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Sep 17, 2007 07:14 PM

South Street Steaks is a Comin' to Downtown Bethesda

Cruising down Cordell Avenue while on our regular nightly stroll through downtown Bethesda, the wife and I came upon a vacant storefront close to California Tortilla (on the same side of the street). The big sign in the window indicates the joint will house a branch of South Street Steaks (the excellent Philly Cheese Steak place in College Park).



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  1. Let me know when Pat's or Geno's comes to town.

    23 Replies
    1. re: MFoxM

      Oh, Geno's "English Only" sign would definitely not fly down here ;-)
      SSS sounds very good, actually. Maybe they'll open a branch in Alexandria...
      I have a Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory nearby, but overall, being outside of Philly, I prefer to just make my own.

      1. re: MFoxM

        Forget Pat's or Geno's! Let me know when D'Allessandro's comes to town!!

        1. re: FoodieGrrl

          Or Tony Luke's!

          But SSS is definitely one of the best I've had outside the Philly area.

          1. re: DanielK

            Not bad; rolls obviously could be better. I only question whether, like almost everything else, it will be worth going to in Beth. I live in Rockville, and probably will go to CP for SSS because it will be too clean in Beth. Need the college student edge for a good steak and cheese.

            1. re: nickdanger

              Plus, if you go to College Park, you get a great gyro at Marathon Deli after the cheesesteak : )


            2. re: DanielK

              omigod, now you've totally got this Philly transplant craving Tony Luke's! a pox on your house, a pox I say. (grin)

              1. re: Feastradio

                philadelphia mag ran a article about cheesesteaks a couple of years ago where the author sampled over 50 cheesesteaks in a 30 day period and ranked each place by clogged coronary arteries. The winner was not the usual suspects (Jims,Pats,Geno's, Tony Lukes , capriotti's orDellesandro's but a small grocery store on South 8th street in south philly about 8 blocks north of the Stadium complex call Crimini's Deli. When in Philly for a concert stopped there and then tailgated in the stadium lot and the cheesesteaks were as good as advertised. Plus a block away is Terminni Brothers Italian Bakery and a packaged good store so all 3 major food groups can be covered in one swoop

              2. re: DanielK

                Forget cheesesteaks. Who do I have to kill to find a good roast pork and broccoli rabe sammitch in this burg?

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  No such animal here, sadly. Luckily for me, I'll be in Philly next weekend, so I can swing by Tony Luke's to get my fix.

                    1. re: hotel

                      My god, I just looked at their menu -

                      I would die for a place like that to be here in DC! Just ONE place like that - PLEASE!

                      1. re: KevinS

                        Taylor Gourmet does a broccoli rabe with sharp provolone on Sarcone rolls. No roast pork though, but their rissotto balls are tasty.

                    2. re: monkeyrotica

                      go to bebo for lunch.

                      at least once upon a time they served this. i havent tried in forever.

                      1. re: kneelconqueso

                        The version at Galileo Grill was awesome, but it's not a daily thing.


                  1. re: FoodieGrrl

                    I second the call for D'Allessandro's!

                    1. re: dcish

                      SSS just opened 2 months ago in Gaithersburg right up the street from my house (I live in Kentlands). I walked in today and they have great huge pics of Pat's, Geno's and Jim's up on the wall. I wasn't hungry but will be sure to try it soon.

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          Drove by yesterday. The sign is still up, but absolutely no progress. I have my doubts that this will ever happen.

                          1. re: Mister Big

                            i dont think it will happen rumor has it The college park store is not doing well and closing down or sold soon..... but what do i know?

