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Philly cheesesteak new info?

o
observor Sep 18, 2010 12:45 PM

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.

  1. p
    Philly Ray Sep 18, 2010 02:15 PM

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

    1. b
      brightman Sep 18, 2010 05:18 PM

      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
        b
        barryg Sep 19, 2010 03:34 AM

        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. AgentRed Sep 18, 2010 05:35 PM

        Here we go again...

        1. b
          barryg Sep 19, 2010 03:30 AM

          Nothing has changed in the last 5 months.

          1 Reply
          1. re: barryg
            c
            cwdonald Sep 19, 2010 06:11 AM

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

          2. p
            phillyjazz Sep 19, 2010 07:35 AM

            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
              b
              barryg Sep 19, 2010 07:55 AM

              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
                crazyspice Sep 19, 2010 01:45 PM

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

                1. re: crazyspice
                  c
                  cwdonald Sep 19, 2010 01:58 PM

                  Its in Langhorne

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

                  1. re: cwdonald
                    crazyspice Sep 19, 2010 05:38 PM

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

                2. re: barryg
                  p
                  phillyjazz Sep 21, 2010 10:02 AM

                  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
                  o
                  observor Sep 19, 2010 02:45 PM

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

                  1. re: observor
                    p
                    phillyjazz Sep 21, 2010 10:05 AM

                    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. o
                  observor Sep 19, 2010 05:01 PM

                  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
                    p
                    Philly Ray Sep 19, 2010 06:35 PM

                    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
                      b
                      Bob Loblaw Sep 19, 2010 06:45 PM

                      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
                        o
                        observor Sep 19, 2010 07:25 PM

                        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
                          p
                          Philly Ray Sep 19, 2010 07:52 PM

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

                          1. re: observor
                            b
                            barryg Sep 19, 2010 08:32 PM

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

                            1. re: barryg
                              l
                              lacunacoil Sep 20, 2010 03:21 PM

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

                              1. re: barryg
                                o
                                observor Sep 21, 2010 08:42 AM

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

                                1. re: observor
                                  b
                                  barryg Sep 21, 2010 10:09 AM

                                  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
                                    b
                                    Bigley9 Sep 21, 2010 10:12 AM

                                    Thank you Barry

                                    1. re: barryg
                                      p
                                      phillyjazz Sep 22, 2010 08:09 AM

                                      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
                                      p
                                      Philly Ray Sep 21, 2010 08:00 PM

                                      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
                                        o
                                        observor Sep 22, 2010 03:15 PM

                                        That's true.

                                        1. re: Philly Ray
                                          c
                                          cgarner Sep 24, 2010 09:50 AM

                                          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
                                            o
                                            observor Sep 24, 2010 09:58 AM

                                            Delmonico *is* rib-eye.

                                            1. re: observor
                                              c
                                              cgarner Sep 24, 2010 12:15 PM

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

                                              genius

                                              1. re: observor
                                                p
                                                phillyjazz Sep 25, 2010 07:17 AM

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

                                                Sure about that ?

                                                1. re: phillyjazz
                                                  o
                                                  observor Sep 25, 2010 12:56 PM

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

                                                  1. re: observor
                                                    p
                                                    phillyjazz Sep 25, 2010 04:02 PM

                                                    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
                                                      o
                                                      observor Sep 26, 2010 01:37 PM

                                                      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
                                                crazyspice Sep 24, 2010 02:45 PM

                                                Al Roker should stick with the weather.

                                        2. re: observor
                                          p
                                          Philly Ray Sep 20, 2010 07:40 PM

                                          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
                                        o
                                        observor Sep 19, 2010 06:45 PM

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

                                        1. re: observor
                                          p
                                          Philly Ray Sep 19, 2010 07:04 PM

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

                                        2. re: Philly Ray
                                          PattiCakes Sep 27, 2010 10:33 AM

                                          Hot peppers. You need hot peppers.

                                        3. re: observor
                                          p
                                          phillyjazz Sep 21, 2010 10:06 AM

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

                                        4. o
                                          observor Sep 19, 2010 09:05 PM

                                          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
                                            AgentRed Sep 19, 2010 09:16 PM

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

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                                            1. re: AgentRed
                                              o
                                              observor Sep 19, 2010 09:20 PM

                                              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
                                                c
                                                cgarner Sep 21, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                +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
                                                  p
                                                  phillyjazz Sep 25, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                  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
                                                l
                                                lacunacoil Sep 20, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                LOL!

                                            2. c
                                              cwdonald Sep 21, 2010 11:31 AM

                                              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
                                                b
                                                barryg Sep 21, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                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.

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