Thursday, May 29, 2008

The $100 cheesesteak?

By Rick Morris

I love a good cheesesteak as much as anyone. OK, perhaps more than most, although I have what is perceived as the odd habit of forgoing mushrooms, onions and anything other than cheese as an accompaniment to the steak.

But even I have never had a cheesesteak that would cause me to consider it worthy of a C-Note (although the ones at Harpo's Sports Cafe and Mr. Hero's in the Cleveland area come close). Can you even imagine spending $100 on this item?

Apparently the folks who run this restaurant can fathom exactly that

It's fair to say this isn't your average sammich, though:

"Chef James Locascio, of Rittenhouse Square's Barclay Prime, created Philadelphia's "haute" cheesesteak, an upscale version of the sandwich that includes butter poached lobster and shaved truffles.

'It's every ingredient you want to try in a life time in one,' said Locascio.

Still, that kind of lavishness doesn't come cheap. For one cheesesteak, expect to pay $100. That is nearly 15 times more than the original.

"We made sure we had the best beef we could find, the best lobster and the right cheese," explains Locascio.

To get top of the line ingredients, Locascio says it costs $17 per pound for cheese, $21 per pound for Kobe beef and $900 per pound for summer truffles."

I guess this shouldn't be a huge surprise. A member of our FDH family, Jon Adams, once apprised me of finding Kobe beef meatloaf on a menu, so I suppose anything is possible in this age of creative cuisine.

As for me, I'll be glad to keep buying versions with far lesser ingredients for 5-7% of the price of this monster, but then again I don't light my stogies with Ben Franklins either.

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