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Oct 21, 2005 07:55 AM

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! ;-)


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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.


    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.


          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.