Review: Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt from Jack in the Box

There’s a new sandwich at Jack’s place. It’s a riff on a Philly Cheesesteak, and as Jack says in the commercial, it’s got all of the makings of the regional favorite, but instead of serving it on a roll (like JITB did in the 90s, with their Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich), this one’s between two slices of toasted sourdough bread.  It’s called the Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt.

Here’s how the official press release describes the limited-time item:

The new (sourdough cheesesteak) sandwich is piled high with sliced steak, grilled onions, fire-roasted red and green peppers, and melted cheese, topped with a mayo onion sauce and served on the chain’s signature sourdough bread.

I’ve got to hand it to Jack: the concept is solid, and I’m totally on board with the chain offering more non-burger alternatives. Certain elements of the sandwich came out great: the peppers have some tasty char on them and a pleasant, roasted flavor, and I’m a big fan of the toasted sourdough bread, but the star ingredient under-delivers. The steak is dry and bland, and really only registers as a textural element. That means it’s up to the other ingredients to carry the sandwich, and as tasty as the peppers are, they’re not quite up to the task, especially when they’re so outnumbered by onions. Just look at all of those things! There’s no other way to describe the amount of onions on the sandwich other than an abundance. Even though they are warm, limp, and not terribly aggressive, after a few bites, they become overwhelming. Making matters worse, there’s also onion powder in the mayo, which is applied generously, both above and below the beef. When you combine these two factors, the sandwich skews more to the onion side of the spectrum than it (ideally) should.

I’m not sure if my sandwich was made correctly, because in the publicity photo, it looks like there are two slices of cheese, but mine only had one. The slice of white American cheese was melted on the bottom slice of bread, where it co-mingled with the mayo, forming into a chewy blanket of dairy goo. It was tasty, but could have gone for more cheese (or better yet, a squeeze of Cheez Whiz).

The abundance of onion (and onion flavoring) and the bland beef ended up making the sandwich taste like an oniony grilled cheese with some dry roast beef and a lot of mayo. There’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you’re after, but I fear Philadelphia natives would be disappointed to see what’s happened to their hometown sandwich at Jack in the Box. Fortunately, the closest location is out of state, over 500 miles away, in West Chester, Ohio. Go ahead and try it if you’re curious and not craving a burger, but ask for some extra peppers, or for the crew to go easy on the onions.

Pros: Relatively cheap and filling (but not as cheap as a value meal), something new and different, peppers are quite tasty, sourdough bread is a great vehicle for a hot, cheesy sandwich

Cons: Too heavy on the onions, messy to eat, steak is dry

Taste: 6.50/10
Value: 6.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 5.75/10
Price: $4.49

Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10

More Info: http://www.jackinthebox.com
Nutrition Facts:
Note: The new Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt is not available in Las Vegas, Austin, or Cincinnati.
Nutrition Info – Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt
Calories – 456
Total Fat – 24 grams
Saturated Fat – 9 grams
Cholesterol – 53 milligrams
Sodium – 1385 milligrams
Carbs – 39 grams
Sugars – 6 grams
Protein – 22 grams

9 comments on “Review: Sourdough Cheesesteak Melt from Jack in the Box

  1. Alex K. says:

    The steak looks much like the steak in the burritos at Sonic. Would have been great if it wasn’t so dry… this looks like a lot of the same, unfortunately.

  2. JF says:

    Thanks for the review. Was on the fence about this, but think I’ll skip this. If I want a Cheesesteak, I’ll head to Jersery Mikes. It will cost more, but will be more tasty.

    • MP says:

      That is a good one.

      My favorite Philly Cheesesteak came from Cousin’s Subs, whom are out of my state now, unfortunately.

  3. marvo says:

    Your sandwich looked much better than mine.

  4. Charlie says:

    I’m eating one of these right now. I saw it in the store window and went for it. I’m glad I chose this over a burger, for sure. I love the sourdough, the peppers and the mayo. Unlike the post, mine seems to have NO onions at all (I searched and now there’s cheese/mayo on my keyboard…). Overall, it’s a good sandwich, not great and not average. The beef is decent, not exciting, but not mushy or flavorless; mine’s got a bit of chew to it, which I like. But it needs more beef, just an ounce or so more.
    So, I like it, however I will probably not buy it again because $4.50 seems a bit expensive.

  5. kikurage says:

    Great review, thanks. I love the combination of onion and beef. I have interest to this sandwich.
    If chance has come, I will try it.

  6. Jojn Tino says:

    no coupon equals no sale

  7. Matt says:

    I just got one of these a few minutes ago, and unlike the reviewer my steak was quite abundant and flavorful. I was actually more impressed than I expected with this one, I’m usually wary of fast food steak in general, but after spending time in Jersey and Philly I can say that, at least the sandwich I ate tonight, felt and tasted surprisingly authentic in my mouth.

  8. Anon says:

    Picked up two of these using a BOGO coupon. This is one of the better limited offerings from a fast food restaurant in awhile.Both the ones I got were fresh and hot. The meat was tender, flavorful and plentiful. The sourdough had the ole Jack in the Box goodness. What was most striking to me was just how cheesy it was and the cheese was good, so good, I just wanted more cheese, which is an urge I don’t get from Carl’s Jr grilled cheese burger, where the cheese so just okay.I’m one of those people that used to remove the vegetables when I was younger, but this sandwich had the right amount to bring some added flavorful. All in all, a very solid package, in my opinion.

    I rate this sandwich higher than both Carl’s Jr grilled cheese burger and philly cheesesteak burger.

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