It is the bread and the garlic aioli sauce. That is, those two elements more than any other are what give a unique flavor to the cheesesteak sandwich at Marco Polo Cheesesteak, according to Maria Polo, co-owner of the establishment founded in New Braunfels in 2005. Polo, who owns the eatery with her husband and establishment’s namesake, Marco Polo, said when they first opened 15 years ago it was a dessert shop called Marco Polo Frozen Treats.

In 2012, that iteration of the restaurant closed down, and a year later, the couple from New Jersey who moved to the New Braunfels area in 2003 reopened as Marco Polo Cheesesteak.

The Polos have been adding to their menu since they shifted to feature sandwiches about seven years ago, but Polo said the Real Philly Cheesesteak remains the most popular item on the menu. This, she said, has to do with a little New Jersey twist. “No one here serves the cheesesteaks the way we do,” Polo said. “We actually make our own garlic aioli, which is a garlic mayo ... that gives it a unique flavor that ... adds so much more flavor to it. It’s very addicting. People come back and ask for extras, that is how good it is.”

Polo said her husband has been integral to the cultivation of Marco Polo’s menu, especially since he went to culinary school at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Beyond the wide-ranging assortment of cheesesteaks, cold subs and their homemade Italian ice treats, Marco Polo Cheesesteak also offers a sizable list of panini sandwiches.Paninis are also pretty unique, Polo said. She added that the Italian panini is one of the most popular at the restaurant, and it is toasted on Marco Polo’s panini grill with a ciabatta roll.

“The other thing that does make us unique ... with our sandwiches is we have our own bread that ... we bake throughout the day in our oven,” she said. “It’s more of a Jersey style, ... and it’s really what started bringing people in.”