In this series, Seamless Warrior John Luong reviews meals ordered from the Internet.
As summer winds down and the days tick down towards Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, my thoughts turn inevitably to one thing: preseason NFL football. After all, there are few other worthy athletically related distractions available since Major League Baseball, aka the League of ExtROIDinary Gentlemen, is the only other major sports league currently in progress, and the act of watching preseason football is also a means of gaining advantage in my highly competitive fantasy football league where I am the only participant who is not of South Asian descent. Winning the league, which we sometimes affectionately call “Harold and the 9 Kumars,” would certainly be among the crowning achievements of my spreadsheet-centric existence.
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An additional incentive is getting a preliminary look at the petri dish that is the Philadelphia Eagles. With a new head coach imported for his “Pace and Space” philosophy from neon-clad collegiate powerhouse Oregon, a 2.5-way quarterback competition, and the presence of not-so-accidental racist Riley Cooper, this edition of the Eagles indulges one of my favorite emotional states: morbid curiosity. In a nod to this emotion and to the Eagles hometown, I attempted something I’d never previously tried: ordering a cheesesteak for delivery.
My order from Shorty’s consisted of a Cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz, fried onions, and Italian hot peppers (Philly parlance: “whiz with”), and an order of Yuengling rings (beer-battered onion rings). Yuengling is the oldest operating brewery in the United States and the default brew received when one asks for “lager” within a 75-mile radius of the City of Brotherly Love. And beer is not the only product transported via the turnpike to the Big Apple to this joint; Shorty’s takes pride in importing bread from Philly and baking it onsite in New York.
Despite an estimate of over 50 minutes, the delivery arrived in an expedient 35. Of all the items and ideas imported from Philadelphia, the clock management skills of former Eagles head coach Andy Reid were fortunately not among them.
Upon opening the traditional paper-backed foil wrapping, it was quickly apparent that the Shorty’s cheesesteak was visually reminiscent of a classic cheesesteak–one end of the roll had been cut off. The roll acquitted itself admirably, as it managed to avoid being saturated by the grease excreted from the steak. The onion and pepper accoutrements were embedded within the plentiful mass of lean, peppery steak. The most substantial departure from the traditional cheesesteak however, was that the Cheez Whiz was not applied with a cake knife atop the steak, instead appearing to have been gently, sparingly slicked along the inside of the roll.
The order of Yuengling rings was of a tremendously substantial proportion, and suitably, the rings’ heavy beer-batter provided a girthy crunch that contrasted nicely with the tender onions ensconced within. Never has ketchup been a more compelling condiment.
The Morning After: While morbid curiosity is the theme of this entry, the possibility of consuming leftover cheesesteak and onion rings was a bridge too far.
Repeatability: Overall, the experience of ordering a cheesesteak for delivery was very positive and can conclusively be considered more than a hesitant indulgence.
Establishment: Shorty’s, 576 Ninth Avenue, 212-967-3055
Hours/Limitations: $12 delivery minimum
Delivery Estimate: 40 to 55 minutes
Delivery Time: 35:22 minutes*
Distance: 0.5 mile; four min**
Ordered at 12:47 p.m., cloudy.
*Time is measured from confirmation page to entry to office suite.
**Distance and time estimate is based on biking via Google Maps.