Right after the marathon run my sweetie made a pickup order for a Monti’s cheesesteak. Monti’s cheesesteaks are the finest in the city, the best cheese, the most satisfying meat, the soft bread. They are way worth the fourteen dollars and the drive. I got the Rocky with grilled onions, provolone, jalapeno, scotch bonnet, charred serrano, spicy mayo. I debated whether or not to ask for scotch bonnets on the side, because when I get the Arson at Lockdown, the best burger in the city in my opinion, the jalapeno jack, lockdown hot sauce and roasted scotch bonnets blow my face off like a nuclear bomb.
And sometimes I want that to happen, but being just on the other side of another nearly six hour sub 5 mph marathon I wanted hot but I didn’t want to die again. But I decided to man up and order the Rocky as is because I’m not scared of anything. The Rocky was perfectly balanced, very hot, but not enough sustaining heat for any kind of crisis. Monti’s has the best cheese, the provolone on the rocky is salty and melty to balance the chiles. The aged cheddar sauce that I got for dipping with the fries was more smoky and less tangy than Phil’s Last Stand, outstanding.
The day after the marathon I wanted more meat so I went to the Publican Quality Meats, which was open all day on the federal holiday. Etta and I sat at one of the ends of the long communal tables that we had to ourselves. The interior is really stunning, from the ceiling, enclosed in a foil of tiles, to the rounded dark blue signage, to the glowing translucent deli displays, to the sharply tiled floor. The furniture reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen, in a good way. The server was very informed and had a calming effect on me, in a good way. I got a blood orange soda and she got a bloody mary and I ate her spire of meat, cheese, strange green olive, and mini cornichon.
I got a cup of the carrot squash soup with some kind of cream, very good and autumnal. We split the proscuitto fig salad, salty sweet and crunchy and chewy. It reminded Etta of a pizza they used to have at Forno. I got the beef meatball lobster roll, which had a salsa brava sauce and slices of fresh chile. The meatballs were seasoned, the roasted tomato sauce was spicy, the bun was toasty. Etta got the pork belly, which the server recommended. It was really good. For dessert I got cornmeal raisin cookies to go and an apple I forget the name for here. It was a buttery pastry with apple and I liked eating it.