seitan and was told that it was like “pulled pork” and could be served as a barbecue sandwich or even a cheesesteak. As soon as she mentioned cheesesteak, I jumped at the opportunity! I’ve been wanting a vegetarian cheesesteak for the past couple days.

The orders were in, mine was a seitan cheesesteak with grilled onions and cheddar and the housemate’s was a vegan burger with cheddar and chipotle sauce. We both went halfsies so I was able to try some of the burger, too. The burger came on the same LeBus bun that their other burgers are served on. It was topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle sauce. The bean burger was tasty and very hearty. The outside had a slight, pleasant crisp to the outside. The inside had a lot of flavor and wasn’t dry. The seitan cheesesteak outshined the burger though, in my opinion. Firstly, the cheesesteak was served on a fresh roll, a definite plus. I originally had second thoughts about ordering it with the cheddar since I didn’t think it would end up as gooey as American. Sketch, however, served that cheesesteak with hot, gooey cheddar! The onions were delicious. They were grilled long enough that they had some caramelization to it. The seitan was some of the best seitan I’ve had. It was juicy and tasted like it was marinated. I’ve only had one seitan cheesesteak before which was good, but this was definitely superior.

Oh, we also got their belgian fries and an additional order of the green chili cheese fries. Yes, I’m aware it’s a lot of food, but I should mention that one of our friends joined us later to eat 70% of the fries! I won’t judge her.

Check out my last visit to Sketch.

If you’re vegetarian or just feel like abstaining from meat for a meal, Sketch has two excellent options for you!

413 East Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

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walt’s steaks

Since I inspect bridges, I often find myself in areas I don’t know much about. Last week, I happened to be in Clifton Heights, just west of Philly. One of my coworkers told me about this place in the area that was known for their steaks. That place is Walt’s Steaks.

My steak was ordered with whiz and fried onions. The steak was chopped finely and mixed in with the onions and whiz. The roll it was served on was fresh and tasty. Walt’s serves a solid steak. It’s off the beaten path if you’re in Philly, but if you head out west, it’s worth stopping in for a steak.

Also, in case you’re wondering. Their steak isn’t just good for the burbs. This steak is better than some of the ones I’ve had in Philly, like Jim’s.

Walt’s Steaks
329 E. Baltimore Ave
Clifton Heights, PA 19018

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john’s roast pork – cheesesteak

I enjoy cheesesteaks. My normal order is a steak with whiz and onions, nothing else. John’s Roast Pork does not even offer their steaks with whiz. If you may or may not know, not every place in Philly serves whiz on their steaks and the typical alternatives are American or mild provolone. I’ve had steaks with American and mild provolone and they really haven’t done anything for me.

This South Philly establishment serves up a cheesesteak without whiz that wins me over. They serve a steak on a beautiful seeded roll with onions and sharp provolone. It’s so ridiculously good. I’m even inclined as to say it’s my favorite steak in the city. Unfortunately John’s is only open during the week and they close at 3 pm. If you pass by and they’re open, stop in for a one!

They also make a roast pork sandwich that is supposedly out of this world. I have yet to try it!

John’s Roast Pork
14 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

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jake’s sandwich board – ghost pepper steak

Jake’s Sandwich Board in Center City serves up a sandwich called the Fire Steak. This sandwich consists of rib-eye steak, fire sauce, fried onions, mushrooms, provolone, and a fried long hot. For one more dollar, you can upgrade the Fire Steak to the Ghost Pepper Steak. The difference? They add 20 drops of a ghost pepper extract to the sandwich. Oh yeah, you also have to sign a waiver.

This visit to Jake’s came about when I convinced a coworker to try the Ghost Pepper Steak. It built up some decent hype in the office as 5 others joined us for lunch as well as a few friends who found out my coworker was trying it. Two others told my poor coworker that they’d be ordering the Ghost Pepper Steak as well. Once we got there, they flaked out and he was the sole victim…at that time. Most of the others, including myself, ordered the Fire Steak.

The Fire Steak was really good. Had a nice kick and was just damn tasty. Anyway, back to what this post is mainly about. We all stared at my coworker as he was prepping himself to take his first bite. Almost immediately after one bite was taken, his face started to turn red. After two or three, he was reaching for the paper towels to wipe the sweat off his forehead. There was constant nodding of his head and a softly spoken, “Oh my god, that is hot.” Unfortunately, he did not get past half of the sandwich. You could say he took down about a quarter.

Well, I finished my Fire Steak as did a couple others. We had our entertainment and decided we (some of us) oughta try some of this Ghost Pepper Steak. One coworker cut a 2-3 bite piece of it, ate it, and said, “Wow, that is hot.” and had a slight runny nose after. That’s it. I wasn’t convinced it was that hot after he had it.

Then came my turn. Keep in mind, my mouth was probably already prepped (in a bad way) because of the Fire Steak. I also cut a small 2-3 bite piece. After finishing…it started. Holy crap. It was burning. A waterfall of sweat started to pour down from my face/forehead. Call me a wimp if you must (Mikey, I’m looking at you.), but that thing hurt. I’ve eaten some spicy things in my life but never have I ever had urges to run over to the counter asking for milk! I was able to sit out until the pain subsided though.

One of my friend’s who joined us, Lou, ended up tweeting this embarrassing but funny picture of me suffering.

Collin Flatt of The Feast also has a video of Marcos (Fidel Gastro) attempting to finish the Ghost Pepper Steak.

I’m glad I tried it but whew that was painful. Marcos, I only had a couple bites and had a crazy stomach ache later. I can’t even imagine…props.

Jake’s Sandwich Board
122 South 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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