Cheesesteaks are the perfect street food; highly portable, cheap and a skilled customer can eat them with one hand. So why has it taken so long for a champion to emerge to fill the void you ask? The question is answered when you gaze upon the mammoth truck and the juice runs down your mouth after your first bite…they took their time and did it right! Champion Cheesesteaks had its Maiden voyage last month and sold out within a few hours!
Roy Brostrand is at the helm of this creation and has more than enough pedigree to be the reigning Cheesesteak king of Atlanta. He was a founder of the Philly Connection (PC) and Roy’s Cheesesteaks; he even grew up in Jersey where his love for the beef filled roll began. He realized there was a need for quality cheesesteaks outside of Philly during his stint with a not to be mentioned Airline. He traveled the country and unfortunately (or not) had to endure a lot of really bad cheesesteaks…but they were still selling! Fast forward past his days with Roy’s and PC and he found himself working for a large recreational vehicle company where he learned everything about self contained mobile kitchens in large vehicles; just a little bit of foreshadowing don’t you think? His knowledge and passion collided and the Champion Cheesteak truck was born!
The day we met Roy and has crew the temperature was about 96 degrees, but they still had a long line and were cranking out the orders, all of which are prepped and made fresh on the truck. Luckily for us, he has one of the only trucks outfitted with a kick-ass central air system that kept the inside of the truck nice and cozy. Speaking of nice, the truck is also equipped with a full size bathroom and fridge! We have been in a lot of food trucks over the past month, but Champion takes the cake…by far. First off it’s huge, about double the size of your average truck, and it has the only Coca-Cola fountain among the current line-up of trucks; everyone else has bottled drinks. It’s super roomy; six of us were in at the time, and it has great eye-popping color and graphics.
So what’s the big deal about cheesesteaks, aren’t they all the same; just meat and cheese and some bread? This is a common misconception that Champion is looking to dispel with its top of the line ingredients and techniques, all of which will not be discussed here. They start with beef shipped directly from a specialty purveyor in Philly; it’s a blend of sirloin, skirt and another secret cut. Next up is the onions, which are sautéed to perfection before being added to the meat; this adds a really nice sweetness that you don’t get from the joints that add them raw. Last but not least is the roll; they use an Amoroso roll (or “Philly Roll”) which adds more sweetness and is the perfect medium for both soaking up the juices on the inside while maintaining its structure and not falling apart.
Apart from the cheesesteaks, they serve up burgers and fries and also make homemade potato chips that get a special spice dusting and are served up with ranch dressing. They also will be rolling chicken sandwiches and a delicious soy-based ice cream in over 20 flavors, including pistachio! But wait, what about the cheese damnit! The biggest contention point among cheesesteak lovers is whether to Whiz or not to Whiz. Most traditional cheesesteaks come with provolone, but adding a few dollops of magical Cheese Whiz can put the sandwich over the top for some gourmands; I would encourage you to try it both ways and decide for yourself. Roy himself stated that it may be the most unhealthy condiment known to man, but when asked how he takes his, he replied, “…with the Whiz”! You can find them outside of their commissary in Kennesaw or at the many food truck events around town. They also have an awesome social media presence; check out their website, (http://championcheesesteaks.wordpress.com/), follow them on Twitter (@cheesesteak ATL) or like them on Facebook!