Helpful ReplyThe best Cheesesteak

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capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/12 17:45:06 (permalink)
Amstelman, you make me feel so special! Unfortunately, you sound like one of the Hellman's mayo crowd. "Everything's better on the East Coast" and all that. Well, Hellman's is just another name for Best Foods and we get Tasty Kakes in the supermarkets here in California now. They really aren't that great, sorry. I wasn't impressed with the last Skybar I had and I'll also point out that Top Dog in Berkeley and Mark's Hot Dogs in San Jose are better than anything I've had at Nathan's. I'll gladly admit to a regional bias, but I've been all over the place and eaten a lot of stuff. Cincinnati chili is better in Cincinnati; New York style pizza is better in NY; southern style BBQ is better in the South (although we've got some contenders in Oakland), as Texas style BBQ is better in Texas; paella is better in Valencia; sushi is better in Tokyo; do you see where I'm going with this? I've never been to India, but I'd expect the vindaloo to be better there, too. If it weren't, I'd make a note of it. That's what I did with what was purported to be the "best cheesesteak" in the town that made the dish famous. If I got nasty sourdough bread in San Francisco, you can be certain I'd mention it.
Bye the way (your spelling, by the way ), if you are an Amstel drinker, as your name implies, you probably haven't got any taste buds anyway.
Come to San Jose sometime. I'll buy you a cheesesteak, a Zinger and a Guinness (better in Dublin, BTW). Cheers!
#61
saps
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/14 11:45:03 (permalink)
Just got back from Philly on business and had cheesesteaks for the first time. I went to both Pat's and Geno's(had them with Whiz and onions), and, unfortunately, was unimpressed. I don't mean to offend the cheesesteak nation, and I'm sure there are better places out there. I wonder if they are something that you have to grow up with to really enjoy. For instance, if Philadelphians had hot dogs or Italian Beef in Chicago here, I wonder if they would be unimpressed with the local food here.

I did go to Monk's Cafe, which kicked ass. Great mussels, great fries, great burger to go with the beer and a great atmosphere. I'll definitely be back there, and I'm still going to check out some other cheesesteak places as well as the Italian Market section. I've heard that Sarcone's Deli makes good sandwiches.

John
#62
harriet1954
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/15 20:55:55 (permalink)
This is why the Mom & Pop places stay Mom & Pop and are supported by the neighborhoods. And that's really what makes America great. As a native Philadelphian, I have always been somewhat embarrassed at my hometown being known only for Pat's, Geno's, Jim's, Bookbinder's, Tastykake, soft pretzels...it's too big and diverse of a city to be stereotyped like this. I've lived in South Jersey since 1987 and although I really do not go to Philadelphia often anymore since my father died, and do not defend it as staunchly as I used to (4 more years...?), I'm so glad for all the little neighborhood places that people from out of town will never be able to get to because the directions are too hard to follow, or on a one-way street, or there's never any parking so you HAVE to take SEPTA.

It's still my hometown.

It's nice to share, but it's nice to have your own little spots, too.

Drove past Nabisco on the Boulevard (only one Boulevard in Philly, people), and it's not even Nabisco anymore...it's Kraft Foods.

What it comes down to is do not judge our cheesesteaks by Pat's and Geno's. There are as many great places as there are neighborhoods. Roadfood means being adventurous, no? Pat's and Geno's are too "easy" and obvious.
#63
Rick F.
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/15 23:38:43 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by amstelman

Just registered for you.
Cap'n Hank: you'll be happy to know that I just dashed off a note: "Good. Now un-register."
#64
Rick F.
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/15 23:44:18 (permalink)
Y'know, the rant from Amstelman saddened me as much as it annoyed me. This is a forum for discussion, dammit. We can tease, we can harrass, because (as far as I know) we're friends, we're family. I would hate for mean-spiritedness to poison the site.
#65
capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/18 14:55:07 (permalink)
Thanks for the support, Rick!
I couldn't agree more. This is not the place for nastiness (unless we're discussing nasty food!) and when someone decides to turn a discussion into a junior high school dozens contest...well, we haven't heard back from ol' Amstelman, have we? Nuff said.

