I love a good Philly Cheesesteak. Can Jack in the Box deliver with its new Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt? Let me start by saying that I am very picky when it comes to Philly Cheesesteak. My favorite is from a little place in Venice California located at 1720 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291 called The Great Western Steak & Hoagie Company. The building is not much to look at from the outside or on the inside either but this will be the best Philly Cheesesteak sandwich you can have outside of Philly.
For this review though I will stick to comparing the Jack in the Box Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt to another fast food restaurant chain, the Big Philly Cheesesteak from Subway.
Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt from Jack in the Box
I have had the Jack in the Box Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt three times now. The first two times from the Jack in the Box at 2905 Alta View Drive, San Diego CA, 92139. Both times the sandwich was served with prompt service and hot. The only issue I had, was that both times there did not seem to be much meat on the sandwiches. Plenty of cheese, sauce, onions and bell peppers just very little meat. So to be sure I tried the sandwich a third time at 9337 Mission Gorge Road, Santee CA, 92071. This time there was plenty of meat (twice what I had before). The service at this Jack in the Box is always great. The sandwich was served hot and toasted perfectly.
The first two sandwiches were good. But I did not feel that I got my moneys worth with so little meat. The third sandwich with twice the meat was perfect. The sauce, onions and bell peppers make this sandwich good as the veggies are grilled and roasted to bring out the flavor and to give them the right texture to make this taste like a Philly Cheesesteak.
Big Philly Cheesesteak from Subway
The Big Philly Cheesesteak from Subway was way off the mark. It was not a bad sandwich it was just not a Philly Cheesesteak. The onions and bell peppers of course were not grilled or roasted so even though I had them toasted with the sandwich they were still too crunchy and did not have that sweet flavor you expect from a Philly Cheesesteak.
I got this sandwich at the Subway at 50 Town Center Parkway, Suite D, Santee CA 92071. I went in during lunch so it took a while to get through the line and place my order. Once I got to the front they had their assembly line process down. The first person takes your order, gets the bread, places the meat and cheese and then placing it into the toaster. Of course I upset the process by asking for the veggies to be placed on before toasting. After toasting the next person puts on the rest of the veggies and sauces. A third person cuts and wraps and the fourth takes your money. They did do a good job getting the orders through but not a very friendly crew. No “unnecessary” interaction with the customers, no have a nice day, would you like anything else. Instead of coming in just to get lunch more people might come back more frequently if it was a nice place to visit.
For taste Jack in the Box wins by far over the Subway Big Philly Cheesesteak. That is, if you can get one made with the right amount of ingredients. To compare it to a real Philly Cheesesteak I would say that Jack in the Box comes as close as you can get from a fast food place. It is by far better than their last attempt with the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich they had several years back. That one did look more like a Philly Cheesesteak but the taste was all wrong.
When it comes to Nutrition the Jack in the Box Sourdough Philly Cheesesteak is a little better for you than the Subway Big Philly Cheesesteak. And no it is not because Subway makes a bigger sandwich. Actually the two sandwiches are about the same size. The Jack in the Box Sourdough Philly Cheesesteak comes in at 228 grams and the Subway 6” big Philly Cheesesteak comes in at 255 grams (made as I described above).
The Sourdough Philly Cheesesteak has 145 fewer calories at 485 calories compared to 630 in the Big Philly Cheesesteak and 3 less grams of fat at 26 grams. Carbohydrates are also lower at 40 grams vs. 56 grams. Jack in the Box is higher in sodium though at 1646 compared to 1400. The other major difference is in the protein. Jack in the Box is much lower in protein at 27 grams vs. Subway at 38 grams.
For something that is close to the idea of what a Philly Cheesesteak should be the Jack in the Box Sourdough Philly Cheesesteak is as close as you are going to get from a fast food chain. They understood that it is more than just the ingredients that make it a Philly Cheesesteak. You need to prepare it the right way. Subways attempt proves that. Without grilling the onions and bell peppers it is just not a Philly Cheesesteak. Also, toasting the bun with the cheese is not enough; the cheese needs to melt into the sandwich making every bite a combination of sweet flavor. Subway missed the mark.
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