Monday, April 30, 2012

PepperJax Grill

 I work a retail job as well as teach, and one day at my retail job a customer started telling me about PepperJax Grill off of Pine Lake Rd.  She had the night kid free and wanted to do something to treat herself.  We were all giving her ideas and PepperJax came up with enthusiasm.  When I asked what it was, the customer said that it was a Phillycheese steak place that had opened in Omaha, NE.  It was so popular they opened a branch in Lincoln.  Supposedly, the owner has a patent on the way he prepares the sandwich.  The enthusiasm, statement of patented recipes, and ooh's and aah's all put PepperJax in my head as a must check-out food destination.

I finally got around to trying the place out last week.  The place has a pretty stripped down menu.  You have the option of steak, chicken, or vegetarian, in a prep of Phillies sandwich, rice bowls, wraps, and salads.  Once you pick the base, you get a list of Signature Sauce options and Complimentary Toppings.  Dennis and I both got a Philly with steak, green peppers, cheese (slices--not authentic Philly style of cheese from a can), mushrooms, jalapenos, and added jalapeno juice to make it extra spicy.  The sandwiches are served hot in large, squishy 10in sub rolls.   We also got a order of fries to split.

Once you get your sandwich, you can trot over to the saucing station.   There is Herb Roasted Au Jus, Sweet Asian, Creole, Mushroom, Original Hearty Steak Sauce, Classic Bold Steak Sauce, and Sweet Homestyle BBQ Sauce.  Near the dressings, there is also a Spicy Ranch.  I tried the Creole, Bold Steak Sauce, and the Spicy Ranch.  The steak sauce was sufficiently bold and hearty, the creole was a little too tomatoie.  The favorite was the Spicy Ranch.  It worked for the fries and worked really well on the sandwich to balance and compliment the spicy jalapenos.

As for the sandwich itself, I thought it was supper tasty, but not without its flaws.  The meat was so tender and rich, the cheese gooey, and the bread the perfect vessel.  With some sauce on top, it feels like a polished event.  My only complaint is that it is just too salty.  When cooking the meat, PepperJax adds extra seasoning, which is the same seasoning on the fries.  It has a good taste, but adds a lot of salt to the equation.  If you are sensitive to salt, it would be worth asking for half the amount or having them leave it off completely. 

Dennis called PepperJax Grill the 5 Guys of the Philly cheesesteak, and that is a really apt description.  They have a commitment to getting your food fast, but they also took the time to make sure the product is the best possible product: fresh bread, tender steak, and tasty, seasoned fries.  Like 5 Guys, each sandwich is made fresh to order and created for your personality.  By the end, you feel you did just eat a monster meal of steak and potatoes and bread, but don't quite feel like you've done anything wrong.

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