Why Not?: The Duck Cheesesteak

In a few of my earlier posts, I mentioned grabbing something to eat while on the way to visit my father. I drive a little less than an hour to see him each week, and while I don’t always mix a meal into the outing, it’s become fairly common. I need to eat a couple report-worthy meals per week for this blog and that weekly ride takes me through and near various parts of the Philly region that contain fooderies I want to try at some point.

With the expectation of eating at a restaurant that specializes in steaks and pizza this weekend, and having had a great cheesesteak earlier this week, I felt the need to have something different Thursday. And “different” is an apt way to describe some of the menu options at Northeast Sandwich Co., which sits at the corner of a mostly residential block in the heart of Northeast Philadelphia – along one of the routes I can take to get to my father’s place. In fact, it’s probably not more than a couple miles from where he grew up and close to the middle school he attended. I had come across it a couple times while browsing for places to eat online and was intrigued by the aforementioned menu.

Northeast Sandwich Co. of Northeast Philadelphia.

Most of their permanently listed sandwiches aren’t too far out there. You can get a burger, cheesesteak, turkey club or chicken salad. They also branch out into regional fare from other sections of the country – there is a Nashville hot chicken sandwich and a Buffalo shrimp Po Boy. And they offer their house-smoked brisket on a potato bun with coleslaw.

But some of their most interesting offerings are posted as daily specials.

One of those – the duck cheesesteak – just about made my eyes pop out of their sockets when I saw it on their big board. I’ve always liked duck, and while I’ve never considered having it on a roll with cheese, I felt a sudden strong urge to find out if it worked.

The woman who took my order asked if I wanted it standard with scallions and fried duck skin, and I answered in the affirmative.

The wait for my sandwich was fairly short. I enjoyed the sound of the duck meat being chopped on the grill along with the Christmas decorations that were still up inside the shop. I also spotted bread boxes that showed where they get their sandwich rolls.

There were counters and stools available inside and a picnic table outside, but I took my duck cheesesteak to the car to photograph and eat it in solitude. I also grabbed a Stewart’s Orange’n Cream soda to wash it down.

Duck Cheesesteak

Unfortunately, I was so focused on the duck aspect of the sandwich that I forgot to ask about a seeded roll option. That turned out to be a costly oversight, as the seedless roll it came on was much softer than I prefer and had a crust totally lacking in any kind of character. I’ve been critical of Liscio’s seedless rolls in the past, and this one certainly did nothing to reverse that opinion. I’ll be sure to ask for a seeded one when visiting N.E.S.C. in the future. 

Nonetheless, there was a lot of chopped duck meat on there and it was moist and tasty. I wish they had mixed their Cooper cheese sauce in with the meat on the grill rather than pouring it on top, but it still made for a nice flavor mix. The fried duck skins and scallions also added an extra textural layer that I found pleasing.

While I enjoyed my sandwich as a change of pace, duck won’t be replacing chopped ribeye as my steak sandwich meat of choice anytime soon. In fact, this was likely a one-time experiment. But there are several other sandwiches on the Northeast Sandwich Co. menu that I’d like to try. So a return visit is likely. 

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

7 thoughts on “Why Not?: The Duck Cheesesteak

  1. Would you say that the duck cheesesteak is all it’s quacked up to be?

    This is one the most eclectic menus you’ve featured so far, and I hope you return a few more times.

    What impresses me the most, though, is that they correctly used “Jack Daniel’s” and not “Jack Daniels”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess what I try the next time I go there will depend on my mood. The photo I saw of the regular cheesesteak wasn’t enticing, so I won’t get that. Perhaps a brisket sandwich or cheesesteak. I may also want to give their burger a shot at some point.


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