Mike Solomonov, chef-coowner of Israeli-inspired restaurants including Zahav, Dizengoff, and Goldie, happens to be a good friend of Frank Olivieri, owner of Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.
Frankie is still talking about their trip to Israel last year, where he ate a shawarma while FaceTiming his crew back at the shop. This happened to be one of many shawarmas the two ate.
When Resy, a restaurant-reservation service, wanted to partner two chefs in eight cities for culinary collaborations called The Classics Remix, a Solomonov-Olivieri mashup was a logical choice.
This is actually a repeat performance. Solomonov took the grill one night four years ago, and the proceeds of his sandwich went to Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative.
Still, they met recently at Pat’s to firm up the build of the Israeli-inspired steak sandwich, which will be sold as a meal ($25) at Pat’s (Ninth and Passyunk) from Oct. 16 to 18. They must be ordered in advance via Resy. A first round of sales sold out within hours last week, but more will be made available at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.
Solomonov arrived at the tasting with some ingredients that Pat’s otherwise would not stock. He got beef cooking on the grill and added shakes of the Ararat spice blend from New York’s La Boite, which combines Urfa pepper, Spanish paprika, and fenugreek. He assembled a chopped salad of tomato and cucumber, added shipka peppers, put everything on the rolls, and spooned on thick tehina.
This, folks, is not a cheesesteak. The sesame of the tehina hit the beef with a creamy nuttiness, and the salad popped in fresh brightness as the peppers added a pleasant heat.
Solomonov and Olivieri took fries off the fryer, and sprinkled a batch with za’atar and served them with Goldie sauce (tehina ketchup). A Sprite with a dash of pomegranate and rosewater washes it down.