In this episode of Food Truck Friday, we take a bite into some sandwiches that combine tradition with California influences. Let’s sample some of Bera’s Custom Cheese Steaks.
As I perused the list of trucks showing up for this past Tuesday’s Food Truck lot on Century Blvd, I must admit, I wasn’t immediately excited to see another cheese steak truck on the list. After all, a cheese steak sandwich is a cheese steak sandwich, right?
I wanted to give Bera’s a chance though so I checked out their menu. The 11 sandwiches I found there were anything but typical.
Going down the menu from top to bottom, the requisite Traditional Philly Cheese Steak was there at #1. I stopped reading at #2: Thai Chicken Steak. “White-meat chicken with spicy peanut sauce on shredded cabbage with cilantro, topped with mozzarella and a garnish of crushed peanuts, carrots and scallions.” If a banh mi sandwich and a cheese steak got together and had a child, I’m guessing it would look a lot like this sandwich. I was sold!
The other thing that pulled me in was the pricing: about $9 for a full sandwich and $5 for a half with both options including a side of pasta salad, potato salad, or chips.
Arriving at the lot it was easy to spot Bera’s truck. With huge, whimsical, red and white letters and pale gold leaf, the Bera’s truck looked a lot like a circus bill board from the 1950s. A logo with a guy wearing a tuxedo and a top-hat rounded out the look.
I went to order the Thai Chicken Steak but found that they were out of chicken. No!
Slightly disappointed but still hopeful, I ordered half sandwiches of the Arugula Cheese Steak and the Bacon Cheese Steak. I figured I might was well get a dose of veggies and Vitamin P along with my steak. Sampling the sides, I ordered the potato salad and cole slaw which wasn’t on their online menu.
The Bacon Cheese Steak (pictured above) was like a tasty bacon cheese burger transformed into a sandwich. The bacon was salty and the cheese was tangy, both of which lined up nicely with the tender and savory Angus rib-eye.
The Arugula Cheese Steak was also a winner. Angus rib-eye was present here as well, this time on a bed of peppery Arugula. The cheeses — mozzarella and shaved Parmesan — added the salty notes. I added sauteed onions for extra punch and these just added to the flavor. I didn’t get to much of the horse radish, though, and made a mental note to ask for extra next time. When horse radish is involved, I like to get that nostril cleansing, eye watering, mouth drying effect.
While the sandwiches raised the bar on cheese steaks, the sides were par for the course or avoided. The potato salad was decent and went nicely with the entrees while the cole slaw smelled like the scales from a freshly cleaned fish. Not a bad scent, in my opinion, but not one I wanted in my cole slaw. Another mental note: try the pasta salad next time.
With the sandwiches being so good, I couldn’t fault them for having sides that were just OK. With so many other sandwich options to choose from (Cuban, Stromboli, and Chipotle cheese steaks) and the option to make a custom sandwich by choosing the meat, cheese, and topping, I can see myself tracking down the Bera truck again soon.