US fare at Spar­row’s Philly Cheeses­teaks.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -


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 From top: on the grill, the new St Kilda diner, and the fa­mous Philly cheeses­teaks.

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