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Alan Richman Ranks Cheesesteaks in Philly

I'm not even going to get into the rankings themselves as that has been beaten to death on this board. But, the article itself is pretty funny.


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    1. I've always thought "who in their right mind would eat a cheesesteak when a good roast pork sandwich was available"? I've never had one that was worth eating.

      This list only confirms it. Only the top 3 even sound worth trying: Sonny's for a cheesesteak; Philip's (apparently no one calls it Philip's) for a Steak Bomb (LOL, I'm from Massachusetts); and Joe's for the cute waitresses.

      It seems safest to start with Joe's.

      2 Replies
        1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

          Everyone in the neighborhood still calls in Chinks.. the milkshakes are reason alone to try the place. Its an authentic fifties kind of feel with good quality steak that has not been chopped up into dog food the way Genos does. Very fresh rolls, and overall good service. The area is a bit of a mess right now because of a water main break so please be careful if you are going over that way.

        2. I thought it was Alan Rickman. It would totally go with his recommendation:


          4 Replies
              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                It dropped because I like Alan Rickman or it dropped because I valued Alan Rickman more than Alan Richman or it dropped because I am a sloppy reader -- confusing the two names.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  l like greatly both of them, only razzin' you re: confusion of the names. {8>)

            1. Will have to try the old fashioned at Phillips, the regular is always an amuse for me on the way to Nick's Roast Beef.

              Thanks for the article, liked this one as much as his America's best pizza's some years back.

              l am a Chink's (Joe's) man forever.

              The way to avoid the too much bread at Steve's is to order extra meat, and BarryG's method of the two cheeses there works well also.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Delucca do they also scoop the roll? That's the other technique I have seen for people that want to reduce the bread? I think it works good on a hoagie, not so sure on a cheesesteak as the bread acts as a sponge for the grease from the meat and the cheese.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  If scooped, you will wind up with very messy shoes.

                2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  It's interesting that this article has received a lot of online comment in Philly, and almost universally you see people writing either: "Chink's (Joe's)"; "Joe's (Chink's)" or just plain "Chink's".

                  I can never remember the new "Joe's" name, so I suspect we'll be seeing parenthesis after it for the next 20 years, which kind of defeats the purpose of the name change.

                  Or maybe it is like buying "Puffs", but calling them "Kleenex".

                  Ooops, I hope I didn't restart the entire "Chink's--evil or not?" discussion.

                  1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                    For something new l am trying, but not too hard, to be politically correct. Thought the name change was silly and it will always be Chink's to me.

                3. When I visited Philly for the first time, I had to compare Pat's and Geno's head to head (Pat's won). Later on, I tried Jim's, Steve's, Chink's, Tony Luke's, and several others. My favorite is actually Jim's, mostly because it's in town, I can sit down, and have a beer. One conclusion I had early on was that the steaks generally aren't seasoned, so wiz is critical unless you want a bland sandwich. Next time I go to Philly, I'll try Sonny's and Campo's.

                  1. The thing that struck me about the article is that he dismisses American cheese from the get go. I think if you polled chowhound folks you'd find American is the preferred choice, ahead of whiz and provolone.

                    Provolone doesn't add the oozy fattiness that a cheesesteak needs (and gets from American or whiz).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: caganer

                      The thing that struck me about the article is that he dismisses American cheese from the get go. I think if you polled chowhound folks you'd find American is the preferred choice, ahead of whiz and provolone.
                      Outside of Philly, I suspect no one would order a cheese-steak with wiz. In fact, most restaurants wouldn't offer wiz. If you conduct the poll only in Philly, I'd be surprised if you're right (just because my preference is wiz, and most people I know who tried provolone and wiz agree wiz is the better choice. I've never even tried American cheese on a Philly cheese-steak).

                      1. re: Worldwide Diner

                        According to a 2008 philly.com poll American is the most popular choice for cheesesteaks, followed by provolone with whiz in third.

                      2. re: caganer

                        Provolone is fine for roast pork and hoagies. A steak needs the tang from Whiz or American (or BOTH!!) White American seems to be the preferred cheese (as opposed to orange.) I don't know if it's psychological and the orange color is just annato ??

                      3. I spent a few years in the early-mid 60s in Wallingford, a town outside Philly to the southwest. I never did get (as in understand) the whiz on a cheesesteak. What I remember not vividly enough is a small Italian grocer/deli on what I think was Moore Road. They made the most delicious steak hoagie. The meat was shaved steak. I don't recall the cheese but I'm leaning toward provolone (it wasn't orange). Peppers and onions were topped with a relish that red and sort of sweet. I remember the oil/vinegar (?) dressing that the guy would squirt on the roll - maybe it was in a Regina bottle (that was the shape). As I'm writing this, I am wondering why I haven't tried to recreate this in my own kitchen. I think it's one of those mental blocks where I'm so sure I'm not going to be able to recreate that taste that I'm afraid to try.

                        1. Anyone who misses D'Allesandro's in Roxborough cannot expect us to take that list seriously.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: arepo

                            Dalessandro's is a different steak than the others but good.

                            1. re: arepo

                              Many years back , in the 70's, D'Alessandros was great, times change and both D and Chubby's across the street are not in contention IMHO.

                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                Its true, I did my Dalessandro's eating in the 70s.

                            2. I just had a dream that Alan Richman wrote an article ranking Philly CHEESECAKES (or was it a nightmare?).

                              1. I make my cheesesteaks with cooper sharp the tangiest, and creamiest american there is. Cooper seems to be available only in philly for some reason.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: kpkip

                                  I never heard of this but just went to their website and did a store locator search. It's all over the place in the Pittsburgh area - Wal-Mart, of all places. I'll have to see if that's really true.

                                  Now if only Habbersett's was available here.

                                  1. re: kpkip

                                    And that cheese is about the right size for a steak roll. Coincidence? I think not.