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a REAL Philly Cheesesteak

  • d

I grew up in Philly and have tried every cheesesteak there. A little place called Dalessandro's beats everything on South Street. Now that I'm in LA, I'm looking for something that comes close.

What makes a great cheesesteak? Fresh bread that's soft on the inside but crispy enough on the outside that it doesn't fall apart. The meat is cooked fresh rather than pre-cooked or sitting on the grill waiting for someone to order a sandwich. Oh, and enough seasoned fat to make the paper bag see through and kill you moments after eating it. Fried onions, mushrooms and peppers that shine from the steak grease on the grill. Real white American cheese on top, not Cheese Whiz. Then topped with a tangy pizza sauce that would perfect any pizza.

It's a sandwich that's to die for (you probably will) but it's a great way to go!

Anything like that here in Lo-Cal? (Lower California)

Send out the hounds! ;-)

Link: http://philadelphia.citysearch.com/pr...

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  1. If you eat, (or even read) your way through this very recent (linked) thread on that subject the hounds will be amazed and impressed and your cardiologist will be amazed and appalled.

    Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

    3 Replies
    1. re: WLA

      Thanks for the reply. I read through that thread and have tried most of those places before. I think I'm looking for a bit of a different kind of cheesesteak than that fellow. There's much debate about how to do it right, even in Philly. (No Cheese Whiz) It's a big difference between Pat's and what I'm asking to find. I also thought the post might have been to old to get replies. So, I started a new one with as much description as possible.

      Sorry if I jumped the gun. I don't want to clog up the board, just my arteries. ;-)


      1. re: Dante

        The best cheesesteak I have had out here is a place called the philiadelphia connection in pasadena.. The owner is a transplant from Philly and his steaks taste just like home...

        1. re: foodieguy

          Unless he's reopened recently, which would be great news, The Philadelphia Connection in Pasadena has been out of business for several years. The owner moved the Pasadena location to Old Town Monrovia and the place was history within a few months.

    2. The way you describe it, it sounds just like the beef sandwich at the eastside market just west of chinatown.

      1. SouthStreet in Westwood has the most authentic cheesesteak. You can even get a Tastycake with your steak wit.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gino

          no offense, but I found SouthStreet to be overpriced, and undermeated. 8 bucks bought me a piece of bread with very little beef on it. There is a place on Magnolia in the valley that has the best I've had around here. Forget the name. It's right by Lankershim though.

          1. re: gbarnwell

            Philadelphia Sandwiches... it's on Magnolia between Lankershim and Vineland. It's not too bad, but I like John's Philly Grille better (not that it's ANYWHERE near the Valley).

        2. I'm no Philly cheesesteak expert, but I really enjoyed those at Philly's Best, a chain that is slowly expanding all around LA and OC. I think they have 3 choices for cheese: cheese whiz, white american cheese, and provolone.

          I talked to a business acquaintance who was from Philly, and asked him his opinion of Philly's Best, and he said it was as close to an authentic Philly cheese steak as he's had outside of Philly.

          And he said the same thing about what makes a Philly cheesesteak authentic: the bread. He mentioned that Philly's Best uses the same brand of bread that used in Philly restaurants, the Amoroso roll, according to their website.

          Check the link to find the closest location to you, and let us know your opinion of their cheesesteak if you decide to visit. I'm eager to know what places come closest to an authentic Philly cheesesteak.

          Link: http://www.eatphillysbest.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: Wonginator

            Agreed. I'm not an expert but damn if Philly's Best doesnt hit the spot.

          2. s
            Sunshine Girl

            I grew up in Philly as well, and sadly, I just don't think the "real cheesesteak" exists out here.

            I went so far as to call into Merrill Schindler's show to ask about cheesesteaks/hoagies out here, and he also suggested Philly's Best.

            I grew up on Lee's hoagies and cheesesteaks, Wawa "shortie" hoagies, my fill of Amoroso's rolls, and even a few cheesesteaks from Claymont Steak Shop in Delaware (REALLY good), and would love to find the same food out here.