Shayna's Mom makes a good point about the Mom and Pops. If you stick to the main drag, you'll often get the food they serve the tourists. For example, if you visit San Francisco, I'd strongly advise steering clear of Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. There are a couple of established restaurants (Alioto's, etc), but you'll get tourist ripoff food most of the time. Visit the Tenderloin, Chinatown or North Beach for the real deal.
In Philadelphia, in addition to the aforementioned cheesesteak incident, I've had fair-to-middlin' pizza around the corner from the Mutter Museum and a pretty decent steak sandwich (sans cheese) from the downstairs kitchen while I was upstairs at Nick's (2nd and Market) in the late 90s. I hear they've done a remodel at Nick's, so who knows if the've retained any of the charm, but it was an amiable dump in its day. If I recall correctly, I also had excellent Chinese food around the corner from the Trocadero. I certainly have nothing against Philly, although I'm pretty sure nobody but Amstelman saw my original post as anything but a subjective commentary on an unfortunate habit that many of us share.
That said, I love this board!
#66
capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/18 18:04:42 (permalink)
Shayna's Mom:
Do you ever get smoked meats from the Mennonites at the Cowtown Flea Market in Sharpton? Yummy stuff!
#67
burritoman
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/18 22:33:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon

WHOA!!! CHECK THAT!!!

It's the Route 70 exit off I 295 for Big John's, NOT 73!!! Sorry -- wrong exit. The rest is still right -- away from Philly on the left. If you get to Syms, you went too far.

On 73 about a mile down in the same direction, away from Philly, there is my favorite sub place, but that's a different story. Sharpest provolone you'll ever meet on a sandwich, and great bread.


#68
burritoman
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/18 22:42:48 (permalink)
I agree that Gaetano's is a great place for a cheesesteak. One location is on Burnt Mill Road near Evesham road in Cherry Hill. They have been voted "Best of South Jersey" for several years now
quote:
Originally posted by tamandmik

Hi Signman,

Glad to help you on this. First of all, here is their website: http://www.gaetanosteaks.com/ Their locations are in Willingboro, Marlton, and 6 other locations here. I can only vouch for the 2 restuarants here that I mentioned. I have ordered from the Marlton location primarily, and have on a few occasions stopped by Willingboro. I am happy to report that there is no fall off in quality, the food is indistinguishable at those 2 locations. My favorite: The A1 Steak. As you can see by the menu, there is more offered here than any place of its kind that I have seen. You really can't go wrong with any selection.

#69
harriet1954
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/19 20:20:49 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by capnhank

Shayna's Mom:
Do you ever get smoked meats from the Mennonites at the Cowtown Flea Market in Sharpton? Yummy stuff!



(It's actually in Woodstown, but...). That area is way south of me, better part of an hour to get to. I will ask my boyfriend, who used to teach school down that way. The only times I've been to Cowtown itself is to the rodeo on Saturday nights in the summer.
#70
harriet1954
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/19 20:24:29 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by burritoman

I agree that Gaetano's is a great place for a cheesesteak. One location is on Burnt Mill Road near Evesham road in Cherry Hill. They have been voted "Best of South Jersey" for several years now.
Originally posted by tamandmik

Hi Signman,

Glad to help you on this. First of all, here is their website: http://www.gaetanosteaks.com/ Their locations are in Willingboro, Marlton, and 6 other locations here. I can only vouch for the 2 restuarants here that I mentioned. I have ordered from the Marlton location primarily, and have on a few occasions stopped by Willingboro. I am happy to report that there is no fall off in quality, the food is indistinguishable at those 2 locations. My favorite: The A1 Steak. As you can see by the menu, there is more offered here than any place of its kind that I have seen. You really can't go wrong with any selection.


I am so lucky to have Gaetano's near me; the Marlton, Berlin and Burnt Mill Road locations are all a stone's throw from me! And they wonder why I like living in Voorhees! I'm just right in the center of everything.
#71
illadelfian
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/21 15:23:08 (permalink)
..new here but from Philly (native-city) and here's my two cents..

