If I wanted it to, and I admit that part of me does, this could be the shortest review I’ve ever written. It would consist of two words, and go a little something like this:
But yeah, that’s kind of cheap. I’ll elaborate a bit. So Bruchi’s is a place that straddles that slippery line between fast food and fast casual. They’re a chain of about 20 locations that started out in Spokane, and have expanded into franchising. Their Treasure Valley location is at that constantly evolving intersection at Linder and Chinden in Meridian. Now I could go into one of my trademark rants about bullshit terminology in food sales, but suffice it to say that those of us who have been to Philadelphia and have eaten a cheesesteak there have certain expectations when we see that term on a menu. Granted, you have to lower those when you’re not actually in Philly, and even more so when you’re talking about a franchise chain fast food eatery, but come on. Look at that first picture (the one from their menu) again. That sandwich would likely have to be served with a knife and a fork, because there’s no way you’re getting your mouth around it unless you’re an anaconda. Or a porn star. There’s no judgment here, but there is a contact page on this site if you know what I’m saying. But I digress. What this place actually serves you after that menu photo is insulting. Even Bill Foster would be shocked by this, and to quote the man: “Turn around, look at that. See what I mean? It’s plump, it’s juicy, it’s three inches thick. Now look at this sorry, miserable, squashed thing.”
Alright, let’s peel this sucker open and see if things improve…
I mean…eh. It’s literally a pale imitation of their menu photo. The bread looks like it’s seen a ghost! They serve their sandwiches hot. Like super hot. Like there’s cheese in there, but it basically gets melted down into a sauce by the time you get a chance to eat it. At least you can taste it. Same with the onions, which are chopped so small that they barely offer a textural difference from the beef. Interestingly, Bruchi’s doesn’t offer any upgrades for their sandwiches other than sauces, unlike their burgers where you can add cheese or bacon or even an extra patty. There’s no option on the menu for adding extra meat or cheese to the cheesesteaks, and if ever a sandwich needed a double meat option, this is the one. Nor does the menu offer the option to, say, add peppers to the regular cheesesteak or swap the type of cheese, though they may do it if you asked. They do offer a few different takes on the sandwich itself, such as the Supreme which adds peppers and mushrooms, or the Bacon Cheddar which obviously adds bacon and replaces the American cheese with Cheddar. Provolone isn’t an option, even though they have it and put it on some of their subs. Whiz is nowhere to be seen on the menu.
I’ve visited this place three times now, two quite a while back right after they first opened. The first time I ordered the 12″, which blew my mind because there wasn’t even enough meat on it to cover all the bread. There was a mound of beef at the center, which gradually trickled off to a sprinkling towards the sides, with about half an inch of naked bread at each side. My most recent visit, and the one the pictures are taken from, was just last week, and it’s the reason I’ll never go back. Why? Because the last bite of the sandwich, like a bad joke, had a gumball-sized hunk of gristle hiding in it that almost made me lose the rest of the sandwich when I bit down on it. How the fuck do you basically chop up beef into bits so small that you barely need teeth to eat them, but still miss something like that? Not only are there better cheesesteaks around here, there are better fast food ones! Though I do suppose that having something in the last bite of your food that makes you want to vomit could be an interesting weight loss strategy. Nah, not worth it.