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May 6, 2009 06:03 PM

Best Steak and Cheese?

I have a friend visiting from Philly next weekend and I know she will want to try the *best* steak and cheese Boston has to offer. We'll be spending most of our time in Boston (mostly North End, BackBay and Downtown areas) and Cambridge without a car. Any recommendations in those areas are appreciated!

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  1. i never understand this. why do people come from from places where their local food is great, (in this case, steak and cheese capitol of the earth) only to express disappointment with the versions available to them in other places? come to boston? go to speeds, or look for lobster rolls, or anything! trust me, if hes from philly he will be unhappy with ANY steak and cheese made in the boston area. eat barbeque in the south, mexican in l.a., pizza in new haven. forget local intepretations of your food back home, that just maintenance for ex-pats.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hyde

      I agree, take him for a Cubano in JP, Philly doesn't even know what that is. Also, pizza at Santarpio's, steak tips at the New Bridge, anything at Galleria Umberto, anything but cheesesteak.

      1. re: hyde

        I don't get you. It's's's seasoning...and bread...I am fairly certain someone can merge those in Boston to make something similar to what is in Philly. Why do you have to physically be in Philly to have someone put those items together in a good way?

        1. re: observor

          I think it's trickier than it looks. Bread is one thing especially that varies widely between cities. You'd think a great kummelweck roll would be easy to recreate, but they just don't make them here like they do in Buffalo, when they do at all. It's the water, it's the flour, and mostly it's the technique. Stuff that looks on paper like it ought to transfer easily from one locality to another is often surprisingly hard.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            true. Since you mention Buffalo.. Buffalo wings are a great example. Just about any mediocre corner pizzeria in the rochester/buffalo area has better wings then the best that can be found around here.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              In Philly the aging of the griddle has major effect on the final product....Pat's Steaks griddle is the equivalent of Pizzaria Regina's pizza oven in the North End. You can take the EXACT same "raw" pizza and put it into another Regina's oven and get a completely different product. Same with's how the griddle interacts with the shaved rib-eye...and it's gotta be ribeye.

              1. re: pondrat

                I think this is BS, unless someone provides more substantial indications of this. It's this kind of pretentiousness that plagues the cheesesteak genre.

        2. Unfortunately I'm assuming that somene from Philly is going to be totally let down by the best steak and cheese Boston has to offer.

          One of my favorites is Bob's in Medford, however that is not in the area you will be in and probably not worth making the effort to get to. As far as somewhere in town, I am at a loss.

          1. Please PLEASE take your guest to a clam shack instead. Or for some super Cambodian, or dim sum or even sushi or BBQ. Trying to replicate the Philly for a Philly is a losing game.

            2 Replies
            1. re: yumyum

              or a North Shore style roast beef sandwich.

              1. re: Aromatherapy

                I was in the general area yesterday and stopped by Mike's in Everett. Absolute heaven!

            2. I'd say the best steak and cheese in the area is south of Boston. It's in a place called Philadelphia. :-b

              I don't think we have anything that compares to what they have in Philly, but the steak and cheese at Carl's/TC Landos in Waltham and Hudson is really good. But since you're mostly going to be around Boston and Cambridge, I'd say that Al's on State Street in the Financial District might be a good bet.

              1. That reminds me: I'm off to Omaha, Nebraska. Anyone know where I can get a good lobster roll there?


                6 Replies
                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      I tried tracking down a place in omaha that had lobster rolls, just to be snarky, but that got to be too much of a challenge :)

                        1. re: hiddenboston

                          They just put it in last year, once they got the indoor bathrooms.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Make sure you order a dozen Island Creeks as well...