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Jan 10, 2013 01:50 PM

Steve's Prince of Steaks Coming to Center City

In the old Krispy Kreme spot...

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    1. Finally, a decent cheesesteak!

      1. I grew up less than a mile from Steve's in the NE, and they were never a favorite of mine. Though I used to stop in on Friday nights on my way home from the Roosevelt Mall and get cheeze whiz fries & a chocolate cherry soda. The steaks never thrilled me, though.

        4 Replies
        1. re: StrandedYankee

          Stranded... what was the reason you didn't like Steve's? Did you not like the fact they don't chop their steaks the way other steak shops do?

          1. re: cwdonald

            Well, I'm 42 now. they became a non-favorite of mine back when I was 11 or my reasons for liking (or not liking) food at that point was basically "I dunno...I just do (or don't)!". However, I didn't hate them, and other friends liked them a great deal, so I still ended up there semi-regularly. I remember back at some point in the early 90's being there, getting a steak, and not liking the way they did the meat...It was in these long, thick slices, and there were only maybe 2 or 3 of them on the whole sandwich. It made for something way too chewy for a cheesesteak, because it was also too damn dry. Even with the cheese. I think at that point I was usually getting cheesesteaks with provolone, and provolone never added much moisture to the mix. Not a problem if the meat is steamy and juicy, big problem if it isn't. Of course, those cheesesteaks with the whole dry slices of meat was something you started to see a lot of in the early 90's that was pretty much gone by 2000 (thank God...those were AWFUL!).

            I do prefer cheesesteaks to have chopped up meat, but not like Roxborough-style where they chop it into beef confetti. I like it chopped some, but not too much. I like the meat to be steamy and juicy on a roll that's tough enough to not turn into paste when it soaks up the hot juices, but light enough to collapse nicely around the meat (the real reason no one else can make a good cheesesteak...where else can you get good rolls?).

            I usually get American cheese on them because it gets good and liquidy and melty. Cheeze whiz, though I still have a weakness for it on french fries, will never touch a cheesesteak of mine. Yes to both raw and fried onions, often at the same time. Hot cherry peppers on the side. Sometimes I'm in the mood for green peppers, or mushrooms. Not always.

            And, am I craving a cheesesteak!

            1. re: StrandedYankee

              You describe my perfect cheesesteak. Chopped but not too much, provolone or American, never cheesewiz, roll with enough structural integrity to hold up. I think I'd prefer the unchopped version though to those places that chop it into vapor. To me, that is one gross texture. Regardless, good luck to Steve's and I will give them a try.

          2. re: StrandedYankee

            It really depends on which Steve's you go to. The one on St. Vincent and Buselton is the main one.

          3. Have now tried cheesesteaks at Tony Luke's and Steve's Prince of Steaks (Langhorne location).

            Tony Luke's: Got it with cheese whiz because I had read somewhere that that was the "authentic" way to get a cheesesteak. Sadly, the meat was flavorless and I absolutely hated the whiz.

            Steve's: Got it with provolone and onions. Meat was good quality--tender and not stringy--but was again flavorless. Think I prefer the meat chopped up a bit instead of in big slices. Provolone was a huge improvement over the whiz.

            But overall, my reaction to cheesesteaks thus far is a resounding meh. I was warned away from Pat's and Geno's by colleagues who are locals, but plan to give John's Roast Pork a try...just haven't managed to get my schedule to align with their hours. If John's doesn't do it, I may have to come to the sad conclusion that Philly cheesesteaks just aren't my thing. Lucky for me there's Paesano's!

            6 Replies
            1. re: msiangal

              John's is definitely the most flavorful of the bunch -- there is a video online of John making one and the difference is very clear.

              FWIW Steve's and John's are tied for #1 in my book (though they are very different styles). I get Steve's with "both cheeses" -- liquid American and whiz. The way they cook meat makes it more flavorful than the other places to me but the salty processed cheese adds flavor too. Then I add pickled hot peppers and a little ketchup, all adding additional flavor.. I avoid provolone as I think it's too dry.

              1. re: barryg

                I could be persuaded to try another cheesesteak from Steve's with American, and hot peppers definitely sounds like a good addition. Will see if this combination changes my mind.

              2. re: msiangal

                I still don't get the cheesesteak-as-destination-food thing. Yes, some are better than others. But there are many, many places in the city that serve a perfectly competent cheesesteak.

                1. re: msiangal

                  Msiangal, I actually don't care for the cheesesteaks at either place that you mentioned. Of the touristy places, Pat's is my favorite. I don't like Cheeze Whiz. I tend to prefer American with plenty of fried onions and some hot cherry peppers on the side (I might get green peppers on the steak as well if I am feeling particularly jaunty). Provolone has more flavor than American, but cheesesteaks are really mainly about texture and provolone never melts right. I have not tried John's since moving back to Philadelphia, so I can't tell you about them (if anyone wants to take me, let me's no fun to eat cheesesteaks alone!).

                  Honestly, my favorite cheesesteak at the moment is at a place in Port Richmond called Villagio's Pizza on...I think it's Clearfield Street. Good meat chopped and cooked just right, excellent roll...can't beat it with a stick.

                  Go back to Tony Luke's sometime and get a roast pork Italian with spinach (my favorite sandwich there) or their chicken cutlet. Both are delicious.

                  1. re: StrandedYankee

                    I've had the roast pork with broccoli rabe at DiNic's, which I thought was really good until I was completely blown away by the Arista at Paesano's. Will keep the roast pork and chicken cutlet sandwiches at Tony Luke's in mind, but dunno if that place will float to the top of my list again anytime soon, given that I'm only in Philly once every 2 weeks or so.

                  2. re: msiangal

                    Tony Lukes is a hot roast beef sandwich shop that somehow gets by as a cheesesteak shop.

                  3. When I go to Steve's i get American with the homemade roasted hot peppers. (some of their locations don't have the roasted peppers on the menu. You had to ask if the owner had them the day you visited.) I add ketchup and munch on one or two cherry peppers from their bins with a Cherry soda. My favorite cheesesteak of all time. Provolone?? Only with a roast pork sandy my friend. John's roast pork has a sharp provolone option. I would get it if you like a bit of bite.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dalovin

                      Which Steve's location do you like the best?

                      1. re: mookleknuck

                        I grew up near the cottman and bustleton location, but work a block from their newly opened one at 16th and market. I have visited the Roosevelt blvd. once. To be honest all three experiences were pretty consistent and I did not notice anything related to food quality that could be used to choose one over the other. The downtown is larger and has more seating, a little cleaner, but that's it. Does anyone have a preference as to location?