For a while, I was really obsessed with Philly cheese steaks. So obsessed, in fact, that on Friday nights, I would take the Acela from Penn Station to Philadelphia so I could get my hands on a cheese steak from Geno’s. Since riding the train for 3 hours is not something I’m going to do on a regular basis, I need to find a place the satisfy my cravings for globs of cheese, meat, and white bread. 99 Miles to Philly is one of my favorite places to go, but since it’s not in a good location for me (and delivery is sometimes too slow), I need to find something closer and more convenient. BB Sandwich Bar, located in Greenwich village, is walking distance from Chris’ house, so I was really excited to hear they have great (but unconventional) cheese steaks. The place is owned and operated by Gary Thompson, who came up with the idea after closing his upscale restaurant following 9/11. Thompson only sells one thing – cheese steaks:
However, he shares the space with Tonnie’s, a cupcake store:
We were there for the cheese steaks, but the cupcakes were tempting (another time, I had to tell myself, another time).
BB Sandwich Bar’s cheese steaks aren’t served on a baguette or hoagie bread, it’s served on a poppyseed kaiser roll (it’s round! blasphemy!). The special ingredients of Bb’s sandwich are the caramelized onions (which are marinated for a minimum of FOUR hours) and Thompson’s “special sauce,” which is a ketchup-based relish that he makes himself. The result is a tasty sandwich:
It’s definitely not a conventional cheese steak (I wouldn’t even CALL it a cheese steak), but it’s satisfying and the flavors work together really well. The white American cheese is creamy and tastes so milky and delicious and brings the sandwich’s different flavors together. If you want to try recreating the recipe, go here.
BB Sandwich Bar is cheap ($5.00) and they make it even cheaper for NYPD/FDNY/NYU students ($3.50). I’ll definitely be calling again to satiate my cravings for cheese steaks.