January 15, 2009
The hunt for NYC’s best cheese steak continues! After eating Wogie’s version, I can’t award them the cheese steak crown, but everything was tasty and their menu is a grease lover’s dream. Lil NYC Food Guy and I teamed with our cousin Doug to indulge in three different sandwiches, read on to find out which really impressed and what I’ll be ordering upon my next visit…
The Cheese Steak ($7.50)
I’ve discovered that the key to a perfect cheese steak is balance. Balance in construction results in a balance of flavor offering us a taste of every ingredient in each bite. The “Whiz-Wit” policy (cheese whiz and onions on each sandwich) has been the equalizer through my cheese steak hunt but it was an overabundance of Whiz that hurt Wogie’s. There’s Whiz below and above the steak and despite the fact that the sturdy, yet airy bread can withstand grease-bombage of this caliber, all you can taste amidst the bits of juicy steak, crisp onion and bits of green pepper is the Whiz. If I still want to eat cheese steaks after finally crowning a winner, I’m switching to provolone or American cheese.
Adrian’s Atomic Avalanche ($7.75)
Steak, American Cheese, Pepperoni, Hot Peppers, Fried Mozzarella Balls, Topped with Marinara
Anything with fried mozzarella balls is automatically worthy of eating. Unfortunately, they didn’t play much of a role in this sandwich. There were faint hints of pepperoni and chopped jalapeno pepper throughout most bites, but the overwhelming flavor was the bright and garlicky Marinara sauce. Everything else, including the steak, took a back seat resulting in a lackluster combination of ingredients. If you’re still as turned on by this sandwich as I initially was, order the Marinara on the side and add some as necessary.
The Pookie ($7.25) – Our Favorite Sandwich
Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Melted Provolone, on a Hero with Choice of Dipping Sauce
This was the best sandwich of the day proving that simple food prepared well is always delicious. A hearty serving of meaty, peppery and perfectly fried chicken fingers are chopped and covered in just the right amount of tangy Buffalo sauce before mildly sharp provolone is melted on top to balance the spice. The bread deserves credit for striking a balance between a sturdy exterior and airy insides, the perfect ratio of give and take for sandwiches of this design. We were never offered a choice of dipping sauce but I wouldn’t bother with the harmony of The Pookie.
Waffle Fries ($4.75)
or Regular $3.75. Add Cheese, Chili, or Gravy: 75¢ each
A key component of any grease-filled meal is good French fries. Wogie’s offers some perfectly fried seasoned waffle fries. Although they’re the standard frozen version, they were crispy on the outside while still offering potato on the inside. I spied an order of regular fries on another table, they looked tasty and thin and there were a lot more in an order than the waffle fries.
Reasons to return
Wogie’s is the kind of place you wish every neighborhood had. It’s a friendly, no frills restaurant with good music, a welcoming bar and food devoid of pretension. Below is a list of some enticing menu items my heart begged me to hold off on until my next visit:
- Kate’s Krazy Buffalo Wings – I’ll admit, we tried a small order but I’m waiting until a return visit to review them on my quest to find NYC’s Best Buffalo Wings
- The Oscar – Eggs, Bacon, Steak, Choice of Cheese, Peppers, & Onions. This was recommended by one of the restaurant’s waiters. How can you really go wrong?
- Fat Jimmy – Steak, American Cheese, Hot Peppers, Regular French Fries, Topped with Chili. After seeing how the Marinara affected Adrian’s Atomic Avalanche, I worry about the chili. But fries in the sandwich? I’m sold.
- Cheeseburger Hoagie – Steak, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, with a Chopped Pickle Sauce. I’m told the chopped pickles sauce is delicious and this sandwich sounds pretty similar to my standard G3 hero at Lenny’s. I’d be curious to see how they compare. Something tells me Wogie’s would win that challenge but I’m looking forward to finding out.