About a year ago I published a list of my favorite Louisville sandwiches. Since then, two of those sandwiches have been pulled off the menu, one restaurant closed, and I have been disappointed a couple of times by my former Philly Cheesesteak pick. In my quest to replace some of these delightful treats I found a new cheesesteak. It’s not really new at all, but it was something I never tried from a location that was already familiar to me. Since one of my favorite sandwiches, the chicken cordon bleu, already comes from Flanagan’s Ale House on Baxter Ave, it has been hard for me to try something new there. A couple of months ago I pulled the trigger on their Beer Cheese Philly Steak, and I won’t be turning back.
Whiz vs. Provolone
First of all, I’ve had Cheesesteaks in Louisville with provolone and I’ve had Cheesesteaks in Louisville with cheese whiz. While I love provolone cheese, most people from the Penn will tell you that the whiz is the way. I believe this is true most of the time, however whiz can be ruined if it’s poor quality or overheated. A lot of whiz is just flavorless and adds nothing to the sandwich. By itself, whiz is just weird. Have you ever had the beer cheese at Flanagan’s? It’s freakin’ fabulous and it’s listed on their appetizer menu with house baked pretzels. It’s also the complete opposite of a flavorless cheese sauce. Now, try thinly shaved steak with mushrooms, onions, and peppers smothered in the Flanagan’s Ale House beer cheese and you will lose your mind.
I think bread is important when you’re talking about any Louisville sandwich. I’m not saying it has to be baked fresh in house everyday, but different sandwiches require different styles of bread. For instance, crusty French bread is delicious. I don’t want my Philly Cheesesteak on that type of bread, though. If I want a po’ boy, I will head to Cafe Lou Lou or Roux where they get the bread directly from New Orleans. For a Philly Cheesesteak you want something soft. You want something to soak up the juiciness from the grilled steak and onions without becoming completely soggy to the point of falling apart. I know Flanagan’s doesn’t bake their own bread, but they don’t need to. They have chosen a great hoagie roll that maintains the integrity of the Philly Cheesesteak without making it taste like cardboard.
Put all of this together and you get one of the best sandwiches in Louisville, and the best Philly Cheesesteak in Louisville that I’ve tasted to date. Head out to Flanagan’s Ale House in the Highlands and try the Beer Cheese Philly Steak. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
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