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Lee's Hoagie House...authentic philly cheesesteaks?

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rich_l2000 Oct 21, 2010 05:17 AM

I really like their cold hoagies..but my date wants to try a real philly cheesesteak (she's from ny). Is Lee's ok or do I have to take her to Geno's or Pat's?

  1. k
    ken from conshy Oct 26, 2010 02:27 PM

    Lee's is a licensee operation. Not a franchise. . Thus, there are no "standards" to be maintained by the stores. It is like a buying co-op with a royalty to Seymour's wife.. Thus, the difference between stores. btw the cheltenham and italian cheltenham are great hoagies

    1 Reply
    1. re: ken from conshy
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      phillyjazz Oct 30, 2010 11:56 AM

      Just stopped by the Rock Hill Road shop in Bala Cynwyd. They use D'Ambrosio's which are pretty similar to Amoroso. A little more sheen on the crust, maybe an egg wash ?

    2. b
      b1979 Oct 26, 2010 11:00 AM

      The Lee's in Abington does make excellent cheesesteaks! We usually order a cheesesteak and the South Philly Italian and split them both. You can order them on a seeded roll and we always do. I'm not sure where they buy the the seeded rolls, but they are delicious.

      1. u
        Unkle Al Oct 26, 2010 07:09 AM

        I too love Lee’s hoagies and have been eating them for fifty years. Unfortunately, the Lee’s near my house (Montgomeryville) is very dirty so that I do not go there. Consequently, I do not eat them that often (I do miss them though). It appears to me that founding family are poor managers and do not run a tight ship.

        Concerning the steaks, up until about 1995, when the family had strong supervision of the stores, all of the steaks were a flat piece of steak and not chopped up. But now, it is left up to the individual store to determine whether or not to chop the steak. I once questioned this and was told by the manager on duty that the kid who was making the steak liked to chop it up!! I wondered what Lee or Seymour (his son in law) would have done if a kid messed with their steak!!

        1. r
          rich_l2000 Oct 25, 2010 04:44 PM

          So I emailed Lee's and got the response that None of the locations use Amoroso's rolls! Hmmm....I think im just gonna go to the one in bensalem. Thanks guys

          1 Reply
          1. re: rich_l2000
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            barryg Oct 25, 2010 07:06 PM

            That's good to hear. I used to hit Lee's Abington quite a bit back in the day, and I thought they used Amoroso's. Maybe they changed or I was wrong. On the other hand, about a year ago I spent a lot time near the Lee's on Walnut St by Penn and I could have sworn I saw Amoroso bread trays sitting around in there.

          2. m
            mikerichi Oct 21, 2010 07:20 AM

            As the previous poster said, Lee's can really vary from location to location. I go to the one in Abington and it's fine, but I've been to others (I forget exactly which one) that were horribly dirty and the food was terrible.

            6 Replies
            1. re: mikerichi
              r
              rich_l2000 Oct 21, 2010 08:08 AM

              Wow this is news, I thought they were all the same with only slight variances in the menu. According to the Newtown location menu, they use Liscio's bread and not Amaroso's. I live in NJ so I might just take a trek further out to Abington. I used to eat at the one in Bensalem as a kid.

              1. re: rich_l2000
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                phillyjazz Oct 24, 2010 05:44 PM

                Liscio's supplies lots of Jersey joints. Great when they are fresh. Amoroso holds better over time if the place doesn;t get deliveries every couple of days.

                The Lee's in Bala Cynwyd make a pretty decent steak. Their rolls have always been fresh. They make a pretty unique one with Montreal Seasoning, brown gravy and cheddar. I can sometimes be a bit of a purist, but still appreciate a cheesesteak form left field once in awhile.

                I suspect just about any Lee's would be as good or better than a typical Pat's or Geno's. It would certainly stand as an example of what a cheesesteak should taste like.

                1. re: phillyjazz
                  Delucacheesemonger Oct 25, 2010 08:56 AM

                  Thank you for correctly spelling 'Amoroso'

                  1. re: phillyjazz
                    gaffk Oct 25, 2010 05:58 PM

                    wow, I worked in a very low end steak\hoagie\pizza joint in high school, but we got fresh Amoroso's every day, twice a day. Any rolls left at midnight were sent home with us.

                    New shipments at 8:30 am & pm. Never heard of a place that gets deliveries "every couple of days."

                    1. re: gaffk
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                      barryg Oct 25, 2010 07:00 PM

                      My memory, which may be a revisionist history, is that Amoroso rolls went way downhill when Wawa started making hoagies back in the late nineties. They became marginally better than supermarket "Italian" rolls and were reformulated to stay soft over a couple days.

                      1. re: barryg
                        gaffk Oct 25, 2010 07:14 PM

                        Yes, my memories are early 80's . . . .2x deliveries every day. Can't tolerate the Wawa revisionists and the "every few days." The worst thing I ever tasted was the Wawa breakfast roll . . . .blech:(...

              2. b
                barryg Oct 21, 2010 06:37 AM

                Lee's steaks, at least from the locations I have had them, are solid and definitely better than Pat's and Geno's (they are both inconsistent at best or just bad at worst). The only knock I have on Lee's is that they use Amaroso's rolls, which are pretty good for the style of hoagie they serve, but too soft in the crust to make a great steak IMO. Still, you won't be going wrong, especially for an out of towner.

                1 Reply
                1. re: barryg
                  m
                  mitchh Oct 21, 2010 08:34 AM

                  Barry,

                  Not all Lee's use Amaroso's rolls. The one in Blue Bell bakes their own bread daily.

                2. t
                  travelmad478 Oct 21, 2010 05:44 AM

                  I have always been a fan of Lee's for cheese steaks. There are many, many great cheese steak sources that are neither Geno's nor Pat's. Don't fall victim to the hype!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: travelmad478
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                    mitchh Oct 21, 2010 06:12 AM

                    Please keep in mind that not all Lee's are the same so while one Lee's may have a good cheesesteak another may not.

                    I can personally vouch that the cheesesteaks at the one in Blue Bell are very good (although their default cheese is provolone, which isn't my preference). The folks that own the location in Blue Bell also own the Abington and Willow Grove stores as well.

                    1. re: mitchh
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                      givemecarbs Oct 24, 2010 01:20 PM

                      I like the Blue Bell Lees too. When I used to eat lunch out in that area more often I would ping pong between Lee's and Pudge's. Saw more cops eating at Lee's but Pudge's got all the trucks. I prefer Pudge's but there is something about sitting at a stool at the counter right against the big window overlooking the parking lot on a cold rainy day at Lee's, chomping down on a hot cheesesteak that is comforting to the soul.

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