Tomayto, Tomahto: Amato’s Cheesesteaks, San Jose

What does this have to do with tomatoes?  Well, nothing really.  You’ve probably been looking for a cheesesteak sandwich in the Silicon Valley that makes you feel like you’re back in Philly cheering on the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, or 76ers.  Though it was somewhat difficult to find while driving on Saratoga Ave., it is not difficult to find a person who knows or a website that talks about Amato’s.

Amato’s is the not-so-secret secret place to find un-PC piles of meat, served in belly-busting sizes sure to satisfy even a Mr. Creosote in your posse.  There are three sizes, the shorty, the half and the whole.  Do not fool yourself into thinking a shorty is small, it is described on the menu as 7″ long, yet it is nearly the size of a Subway foot-long (with way more meat).  The “half” is 12″ and the whole is 18″.  The bread is fresh and tasted like it was baked the day we ate it.  There are a few different condiments you can order or grab for yourself; we indulged with some cherry peppers, but decided against the “whiz” on this trip. [this link did not work when we tried it]

John: I got the shorty original cheesesteak and was pleased with the freshness of the bread and the amount of cheesy meat filling it.  My only regret about my cheesesteak was that i didn’t partake in any sort of dipping enjoyment.  The flavor was delicious, but the bread could have used a little (to steal Zach’s comment) more grease.  Next time I may ask for my bread to be put on the grill to soak up a little magic.  I also took a bite out of the buffalo chicken sandwich, which was a satisfying flavor for a buffalo chicken sandwich, much better than Subway’s current $5 footlong offering.

Zach: I’ve had a few cheesesteaks in my day and a few in Philly even.  The ingredients were good and I liked their hot peppers a lot but the cheesesteak was way too dry and more grease was in order.  The ingredients were good so it’s a real shame but a real Philly should render a brown bag translucent but there was hardly enough moisture to chew the thing. I’m not sure what John means about dipping but I think he might be confusing a Philly with a French dip.  I actually would have enjoyed a combination of the two as sacreligious as that is to say but in this case it would have been welcomed. Just fyi, Some locals in Philly put coleslaw on their cheesesteaks and I personally love coleslaw on just about any sandwich.

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