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Philly cheesesteak new info?

5 months have passed since latest info on Philly cheese steaks and I would like to eat the best there is in the city. I would like to have *specific* details about what makes you select this cheesesteak as the best. Meat flavor and texture and type, thorough roll description, nature of vegetables and cheese, and general elements of the sandwich (size, price) that makes you say if you will be dying tomorrow, you would want to eat a cheesesteak from x place. Fries commentary also appreciated.

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  1. Oh my god...IT"S JUST A CHEESESTEAK!!!!!

    1. John's is the best if you like your meat chopped, Steve's if you prefer flipped. Provolone is the best cheese choice, and tell the grill man you want your onions well done.

      1 Reply
      1. re: brightman

        Agree about Steve's and John's being the top two, but at Steve's your best cheese order is "both cheeses"--a liquefied white American intermingling with orange whiz. It's sublime.

        John's uses Carangi bread; Steve's I think bakes their own but I'm not 100% sure about that.

      2. Here we go again...

        1. Nothing has changed in the last 5 months.

          1 Reply
          1. re: barryg

            This just in.. roast pork with greens and sharp provolone still beats a cheesesteak.

          2. Provolone is great on a hoagie... or on Roast Pork (especially if it is sharp, hand-cut and not the bland deli Provolone you will get on most cheese steaks. Steve's does have some crazy "white American" that liquefies at the slightest heat. It is also melted over fires for cheese fries. Whiz MAY be crap, but it is a tangy addition to a cheese steak, and has been around so long as to be considered traditional,

            Steve's is kind of out of the way, and as a matter of fact so is John's (and keeps funky hours.)

            http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF...

            Check Cosmi's or Sonny's downtown for a good, if not great steak.

            7 Replies
            1. re: phillyjazz

              Agree with your suggestions of Cosmi's and Sonny's as good "second tier" steaks. At Cosmi's be sure to get it on the seeded roll.

              That map is awesome, thanks for sharing. You might want to consider adding Steve's second location just off the Boulevard. They have a third out in the 'burbs somewhere, too.

              One question about the map: Le Bec Fin has a cheesesteak?!

              1. re: barryg

                I have not heard of a Steve's in the 'burbs.

                1. re: crazyspice

                  Its in Langhorne

                  1617 E Lincoln Hwy
                  Langhorne, PA 19047-3010
                  (215) 943-4640

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    Comly is closer for me if I have a craving. Thanks!

                2. re: barryg

                  http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF...

                  Is Le Bec Fin on here ?? I don't see it. Anyway, it is a public map. Feel free to enter your own fav locations !!

                3. re: phillyjazz

                  thanks for the map...flipped steak is one piece of meat, or something?

                  1. re: observor

                    Steaks are either chopped, ot whole. Pat's and Geno's are whole (flipped.) So are Steve's. You need pretty good meat to get away with that. I personally prefer rib eye, but have had good top round and sirloin versions.

                4. Incidentally, what makes a cheesesteak so special...seems to me it is just meat, bread, cheese, and sauteed veggies. Obviously the quality of the meat is important, but I don't really see what the nuance is and why Philly might be different than any other place just because the cheesesteak was invented there.

                  25 Replies
                  1. re: observor

                    IMHO, the only "veggie" that belongs on a cheesesteak is onions. Anything else is just gilding the lily. There is a reason why Talk of the Town calls their cheesesteak with onions, mushrooms, and sweet peppers the "Out-of-Towner"...no real Philadelphian would order one.

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      yeah, when i saw "vegetables" in the first post, I though that - vegetables? what vegetables?
                      it's funny - I always get onions, and sometimes I even get mushrooms. in that context, though, i don't really think of them as vegetables.

                      oh, and pleny of places - hundreds - in philly serve perfectly good cheesesteaks.

                      1. re: Bob Loblaw

                        Frankly, I think anyone should be able to put whatever they like on their food. I don't know how people can thump their chest at American freedom and then make fun of someone for wanting something on *their* food that doesn't happen to be historical. Just because the first cheesesteak guy liked onions, now you have to eat onions? If you have a whole rib-eye steak you can have mushrooms but without cheese, but if you chop up that steak and put in bread all of a sudden no mushrooms but you can have cheese?

                        1. re: observor

                          Sounds like you would like Geno's Steaks (the owner and the sandwich).

                          1. re: observor

                            You can have mushrooms, but definitely not bell peppers or mayonnaise

                            1. re: barryg

                              you don't like extra fat? what are you--a suburbanite?!

                              1. re: barryg

                                Ever had bearnaise sauce with your steak? That's a type of mayonnaise.

                                1. re: observor

                                  I feel like I'm feeding the trolls here, but please review this article, specifically #3:
                                  http://unbreaded.com/2009/05/13/tips-...

                                  1. re: barryg

                                    Thank you Barry

                                    1. re: barryg

                                      I guess I shouldn't have dissed the Primanti Bros. sandwiches in Pittsburgh, but there was no specific specialty. It was pretty much any sandwich you pick with fries, cole slaw and tomato on them. Oddly, among the most popular was the Philly Cheese steak. An "iconic" sandwich shouldn't range from fish to pastrami just because you dump a bunch of stuff on it.

