Recreating iconic regional specialties is a tricky (and ballsy) task. You'd better be on your game because scrutiny from natives and fanatics is inevitable. The cheese steak is one such controversial edible that Atlanta eateries have never gotten right. But Roy's Cheesesteaks (2900 Highlands Parkway, Smyrna; 404-799-7939) may be the sinfully greasy and messy answer to our prayers.
Roy's is the brainchild of Roy Brostrand who founded the Philly Connection in the early '80s. He hails from South Jersey – an area that's considered authentic cheese steak country, according to reliable sources. Given his experience and pedigree, it's no surprise Brostrand's new sandwich shop is already drawing raves from enthusiasts.
Two things make these cheese steaks ($3.95/small and $6.45/large) exceptional: the Amoroso sandwich rolls from Philadelphia's famed Amoroso's Baking Company and a custom-made blend of finely sliced and marinated skirt, round and sirloin cuts. The meat is not only juicy and flavorful but the portion is extremely generous. Each cheese steak comes with or without onions and your choice of white American, provolone, mozzarella or Cheez Whiz – though the "Whiz, wit" is where it's at.
The meatball Parmesan sandwich ($3.95/small and $6.45/large) is another worthy order. Medium-sized meatballs are sautéed in pizza sauce, blanketed with provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, toasted to a golden brown and tightly wrapped to create a compacted sandwich that packs a big punch. If you're in the mood for something cool versus cooked, you can't go wrong with an Italian hoagie ($4.45/small and $6.45/large), a bountiful helping of cappicola, Genoa salami, ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, oregano, a seasoned olive oil, salt and pepper. The problem with most versions is how overwhelmingly salty or soggy they can be given the ingredients, but Roy's gets it right.
If you still have room after this guaranteed-to-induce-a-food-coma meal, the hand-dipped ice cream ($1.45/small cup) and milk shakes ($2.89) are reportedly "awesome." But if you're aiming for a truly authentic experience, there really is no other choice but a good old-fashioned Tastykake treat ($1.19).
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