I made the mistake of not trying a Philly cheesesteak when I was in Philadelphia visiting one of my brothers.
If I had, I imagine it might have tasted something like the sandwich I ordered at Momi, a burger and cheesesteak restaurant that opened off Bothell-Everett Highway in March.
Tell me if I’m wrong.
My bacon cheesesteak ($11.49) was thick and juicy, and a little greasy. The provolone cheese, grilled onions, slices of beefsteak and bacon crumbles melded perfectly. The sandwich, made with the traditional hoagie roll, was toasted and slathered with melted butter and a garlic mayonnaise.
I tasted all of those savory flavors in the first bite.
I forced my self to slow down and enjoy the sandwich, which was a challenge. I also ordered a side of onion rings ($3.49), which were fried to perfection, and a strawberry bubble tea ($6).
About that bubble tea. Momi offers more than two dozen flavors to choose from, including taro, black tea and mango.
While there are plenty of burgers and teriyaki combo places in Snohomish County, Momi is different because it specializes in burgers, fries, cheesesteak and bubble tea.
Owner Michelle Park likes to be different.
“This is me,” said Park, a Snohomish resident. “Nobody has that.”
Park, a South Korea native, ran a convenience store and gas station in Concrete for many years. She never took a vacation, instead choosing to work toward the goal of one day opening a cafe.
She took a two-year leave from work to find a space that fit her vision, but things didn’t pan out. So she decided to open a restaurant instead.
Momi replaced Philly Willie’s, also a hamburger and cheesesteak joint. Park kept much of Philly Willie’s menu but added a few of her own favorites — hence, the bubble tea.
The cheesesteaks also come with a house sauce and seasonings — her own recipe.
In addition to the menu, she also renovated the interior of the restaurant, which now has a sleek and modern feel.
You can order five different types of cheesesteaks — standard, pepperoni, mushroom, fiery and grilled veggie — or have one made to order.
For burgers, there is a choice of mushroom, garden, California, grilled chicken, onion, barbecue onion, teriyaki and Hawaiian.
The restaurant also serves fish and chips and a special kids menu.
Though Momi has been open since March, a grand opening has yet to be scheduled.
Momi translates to “pearl” in Hawaiian, which is both a play on tapioca pearls — the small black balls included in bubble tea — and the idea that whoever eats there has found a gem, Park said.
I’d have to agree with her. It’s a gem.
Evan Thompson; 360-544-2999; firstname.lastname@example.org.