I never go to the "famous" Geno's, Pat's, or Jim's. Although they do the most business and i've eaten at all three numerous times, they are generally inconsistant and only seem to produce well under heavy traffic (late night pre-post sporting events) Jim's chops thier meat which is a sign of lower quality meat and Pat's and Geno's use different cuts. All three tend to serve mid-temp steaks where the cheese is cold so it never really melts (hence the popularity of whiz)

Every pizza shop and most bars serve a comparable product with some better than others (most metioned already are good i.e. Gaetano's, Big John's, Chink's, Dalesandro's etc...) but most of them also chop their meats (again a sign of inferior meat, chopped, to cover the large amount of gristle and fat)

In my opinion Steve's Prince of Steaks in the North East section of Philadelphia is the best. They use sliced meat like Pat's and Geno's but then they also have melted American (fondu style) as an option. This seems to reduce the grease. They also use their own roll which isn't as bland as Amaroso's (which is still the best for hoagies)
THe stores (they have two) are similar in fasion to the famous ones' with different windows and limited seating but Steve's doesn't try to stay open for 24 hours. They also use the melted American on the fries which is ALOT better than wiz.

And for Roadfans, one of the stores is one Route 1 just south of PA 63 (Woodhaven Road) across from the ol'Nabisco/Kraft plant. The other is the Bustleton store metioned earlier in the post. On Bustleton Ave south of PA 73 (Cottman Ave west) which crosses Route 1 about ten minutes south of the other store.

PS...almost every section of Philly and the suburbs (NJ included) has at least one good shop so just ask around...

Good Luck
#72
fafaru
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/24 20:07:09 (permalink)
For my infrequent visits to Philly, Dallesandro's steaks are just right for me. For those of you who may visit Seattle, it may be of interest to know that there is a passable (I have been there many times) steak at Philly's Steaks on 23rd Ave E. in the Central District. For me, a lot of what a steak is about is the ambience- never liked Jim's on South Street- too fancy- but a teak before the game at Pat's or Geno's (each facing each other and all lit up) makes for a memorable experience.
#73
Stewdude
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/25 11:49:32 (permalink)
There is something about the atmosphere at the corner of Pats and Genos which elevates the taste of the cheese steaks. Maybe it is reading the signs about the family battles over cheese steaks or see two behomeths across the street from each other battle it out to be king of the corner, but the cheesesteaks always taste great there.

A good contender in NYC for best cheesteak is the BB Bar on West 3rd street. A simple to the point menu...1 cheesesteak, 2 cheesesteaks, 3 cheesesteaks, etc. The sandwiches are very good. Take em to go and walk around the corner to Washington Square Park and watch the street performers or head back to Avenue of the Americas and eat em while watching some of the best hoopsters in the City play some street basketball.
#74
harriet1954
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/11/28 20:40:02 (permalink)
If anyone would care to see Gaetano's menu (it's 8 1/2 x 11 & two-sided - just a plain paper one), let me know and I'll be happy to scan and send to you.
#75
RockyB
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/01 15:20:04 (permalink)
To add to Rick F's comments about how this website & forum is a place for discussion, I have found that it has been a place I can bring my step-son to and share a few things with him. On many websites you can't. But I've noticed lately, and it includes the post from amstelman, that various veiled forms of cursing are creeping into this forum and this is no place for that. It would be nice if the forum moderators would delete this kind of post, since it doesn't belong here anyway. I'm not a prude, but there is a place for all things, and RoodFood is not the place for it.
#76
Coops3
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/03 08:12:06 (permalink)

Stop the press.....Stop the presses...... The Philadelphia Cheesesteak has been reinvented at the corner of Snyder Ave in South Philly care of John's Roast Pork.... The bruschetta cheesesteak features the best soft roll in Philly, combined with best chipped steak, sharp provolone, basil, garlic and fresh tomatoes..... Are you kiddin' me.... Fahgettaboutit!!!!
#77
howard8
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/03 11:02:04 (permalink)
Regarding RickF, RockyB and Amstelman,I will weigh in on this sidebar. I think roadfood.com is a friendly, homey type site as compared to some other food internet sites. And I like it and feel good about reading and posting on all forums. I like the notion that we can discuss, disagree, use humor and sarcasm without the back biting or brow beating discourse which can be hostile and intimidating. I also think that communication needs to include all forms of language so long as it is not aggressive or pornographic. Censorship of language needs to done with clear guidelines and thought. I do not see any problem in using bad (curse) words to carry home a point. It is reality. People use those words;whether or not they actually have to can be debated forever. In the real word adults and non-adults use them and to take those words and shoot them into cyberspace only increases their cache.
#78
capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 13:15:20 (permalink)
Howard,
I'm with you all the way! It's all about context, I think. When Amstelman tells me that I don't know my @#%$ from a hole in the ground, he has no evidence to back it up and makes no cogent argument other than "TastyKakes are one of the best commercially made snack cakes". Yes, this may be true, but it has no bearing on the implied similarities or differences between my posterior and the aforementioned hole in the ground. However, if I say that I had a Jack in the Box cheesesteak and it tasted like @#%$...well, that's different...

