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Robrt (1414)

Robrt
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robert at perl dot org

Journal of Robrt (1414)

Thursday August 05, 2004
11:32 PM

A long way from home

[ #20263 ]

Tonight I dared visit South Street Philadelphia Cheesesteaks. Here's my review...

It was not a good sign when I walked into the restaurant and the menu said the 'steak was made with a mix of american and provolone cheese. Anyone who has had a real Philadelphia cheesesteak knows that they should be made with Cheeze Whiz". I ordered anyway - and a few minutes later it showed up, piping hot. It smelled ok. It looked ok, although it was kind of small. The bun seemed relatively authentic and mushy and the meat had the appropriate texture. But there was still something wrong. So, I asked my traveling partner Socks what he thought. He wouldn't touch it. He wouldn't smell it. He wouldn't lick it. It is not a good sign when a dog won't touch meat and cheese. I ate it anyway. It hasn't killed me yet - but I'm definitely not going back. $5.50 for a mediocre 6" steak is highway robbery.

The obvious, you should have already known this, moral of this story? If the sign says "Philadelphia Cheesesteak" and your're not in Philadelphia, go elsewhere.

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  • I refuse to eat a chessesteak away from Philly -- even when I was in Michigan for six years I didn't touch anything claiming to be one. And when my parents moved to Massachusetts, I would bring some up for them in a cooler. I guess I'm a good son. :)
    • You're safe ordering a cheesesteak within about a 50 mile radius of Philly. The borders are roughly the Jersey Shore south of Long Beach Island, Trenton, the Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, and Newark, DE. This means at a local pizza place or deli, of course, not a national chain like Subway. But then, why would anyone eat at Subway when they're in Philly?
  • Nice round slices of a good sharp provolone is a perfectly acceptable cheese for a cheese steak (or hoagie).

    But slices of American "cheese", or a mix of that with real provolone is just sacrilege. Wiz is perfectly acceptable, but I never liked it myself. I'd rather have a plain steak with ketchup than cheese wiz, but that's just me.

    • But slices of American "cheese", or a mix of that with real provolone is just sacrilege.

      "Sacrilege" is perhaps too strong a work. Even in Philly, ask for a cheesesteak at any Mom & Pop shop and you're going to get American cheese. Order a pizza steak, and you'll get mozzarella. You can get provolone instead of American (since they already have it for Italian hoagies) but it's rare that anyone does that.

      Wiz is perfectly acceptable

      I've never seen anyone put Wiz on a steak outside of the bigge

      • Provolone is the best IMO, but good deli American cheese -- which is just a mild cheddar -- is fine. American cheese gets a bad knock because of all the processed American cheese foods out there.
  • Or try one of the places listed here [bestcheesesteaks.com] and see if you agree.

    • Whoa! There's a Lee's [leeshoagiehouse.com] in Pasadena!
      • Ask them where they get their rolls. If they use a reputable baker [amorosobaking.com], then consider ordering something. Otherwise, just accept that you can't get a good steak sandwich/hoagie outside of Philly and be done with it.

        (Lee's is OK for steaks and hoagies. They don't suck, but they're not the best in Philly either.)

        • Ask them where they get their rolls. If they use a reputable baker, then consider ordering something. Otherwise, just accept that you can't get a good steak sandwich/hoagie outside of Philly and be done with it.

          Even better are Sarcone's rolls [hollyeats.com], which have a near-religious following in some parts. But they're even hard to find in Philly, let alone in LA.

          Lee's is OK for steaks and hoagies. They don't suck, but they're not the best in Philly either.

          I'm not a fan of Lee's steaks, but I'm rather fond of