US fare at Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks.
SPARROW’S PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS: REVIEWED BY MEGAN MILLER
HAD your fill of burgers? Philly cheesesteaks might be your new meat-in-a-bun obsession.
The sandwich is Philadelphia’s culinary gift to the world, combining thin-sliced grilled steak and sauteed onions with melted cheese in a soft, white bun. What’s not to love?
Since 2013, Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks has been serving the gooey delight from the back of Fitzroy’s Catfish pub (and from a food truck, too, since November last year).
But now it has its own dedicated diner at St Kilda. The digs are decidedly no-frills, leaving the heavy lifting to the food. Authenticity is the name of the game, with co-owner Geno Sparrow – Philadelphia born and raised – using Aussie free-range, grass-fed beef, imported American cheese and soft hoagie rolls from a local baker for subs that taste just like the ones Stateside.
The open kitchen is dominated by a giant grill from which classic and deluxe cheesesteaks fly. Meat-free? Replace with grilled and smoked organic tofu or braised pulled jackfruit.
For the traditionalists, the regular is a satisfying, savoury delight of quality meat and oozing cheese between a pillowy bun. The Sweet Pepper is also supremely tasty, with red capsicum lending some cut-through. Also get tricked up with mushrooms, olives, bourbon barbecue sauce, or bulgogi beef and kimchi for the full Korean flavour.
Balance it out with three types of salad, but do go the onion rings, made good with a thick, herby crumb.
There’s only seating for about 25, but you’ll find tradies, office workers and revellers tucking in, plus a steady stream of delivery drivers collecting orders.
With another kitchen that’s just opened within Hawthorn’s Nevermind Bar, Sparrow’s and its signature offering are hard to beat.
240 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda sparrowsphilly steaks.com.au From top: on the grill, the new St Kilda diner, and the famous Philly cheesesteaks.