Today’s sandwich is the “Eagle Ridge” from Portland Pie Company. It combines sliced sirloin steak covered in mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and American cheese on a hero roll.
Location: 51 York Street
Notes: Though we’ve still been dragging our feet on ordering a pizza from the Portland Pie Company, due in large part to their focus on novelty pies and crusts, the craving for a solid Philly Cheesesteak has been with me for weeks. It’s another food item in Portland that we still don’t have a “go-to” source for, making further exploration necessary. Today leads us to the Portland Pie Company’s version, dubbed the “Eagle Ridge.”
Somewhat irritatingly, the Portland Pie Company gives all of the items on its menu “folksy” nicknames, so you don’t forget that you are in Maine and ordering pizza. It’s charming, sure, but ultimately makes reading the menu kind of a chore, since the names of dishes don’t relate at all to their ingredients. It forces you to read the entire description of every item, which is fine for getting people to see all of the different dishes you offer, but annoying when you realize you’ve wasted precious moments of your life reading a description of a pizza that has pulled pork and General Tso’s sauce on it, that no one should ever eat, ever.
The presentation of the sandwich was delightful; instead of a sweaty sandwich stuffed in a Styrofoam box, my “Eagle Ridge” came wrapped in foil, and accompanied by a small bag of potato chips and a pickle, in a small, “Portland Pie Company”-branded box. After unwrapping the sandwich, I was pleased to find a toasted white hero roll, that was perfectly crusty but that had lost none of its chew. The sandwich was filled with large portions of shaved steak, which though it lacked a ton of “beefy” flavor of its own, wasn’t unusual in that regard. We’re pretty used to some nearly flavorless shaved steak in a cheesesteak, and it’s not that big a deal. The sliced onions and peppers were sauteed perfectly, cooked through without getting mushy. There weren’t many mushrooms; I don’t think I noticed one until the sandwich was almost finished. Overall, the proportions were spot-on; the vegetables didn’t overpower or take over the rest of the sandwich, as we are so often wary of when ordering a “fully loaded” steak ‘n’ cheese.
The whole thing was covered in a perfectly bland white American cheese, which contributed wonderfully to the melty texture of the sandwich. Somewhat unusually, the Portland Pie Company then finishes the sandwich with mayonnaise, which combines with the cheese to form its own sort of warm, fatty sauce. This may not appeal to everyone, but as someone who has been known to foul a perfectly good cheesesteak with mayo and Cholula from time to time, I appreciated their saving me the time.
Overall, this was one of the more successful versions of this sandwich that we have sampled in Portland. The hero roll was one of the best we have tried so far, and the attention the Portland Pie Company shows to its ingredients bodes well for its other offerings. The “Eagle Ridge” wasn’t quite enough to get in your head and inspire any cravings, but it was good enough to encourage us to try some of their other creative sandwich offerings, if not their pizza.