Many a moons ago, some guy... whose culinary acumen puts all the iron chefs' combined to shame, made what might be the greatest single sandwich in existence. The General Tso's chicken cheesesteak. By combining a plain cheesesteak, which by itself is already fantastic, with General Tso's chicken, perhaps the single worthwhile product of the bastardization of Chinese food, he created a love child of heartburn and sinful deliciousness. It is indeed a sandwich of pure magnificence. But for some reason, it never caught on... for shame. Inspired by his innovation and boldness (and possibly by overwhelming boredom), I set out to replicate his experiment, to see if it actually tasted good... in real life, and not just in theory.
General Tso's chicken sourced from Kim's Oriental. I debated going with grandfather chicken (from which I've been told by several people has a thinner sauce, but tastes pretty much the same), but I figured in the interest of amplifying the flavor, that more sauce would be better. Their General Tso's probably isn't anything spectacular, but amongst the food trucks, it pretty much kicks ass. Plus it's $4. I'm a graduate student... I'm not made of money.
At the very least, I one-upped the original creation by using an actual Philly cheesesteak from Philly. On the downside, it was really cold outside that day, so I got lazy. Instead of going to one of the better cheesesteak trucks (like Steak Queen), I went cheap with one from George's Lunch Truck. It's $3.75... so the total cost of even a failed experiment would come in under $8. I wasn't entirely listening when I ordered, so I ended up asking for ketchup on it. Some would consider that to be sinning. Oh wells, I'm Chinese, give me a break.
... and then it happened. George's cheesesteaks are actually filled pretty well, so there was a fair bit of finagling (I was surprised spell check told me this was a real word) involved to make everything fit. The steak had to be ever so delicately compressed to submission, before I ladled out a full serving of chicken into an already obese sub roll. Getting it to stay in this position was harder than telling a kid with ADD to count marbles. Forreals.
Was it good though? I mean, asking me is kind of pointless. General Tso's chicken is like a drug to me. If it were in some way possible to hook an IV of the sauce into my blood and not kill me, I would probably do it. Then there's cheesesteaks... which are just carbs + cheese + beef. If you think about it, they're basically cheeseburgers in a different form, and oh god I love cheeseburgers. When you add them together, upon contact it's like the Wonder Twins except in the form of... gluttony and being fat. The sandwich is greasy, and every description of a plain steak sandwich is still applicable. The chicken adds a secondary element of surprise, supplementing the oozing cheese with sporadic crunches of fried crust. On top of that, the flavor profile becomes a symphony of savory, sweet, and tangy (possibly from the ketchup...) tastes. As disgusting and overwhelming as the combination sounds, I assure you this sandwich is sublime, and arguably life changing. By which I mean, if you eat it too much, you'll probably get heart disease. Best $7.75 I've spent in a long time.