                        2. re: stever500

                          Where, exactly? Will probably go, but last time I was at SSS in CP, the menu had been revised to add some new stuff, which I didn't pay attention to. Still feel that the steak and cheese (as opposed to cheesesteak) is the thing to order in area carryouts (see numerous posts re: steak, lettuce and tomato, mayo, grilled onions and hot peppers on soft sub roll, and variations thereon). Let's leave cheesesteak and roast pork to the City of Brotherly (sic) Love

                          1. re: nickdanger

                            Well, with that mindset, pizza would never have left Naples, Italy, and we wouldn't have NY slices, Chicago deep dish, or that c**p they eat in California. Cuilinary migration and crosspolination can be a wonderful thing. Look at the local bahn mi shops. Then again, it can be a pretty lousy thing (i.e., that slop they peddle at Subway.)

                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                              I live in SF and accidentally found this post whie looking on this board to help my brother, who lives in DC find the best bahn mi in the DC area. "That c**p they eat in California"? Really? Hopefully just an offhand joke! If not, I hope you aren't judging Caliornia-style pizza by California Pizza Kitchen, because I don't see how anyone could call the kind of pizza we get at Pauline's in SF, or the slices at Cheeseboard in Berkeley c**ap. The "California" style is different from NY and Chicago styles for sure, but the distinctive crusts and seasonal and locally-grown and produced toppings generally form pretty damn tasty pies.

                  2. Let me know when Ishkabibble's comes to town.

                    1. The SSS Cordell Ave. location is now open.

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          Don't know about the SSS in Bethesda, but the one in Gaithersburg is just okay. Nothing like what you can get in Philly, but if you're desperate, it's probably good enough.

                          1. re: Transplanted Texan

                            SSS in Gaithersburg is the same as what you will get in many places in Philly. Thin sliced rib eye, chopped while cooked over a flat griddle with diced onions, packed into an Amoroso roll with Cheez Whiz (or provolone or American if you prefer).

                            I guess that the fact that it is south of the Mason-Dixon automatically disqualifies it from being "like what you can get in Philly" but since it comes minus the requisite "attitude" I would say it is better.

                            1. re: CDouglas

                              How does this place compare to Philly Mikes?

                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                I remember getting dry cheesesteaks from Philly Mikes as often as I remember getting juicy ones. Have not had that happen at SSS and the Whiz and Amoroso rolls make it much better in my opinion.

                      1. A real Philly cheesesteak in this area??? I'll believe it when I taste it.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Sean D

                          SSS IMO sucks. If you like fake steak then go eat there.

                            1. re: beauxgoris

                              This guy philjr73 is a troll with an agenda which is easy to see by reading some of his other posts. The simple solution is - do not play along, simply ignore.

                          1. re: Sean D

                            Sean, you should give SSS a try. It's the real deal, says this Philly native.

                            1. re: DanielK

                              I'll definitely do that, Daniel. I live very close-by. If it turns out to be the genuine article, I'll be the first one to scream it from the rooftops. (Though, I admit that I'm tempering my expectations. Been disappointed too many times.)

                              1. re: DanielK

                                Using Philly's Delesandro's and Chubbie's across the street as my standard barer, I think it's safe to say that the Bethesda location is as good as it can get around here. The Aromoso rolls are key, and a good meat to melted cheese (Provolone) to onion ratio make each bite worth every clogged artery.

                            2. According to today's Diamondback, the SSS in College Park is closing and the owner asked all the employees he donked off to keep it a secret. That's a good plan - tell your employees out of the blue that they're losing their jobs, then ask them to keep it a secret, out of loyalty, I guess.


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: treetop tom

                                As a business owner, I can personally attest that this isn't a business owner's first choice. My guess is that he was facing a perfect storm of three elements - the College Park lease was up for renewal, the Bethesda lease was in risk of being picked off by someone else, and the current College Park business wasn't enough to keep the doors open. At the same time, you don't want to leave the impression that the business is failing (which it actual may not be).

                                As much as I love food, I would never open a food business. It is literally the single riskiest category of small business in the U.S.. Even when times are good, you can be only weeks or months from losing your shirt. To do it, you really have to be following your dream. Cut the owner some slack.