Hot Cheesy Steak – Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery, S Market St, San Jose, CA

I seem to be having a bit of bad luck with the execution of sandwiches lately, as this is another fine idea for a sandwich that suffered as presented. Roast Beef, provolone and cream cheese join fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, red onion, pepperoncini, stone ground mustard and mayo on toasted ciabatta bread. The first thing I noted when I got the sandwich was that the crust was pale and soft, which is a bit uncommon for places that make some note of their baking. Thick crust is used to signal artisan or fancy bread, and that was lacking here. As it turned out, that was a good thing. You can see the excess mayo on the sandwich there, the top half of the roll was sliding around even as I took the picture. Upon my first bite that mayo sent half of the ingredients shooting out of the rear of the sandwich. I hadn’t run across this level of filling creep in quite a while, and needless to say I wasn’t pleased to see it again. Peppers, mushrooms, onion, pepperoncini, roast beef, all of it went sliding this way and that. Had the crust actually been a bit stronger I shudder to think of what a chore this sandwich would have been.

Similar to the tragedy at On a Roll, what’s really terrible here is how simple this is to fix. Move either the roast beef or the mayo to the bottom and your problem is instantly solved. It’s the juxtaposition of the slick surface of the cold cuts against the slickness bread spread with mayo that’s at issue. There’d still be slippage if you piled the veggies on top, but nothing to the degree that you get with the roast beef. Specialty’s is a small chain, and I wonder how rigorous their preparation guidelines and recipes are. Is the roast beef on top mandatory? Did someone at this particular Specialty’s simply slip up? I pondered all of these questions as I chased sandwich ingredients around my plate, trying to pile them back on the roll for the next bite. I might remake this sandwich myself, just to see what it’s like with a bit more thought behind it. Alas, this particular experience was lost. I come to sandwiches to indulge, not to labor.


2 thoughts on “Hot Cheesy Steak – Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery, S Market St, San Jose, CA

  1. Something a little off about meat stacked on top of veggies, just inviting an accident with or without mayo.

    • It does seem backwards, doesn’t it? So much so that I have to wonder if it’s deliberate, and there’s some bizarre philosophy or sandwich construction ethos driving things.

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