- victor lieberman Sep 2, 2001 06:35 PM
I'm a Philadelphian born and bred. Living in CA
since 1969. Taking family back for Wedding.
But I am turning it into a Pilgrimage. We are looking for the ultimate in 4 categories:
1. Cheesesteak. (Old Favorites are Mama's in
Bala Cynwyd, Larry's in Overbrook, Delassandro's
2. Hot Soft Pretzels. (Vendors near U of P were the memory---Someone on this site suggested Reading Market)
3. Hot Dogs (Levis' from the sixties)
4. Italian Water Ice (Neighborhood window in Overbrook, not sure if it ever had a name)
I'm not all that much an Italian Ice fan, but in the other categories:
Cheesesteak: Dalesandros, which you mentioned and a new place which I like despite the fact they just got a Best of Philly, Sonny's on the 200 block of Market. Sonny's slices the rib eye for their steak fresh each morning.
Pretzels: Fisher's Pretzels in Reading Terminal Market. There is no second place. Third place, maybe, the pretzel store on Sansom, just below 16th.
Hot Dogs: My favorite is a hot dog truck on Passyunk, between 23 & 24th. Odds are, they'll be the juiciest, plumpest dogs you've ever had. For Texas Wieners, Texas Wieners on Snyder between Broad and 15th. Levis's is, unfortunately, no longer around.
re: Holly Moore
Thanks so much for the quick reply.
Sonny's is a new one and we will be right
downtown for a family wedding.
The other guy didn't know the name of Fisher's
just the Pretzel place in the Reading Terminal,
so that helps too.
Have you eaten the apparently famous pork sandwhich at Tony Luke's that some of the hounds are into?
re: victor lieberman
Tony Luke's makes a great pork sandwich. Almost as good as DiNic's in Reading Terminal Market. DiNic's makes the best pork sandwich in Philadelphia. Order it with greens and aged provolone.
Tony Luke's is a lot of fun - you will do great with anything on their menu, including their pork sandwich.
I'm of the opinion that the Pork Sandwich is as classic a Philadelphia tradition as the Cheese Steak.
That's interesting because I've had the exact opposite experience. Whenever I've had friends come to town they always ask me about spots "downtown" which always sounds weird to me. And "Center city" is used by local newscasters here exclusively while national newscasters might say "downtown" Philadelphia. Guys who work construction when they have work in Center city will say "I was down the city today" or "I was down Center city today". I've never heard one say I was downtown today.
i agree wth Chinon00...my wife is from North Eastern PA, and she always calls it downtown, which is a term i never used for center city...center city confuses her, an out-of-towner...i grew up in Overbrook and most of my family is from northeast philly....center city sips is a happy hour group in center city...its a play on what philadelphians call center city.
For me it will always be a toss-up between PAT'S and GENO'S both at 9th and PAssyunk, near the Italian Market, for the best rendition of the Philly cheesesteak, but I have heard many a good thing about SONNY'S already.
Fisher's at the Reading Terminal, hands down, for the pretzels. The vendor of my college days at Penn, parked at 36th and Locust Walk, was the best breakfast on campus.
Tony Luke's is a respectable roast pork sandwich, but I would also send you to DINIC'S at the Reading Terminal Market for a very good one, or to ROCCO'S, at The Downstairs at the Bellevue Food Court, Broad and Walnut, for a very very good roast pork sandwich.
Planning any other pilgramages?
I live in Virginia but often make the trek to Philadelphia. While there, I make a number of pit stops for cheesesteaks. One of my favorite places for cheesesteaks is Steve's, located on Bustleton a couple of blocks south of Cottman in Northeast Philadelphia. The meat is cooked to order, the fries are terrific, and the place has indoor seating (of a sort) so as to protect the diner from the elements and the finish of his car from food stains. I also like Rick's in the Reading Market; their cheesteak is of superior quality, I think. I tried Sonny's on my last trip. I thought it was good but not great. It may be that the hype surrounding the place had unreasonably heightened my expectations. My wife (normally a vegetarian but willing to backslide for a REALLY GOOD REASON), finds Dallessandro's on Wendover to be the best. For me, I prefer sliced to what I call crumbled meat; thus, I eat along with her but not with the same enthusiasm. Interestingly, there is a steak place on Main Street in Lexington, Virginia of all places called City Subs and Steaks which serves a steak that is very similar to Dallessandro's. John, the owner, used to work at steak joints in Philly and South Jersey so he presents the real deal. Finally, I know that Pat's and Gino's are considered passe by the in-crowd but I find their steaks delicious and the atmosphere super-Phillyesque. One of my trips always includes a stop at 8th & Passyunk. Now, all of that said, I'm always ready to pioneer new places. Any suggestions?
re: Dave Nelson
Many consider Jim's Steaks, at 4th & South Sts., to be better than Pat's or Geno's, which are really more about atmosphere, to tell the truth. And South St. is quite a scene, as you'll see--a poor man's Greenwich Village. (Parking's tough, though.) For true connoisseurs (are they permitted on this site?), the original Jim's at 62nd & Noble, below Girard, is the place--but beware the neighborhood. Good luck.
re: Dave Nelson
I will let you know next week after our
tell your wife that my memory is that Dallesandros
is the best. I am the crumbled meat guy myself.
Which is interesting that in all the Pat's/Jim's/Geno's controversy, crubled vs sliced
has not been mentioned.
The place that intrigues me as a newcomber is
I'm in South Philly now, transplanted from Overbrook. It had hung on for a long time but finally succumbed to the urban decay and crime of Section 8 Housing about 8 to 10 years ago. Parts of South Philly are still the way it was forty and fifty years ago.
1. Cheeseteak--George's on 9th Street just off Christian in the Italian Market (Or Ninth "Shtreet"1 as the locals call it). The best cheestesteak served to you by surly-but-friendly guy named Mark with a beard and ponytail.You pick your bottle of soda out of the vintage Coca-Cola cooler and sit at the counter where Mark serves you your steak on waxpaper. The menu on the wall lists the sausage sandwiches as Mild, Hot or Burn My Ass! I sign reads "Don't divorce your wife because she can't cook. Eat here and keep her as a pet."
2. The two boys who push a shopping cart around the East Passyunk Avenue area every morning yelling "Freshhh Pretzelssss!"
3. Texas Weiner on the 1400 block of Snyder west of Broad. Pictures of Frank Sinatra (South Philly's carpetbagger demigod) hang everywhere on the wall).
4. There was a walk-up window on Callowhill between 65th and 66th, called Marks' (or something)next to the West Philadelphia Soccer Club but that's closed. City Water Ice near 70th on Haverford closed last year, A Korean-owned walk-up at 65th and Haverford called Polar Bear is still in business. The best water ice
has to be John's at 7th and Christian in the Bella Vista section of South Philly near Mario Lanza's birthplace. They have been in business since 1925 and make the water ice on site. But South Philly is littered with good water ice. Honorable mention goes to Willie's at 9th and Christian and the chain Rita's that has a branch on South Street makes a pretty good water ice.