A sign outside Carls Steaks (507 3rd Ave, New York) reads “AOL Voted Best Sandwich in NYC.” Bold claim, Mr. Carl, that’s a mighty bold claim. “If anyone’s up to testing it, it might as well be me”, said I. And test it I did. I marched in the next lunch day and said “Whiz wit wit shrooms, Carl!” If you’re not up on the secret language of the philly cheese steak, that means “I’d like a Philadelphia-style cheese steak sandwich with Cheese Whiz, onions and mushrooms, kind sir.” Carl charged me about $10 for the sandwich and fries, which is rather much. While waiting for the delicious sandwich I noticed that the inside of Carl’s Cheesesteaks was dedicated to sandwiches: there were no salads in sight, no half-sandwich options, no soups and no alternative options other than a few measly sides (which do not threaten the sandwich; who will have 3 servings of fries instead of a sandwich? Inconceivable! )
Back at the office, I unwrapped my delicious morsel to find that it was soggy and cheesy and warm. I bit in a few times and was immediately returned to the womb. The cheese whiz coats your lips and the steak slides right down, filling you with warm grease. It’s an instant transformation from mostly-functioning society member, to gurgling infant. “chweez stwek.” You don’t even need teeth to eat these sandwiches; the bread is soaked through with grease and the fillings are so mushy, they might as well be pre-chewed. There is nothing hard or crunchy inside, no lettuce or toasted bread to worry about. It’s all soft and warm and mushy.
It’s not 1995 anymore, Carl. AOL ain’t top dog anymore, Carl. These cheese steaks are good, but I’ve had better, Carl. Sure they make me a baby, induce instant food-coma and make the site of consumption smell delicious all day, but they ain’t perfect. They’re too greasy and too soggy. Valiant effort Carl, but I think you should say hello to Mr. Wogie.