                                      I know lots of native Philadelphians who eat ketchup on their steaks, as well as mushrooms, peppers etc. "Exotica" like Swiss cheese seems somehow "un-iconic" though.

                                    2. re: observor

                                      But Bearnaise is typically served with Filet Mignon, a steak with hardly any fat and therefore, hardly any flavor. You would NEVER serve Bearnaise with a ribeye (American Freedom be damned!!!).

                                      1. re: Philly Ray

                                        That's true.

                                        1. re: Philly Ray

                                          Not Bernaise, but Al Roker has a steak recipe for Ribeye or Delmonico marinated in olive oil, rosemary and garlic, grilled and topped with a compound butter consisting of rosemary and orange zest...

                                          stop looking at me like that... it was heavenly... yeah, so I could FEEL my arteries constricting a bit while I was eating it but BOY was it good!
                                          (and you don't get more American than Al Roker, Philly Ray)

                                          1. re: cgarner

                                            Delmonico *is* rib-eye.

                                            1. re: observor

                                              Thank you for pointing that out... which brings us full circle to the cheesesteak discussion doesn't it?

                                              genius

                                              1. re: observor

                                                http://www.steakperfection.com/delmon...

                                                Sure about that ?

                                                1. re: phillyjazz

                                                  I'll let you know in an hour after I am done reading it.

                                                  1. re: observor

                                                    Kind of a fascinating piece of meat history. I have often quoted Ranhofer's as the original and definitive description of Prime Rib ... ribs 6 through 12 inclusive. So many wags insists Prime Rib refers to USDA grading without considering the USDA did not exist in 1894 when the term was defined, not to they grade meats in all the other English Speaking countries not regulated by the USDA.

                                                    Nonetheless, casually, I have always thought of a Delmonico as a boneless rib eye. For a cheese steak, I would prefer the chuck eye closer to the shoulder, as a more flavorful meat. It is usually tougher than a rib eye, but not when sliced paper thin.

                                                    1. re: phillyjazz

                                                      Perhaps a Delmonico, then, referred to a boneless first cut top loin (not that I am totally sold) but in my supermarket, at least, a Delmonico is a boneless rib-eye. All of which just goes to show there are way too many names for different cuts of meat!

                                              2. re: cgarner

                                                Al Roker should stick with the weather.

                                        2. re: observor

                                          President Obama was in Philadelphia today and this is from CNN.com...

                                          "Obama ordered four Philly cheese steaks topped with sweet peppers and mushrooms, at the Reading Terminal Market which is a meat and produce market in downtown Philadelphia."

                                          That might make you feel better, but it only proves my point.

                                      2. re: Philly Ray

                                        But I thought it was...JUST A CHEESESTEAK!

                                        1. re: observor

                                          It is...but so many people want to make so much more out of it.

                                        2. re: Philly Ray

                                          Hot peppers. You need hot peppers.

                                        3. re: observor

                                          The roll is key. Try to get a good steak in Phoenix where the bread turns to Melba toast instantly.

                                        4. I have looked through previous cheesesteak talk and noone has really given a detailed assessment of the steaks...just I" like this one", or "I like that one!" I was hoping for a detailed description so that a champion can be found.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: observor

                                            Are you kidding? Seriously? You honestly think "noone has really given a detailed assessment of the steaks..."??

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                                            1. re: AgentRed

                                              Please be so kind as to point them out. Incidentally, any place using top round over rib eye has to be second-rate.

                                              1. re: observor

                                                +1 for that sentiment... I may be "un-American" for saying so (being that we all have a choice) but cheese steaks have to be rib-eye if they are to pass these lips! I've had some of the "others" who people claim to be the best (*cough, ahem sputter Jim's* sputter, sputter, cough) and felt short changed with so-so quality meat that was chopped to the point of being hamburger on a bun with under cooked onions and barely a swipe of whiz
                                                *sigh... now I want a REAL cheeseteak!

                                                1. re: cgarner

                                                  At least he didn't ask for Camembert ..... Since Swiss is more than acceptable among the proletariat of Brooklyn to eat with Corned Beef on Rye, I suspect Kerry though he was being a "man of the people." His handlers should have told him to order Whiz and Philly's whole perception of him would have changed. What he SHOULD have done was gone up to Steve's and asked for BOTH (Whiz and the White American Insta-Melt they serve by default. How would have carried the Northeast with that kind of move.

                                                  I guarantee we will never see another cheese steak "faux pas" in American political history after Kerry.

                                              2. re: AgentRed

                                                LOL!

                                            2. For asking about cheesesteaks, I think it would be a good idea if the observor went to Barclay Prime and ordered the $100 cheesesteak, laden with foie gras, kobe steak, truffles, Taleggio, and other haute ingredients. And then afterwards went to Pats and ate one. Then you could really tell us what belongs in a cheesesteak!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: cwdonald

                                                I've heard that the $100 steak at BP no longer comes with Foie unless explicitly requested in advance. This practice may have changed under the new chef. Starr Restaurants has a ban on foie.

                                                In fact the $100 cheesesteak isn't even on the menu anymore, you have to ask for it.