The traditional Philly cheesesteak has gone precipitously upscale at one new restaurant, where the chopped steak and melted cheese standard includes goose liver and truffles — and costs $100.
Barclay Prime owner Stephen Starr admits the haute cheesesteak is a marketing ploy for his steakhouse, which opened Tuesday. And he thinks it’ll sell.
“I believe you will have the rich guy in there who will say, ’Cheesesteaks for the table. And buy one for the guy over there,”’ said Starr, an acclaimed restaurateur who has opened 13 eateries here since 1995.
Served with a small bottle of champagne, Barclay Prime’s cheesesteak is made of sliced Kobe beef, melted Taleggio cheese, shaved truffles, sauteed foie gras, caramelized onions and heirloom shaved tomatoes on a homemade brioche roll brushed with truffle butter and squirted with homemade mustard.
The standard $4 cheesesteak, available at hundreds of sandwich shops, pizzerias and burger joints around the city, is made with thin-sliced ribeye on an Italian roll with American or provolone cheese — or Cheez Whiz at Pat’s King of Steaks, the South Philadelphia landmark that claims to have invented the steak sandwich in 1930.
“I am sure it will be good,” Pat’s co-owner Frank Olivieri commented politely on the newest entry to the cheesesteak club.
Not everyone was so accepting.
“You shouldn’t mess with the Philadelphia cheesesteak,” groused Samuel Lehrer, who was eating takeout Chinese several blocks from Barclay Prime. “Let it alone.”