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Steadfast spins new versions of classic sandwiches 

I've learned many life lessons from watching the TV show "30 Rock," like to never follow a hippie to a second location and the theory that all anyone wants in life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich. If the latter is true, then Steadfast (200 East Avenue) will be a welcome addition to the East End. Executive Chef Chuck Previte has put his own spin on classic sandwiches, says owner Nick Garofoli. "He's taken the core of the sandwich concept and turned it on its head."

click to enlarge Steadfast's Braaibroodjie Style Grilled Cheese includes pulled pork, a variety of cheeses, is topped with apple chutney. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • Steadfast's Braaibroodjie Style Grilled Cheese includes pulled pork, a variety of cheeses, is topped with apple chutney.

Steadfast officially opened on April 30, but previewed its menu and was open for business during Rochester Restaurant week. Formerly occupied by Matthew's East End Grill, the space has been renovated to be much lighter and more welcoming, "modern rustic -- kind of like an Ikea store meets a barn wedding," Garofoli says with a laugh. This includes a new private event room that is available to rent.

Previte's menu includes sandwiches, soups, salads, and appetizers, but will expand in the next few months to include what Garofoli calls a choose-your-own-adventure dining experience. The focus is on what is fresh and in season and diners will be able to choose from seven to eight main courses that include a protein (fish, shellfish, pork, or beef) and then choose from 10-12 different sides. Plenty of vegan and vegetarian items will be available as well.

Evidence of Previte's own spin on the classics include the Braaibroodjie Style Grilled Cheese ($10), his version of a style of sandwich that originated in South Africa, which adds pulled pork to cheddar, provolone, and fontina cheeses, and is topped with an apple chutney. The Southern Fried Chicken sandwich ($10) adds pimento cheese to the classic combination of buttermilk-fried chicken, coleslaw, and pickles. After receiving feedback from a customer from the South (known to be the authority on pimento cheese) they are also looking to add a spicy version of pimento cheese to the menu.

click to enlarge The Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich adds pimento cheese to the classic combination of buttermilk-fried chicken, coleslaw, and pickles. - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • The Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich adds pimento cheese to the classic combination of buttermilk-fried chicken, coleslaw, and pickles.

The bar program was created with a walk-before-you-run mentality. "Across the board Steadfast is about quality" Garofoli says. "And one way of making sure that things are quality is being conservative with what you take on."

The bar will have sixteen taps that will rotate both local and national craft beers. What's unique about the Steadfast bar experience is their partnership with Fiz soda. A new spin on a gin and tonic includes using Southern Tier Distilling's Citrus Gin with Fiz's Blueberry Tonic. The wine program is focused on quality, but affordable wines, and the current selection includes reds and whites from Portugal, Spain, and New Zealand.

Steadfast (200 East Avenue) is open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 270-5914. Find them at rocsteadfast.com.


Quick bites

The Seneca Park Zoo (2222 St. Paul Street) will host Cinco de Rhino on Saturday, May 5, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The craft beer and cider tasting event will feature more than a dozen craft breweries and cideries including Stoneyard Brewing Company, Cider Creek Hard Cider, and Lagunitas Brewing Company. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 the day of and a portion of each ticket sold will go to the International Rhino Foundation. The event is 21 and over and there will be no entry after 7 p.m. To purchase tickets and for more information visit senecaparkzoo.org.

Tapas 177 Lounge, Lake Beverage, and Apogee Wine Bar have teamed up to present a pop-up dinner with esteemed wine maker, Luís Duarte, at Apogee Wine Bar (151 Park Avenue) on Wednesday, May 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The four course meal will be paired with Luís Duarte wines and Duarte will talk about his experience in winemaking. Reservations are required and are $60. Call 755-0457 to make a reservation.

Rohrbach Buffalo Road Brewpub (3859 Buffalo Road) will host Food & Beer Pairing: American Craft Beer Week Edition on Tuesday, May 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person and must be purchased in advance. Five southern-style courses will be served along with an ale or lager pairing. Purchase tickets and see the menu at rohrbachs.com/events/.

Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to food@rochester-citynews.com.

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