            Sadly, my recommendation is still to have someone overnight some good rolls that would enable you to get the chewy inside/crispy outside (I usually stop at one of the places in Philly and ask them to wrap up some plain rolls for me to take on the plane), some real meat (NOT steak-ums), and make your own with as much grease as you'd like.

            Then go cheer on the "Eggles" at the Shack in Santa Monica, if you can find a seat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sunshine Girl

              Although I've posted about the place a zillion times (including a recent thread), note that there is a Lee's Hoagie House in Pasadena, which was originally related to the ones in Philly and still follows the Lee's formula. I'm not much of a fan of their cheesesteak (dang it, I like mine with Whiz - see Philly's Best for this), but the hoagies are the real deal.

            2. In the Philly vernacular, isn't what you're describing called a Pizza steak? At least that's what they're called at many other cheesesteak shops in the Philly area. Your steak wit' peppers, 'shrooms, and sauce would have some some Philly purists upset, but I believe you can find something similar at Eastside Market as another poster already mentioned.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Eric Eto

                Oh, and here's a link with a few photos from Dalessandro's.

                Link: http://www.hollyeats.com/Dalessandros...

              2. I just recently tried Markie D's Taste of Philly, which is on Washington Blvd a block or so east of Sepulveda. I think it may be exactly what you are looking for. It seems to be the same as the "Taste of Philly" that used to be located in the old, mourned food court on the Third Street Promenade. (Every week I used to get a cheeseteak from TOP plus fries from Benita's, which was across the hallway.)

                IMHO TOP's delicious cheesesteaks appear to meet all of your listed requirements for "authenticity." (But make sure to tell them what ingredients you want included.) Bring your own cardiac paddles.

                One caveat: Even though the place has a posted "A" rating from the Department of Health, it sure looked damn filthy to me. Never stopped me, though...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Arthur

                  Below you can find a link to their website.

                  Link: http://www.markiedstasteofphilly.com/

                2. my husband is from philly so I have become a cheese steak lover although I go for chicken steaks which are very tasty. in philly we go to ricks at redding terminal, my son loves jim's(no chicken steak there), yes, delessandros is wonderful but a place in south philly called shank and evelyns on 10th between christian and catherine. we also get a sandwhich there called the"health sandwich" which consists of breaded eggplant, marinated peppers, sharp provelone, tons of olive oil, etc etc it is soooo good we go there every other day when we are in philly. plus this place is such an experience that you have to go there for that...evelyn and her daughters smoke ciggs while cooking your food ......once when we were there mario the cooking guy was there doing a special on real italian joints.

                  back to the l.a. steak----I used to go to the 3rd street promenade spot so I am excited to try markie d's. there is also another spot called 14 below- 14th and santa monica in santa monica--a sports bar and I really enjoyed my chicken steak there and the boys said the steak was good too. they have a sign out front that reads,"best philly steak in LA" so of course, we had to try it and it was pretty acceptable.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Amanda Enclade

                    The location of "14 Below" at 14th Street and Santa Monica Blvd. is Markie D's original location. I wouldn't be surprised if their cheesesteaks are comparable (same recipes).

                    1. re: Norm Man

                      Just FYI, the name of the restaurant is actually Over Under. 14 Below is the club in the basement (which is not the same one as The Room)...

                      -- Das Ubergeek who used to live at 14th and Arizona and would eat Markie D's all de time.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        You are correct the new name is Over Under. Its the same recipe, same lean thinly sliced beef, and bread as it was before at Markie D's. I just had one yesterday and it was DEEEELISH! I love my Philly Cheesesteaks and this place is the best I have found outside of Pats or Geno's in Philly.

                  2. The SouthStreet in Burbank was horrible, the one time I tried it.

                    1. Try the one they make at Connal's in Pasadena, it wasn't all that bad.


                      1. I love Papa Jakes. They have locations in Manhattan Beach and Beverly Hills. My favorite is the chicken cheese steak topped with provolone. They cook it to order.

                        The bread is nice and crispy outside and IMO, one of the "must haves" for a good cheese steak.