Way back in the halcyon days of 2004, a little steakhouse called Barclay Prime started serving an extravagant $100 cheesesteak, laden with foie gras, kobe steak, truffles, Taleggio, and other haute ingredients. The glorified sandwich made the news (’oh my! Isn’t it crazy to charge so much money for what is but a commoner’s sandwich,’ et cetera, et cetera) but the buzz died down after a while, mostly because the cheesesteak turned out to be popular, and also because our country was rolling in dough at that point.
Fast-forward to 2009: the economy sucks, everyone is tightening belts, and at every turn, there are scare stories about how people eat at home now and look for ways to save money when they do eat out. But! The $100 cheesesteak remains on the menu at Barclay Prime, which got us thinking: do people still order it?
So, we gave Barclay Prime a ring and asked about this. It would be juicier to tell you that the kobe cheesesteak has plummeted in popularity and that it’s all the economy’s fault, but (although we took it with a huge grain of salt), the word is that the cheesesteak is allegedly doing just fine, thanks. Unofficially, the facts are as such: people order it as an appetizer to split among 4-6 people; BP sells about 1-3 per night (there’s that grain of salt!); they sell more briskly on weekends; the cheesesteak gets ordered for special occasions. They also claimed to notice no change in number of orders since the recession, which is when we really started to doubt.
[Photo: $100 cheesesteak at Barclay Prime via gophila.com/Flickr]