Cheese Steaks, Philadelphia
Reading Terminal has Rick's. South Street has Jim's and, of course, there's Pat's and Geno's over by Little Italy. You can get a cheesesteak all over town, so just ask a local and indulge yourself. Yum.
I got this one from Margherita Pizza on 2nd and Chestnut and it was great!
No where in the world can you get a cheese steak quite like you can in Philly. We've got some pretty good ones in south Jersey, but Philly really is the tops. No one really knows why the ones made in Philly are so much better than ones made in other places. My dad says it's the bread (or rather the water in the bread) that makes the sandwich better.) Other people say its the way we cut the meat- frozen, on a lunch meat slicer, so that' it's paper thin. Then once it's cut thin while its being cooked it has to be pulverized with a big metal spatula. There are lots of other arguements about why they're better here, but all I know is, they are. They really are. Making a good cheesesteak is an art.
But not all cheesesteaks in Philly are created equally. Some people say Jim's Steaks on South Street has the best. Personally, I think they suck. They put Cheese Wiz on them at Jims, which in my opinion is a total desecration. Cheesesteaks should be served with with American cheese and a ton of fried onions. Most places in Philly that are run by Italian-Americans that make good pizzas make good cheesteaks.
But here the rule if you want a really Philly cheesesteak- keep it simple. All it should have is finely chopped meat, american cheese, and be served on a roll of excellent quality. Ketchup, hot peppers and fried onions are optional.
The following items should NOT be put on a cheesesteak- peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, garlic, mushrooms, tomato sauce and mozerella/cheddar or any other kind of cheese. I have seen all kinds of imposters offered, none of which resemble a Philly cheesteak. Simpler is always better when it comes to a cheesteak.
Whatever you do don't leave Philly without eating your share of cheesteaks!
Lit up with what seems as many neon colored lights as could be found, Geno's is one of the most popular cheese steak places in Philidelphia. I waited in line 25 mins. in a heavy snow with temps. in the low to mid 30's.
I got a plain steak with american cheese and it was alright. The meat was not sliced up very fine but instead was more like strips of meat that were very stringy to chew.
I might go back again if I saw the meat better sliced up.
The nice thing is it's open 24 hours a day.
Eat a Cheesesteak... and a soft pretzel.
Go to Geno's on 7th and Passyunk... ask for a 'Provalone wit' They'll know what to do... then head down Wahington Avenue to Center City Pretzel and grab a fresh soft pretzel right from the oven!
I know a lot has been written about the cheese steak. I read a lot of reviews before going and thought I knew what to expect, but there was one surprise. The steak actually tastes juicy and there isn't any apt comparison for what to expect. The only thing that it even came close to reminding me of was some of the British meat pies, but even withthose you lose the juice from the meat. These sandwiches are also very filling. I ate one and ended up skipping dinner. Cheese Wiz is the traditional topping but I preferred provolone. These sandwiches are readily available pretty much everywhere. You can pay anywhere from $4-13 for a sandwich like these, depending on your preferences and flexibility. If you buy one from a pushcart you're going to pay less, go to a sit down restaurant and order beer and wings, you pay more.
When in Philadelphia, you will notice that EVERY single restaurant has one extra item added to the menu that you normally would not find in other cities... the Philadelphia Cheese Steak Hoagie.
The nickname "Philly" is most commonly associated with this celebrated sandwich, now popular all over the country. You haven't really experience this city without having at least one.