During Team SpoCOOL's fact finding missions to Philadelphia, we have tried our fair share of cheesesteaks. Enough so we feel qualified to say Bruchi's ranks up there with the best of them.
Their location on 29th recently closed down and was replaced by Gridiron Cheesesteaks & More. Gridiron, as it seems, has stuck closely to Bruchi's methods, though they cut the steak slightly differently, and the seasonings might be a bit more flavorful.
That is all great. Better than Bruchi's? Awesome, right?
I'm one of those who thinks Washington State is just a bit ridiculous when it comes to health code. A bit of dirt has never hurt anyone. I mean, seriously. Gridiron's problem is not that it forgot to scrub behind the ears, however; apparently it forgot to take a shower.
It was all pretty disgusting. Trying to walk in, the entryway was blocked by a large pile of boxes, which didn't just look bad, it also smelled pretty rancid.
Inside, the trashcan next to the counter had some sort of sauce-like substance running down it, which accumulated to a large puddle on the floor. It was obvious this had been like this for quite a while.
The staff was friendly, and they made a mean cheesesteak and veggie sandwiches, but the guy taking the orders had not washed his hands since he came back from his construction job. (Literally -- he was certainly dressed up for it.) OK, so he didn't touch the food, but he was still behind the counter, representing the establishment. Cleanliness should be high on the list.
It's all too bad. The sandwiches were great. But the dirty dirty locales were more than offputting. We want to go back, but as it stands, I'm not sure we can stomach it.