#79
wanderingjew
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 13:35:17 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by capnhank

Howard,
I'm with you all the way! It's all about context, I think. When Amstelman tells me that I don't know my @#%$ from a hole in the ground, he has no evidence to back it up and makes no cogent argument other than "TastyKakes are one of the best commercially made snack cakes". Yes, this may be true, but it has no bearing on the implied similarities or differences between my posterior and the aforementioned hole in the ground. However, if I say that I had a Jack in the Box cheesesteak and it tasted like @#%$...well, that's different...



Although I don't agree with Anstelman approach, (by the way he hasn't been back on the board since) I still truly believe that the best cheesesteaks are in the Philly area. I've had them in other places, most are awful, some are ok, however even the ok ones lack "soul". For example, one of my coworkers here in Rhode Island suggested I go to a local bar and order a pulled pork sandwich telling me they are the best "anywhere" and are just as good as the ones in Memphis if not better! I tried it, it was good, not great, certainly edible however it lacked that "je ne say quois". Couldn't quite but my finger on it.
#80
capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 13:57:09 (permalink)
There's a lot to be said for attitude and locale, that's for sure. The pizza in NY and NJ is excellent, but without the attitude it wouldn't be quite so spectacular. The same is true of dive bars. I've had my share of booze in upscale bars, but it just feels better in a dive.
Like I said in my original post, what I had was purported to be "the best" and was simply not. I'm sure there's a cheesesteak in Philly just waiting to prove me wrong, but I don't get out there as often as I used to.
#81
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 14:46:01 (permalink)
Capn Hank and anyone else who'd like to join us: Please come to Philly and take the cheesesteak tour that I lead.
I guarantee that you will taste the various versions and understand the different nuances of the Philly area's contribution to roadfood.
I'm sure there's a cheesesteak or a steak sandwich here that will tickle your individual fancy.
#82
wanderingjew
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 14:48:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by CheeseWit

Capn Hank and anyone else who'd like to join us: Please come to Philly and take the cheesesteak tour that I lead.
I guarantee that you will taste the various versions and understand the different nuances of the Philly area's contribution to roadfood.
I'm sure there's a cheesesteak or a steak sandwich here that will tickle your individual fancy.


Hi Cheesewit, let me know when you do your cheesesteak tour. I'd be happy to join you and the crew.
#83
capnhank
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 16:35:12 (permalink)
Yeah, CW, I was thinking the same thing...
Is Coops3 a fan or a spammer?

I'd love to take your tour someday. It sounds educational and filling! Unfortunately, my traveling days are behind me for the time being. Being sole breadwinner in San Jose is financially tapping, to say the least. Maybe when my wife's business takes off...
#84
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/04 16:49:38 (permalink)
I have a "Winter Tour" and a "Summer Tour". The winter tour stops at two or three outdoor (no inside seating) shops and many with indoor seating, starting just after Thanksgiving, and the summer tour, which starts just after Easter/Passover, includes all of the outdoor facilities with some of the inside seating steak shops.

That "new" sandwich from John's is just a variation on a Cheesesteak hoagie or a pepper steak. There's no doubt that it would be good. I haven't tried it yet.

Bushie is probably coming in June for a tour. Anyone and everyone is invited any time. Just let me know through this thread or directly via my email (remember, you must be registered on Roadfood.com to use the email option).

I am a serious cheesesteak lover and will provide you with both an educational and fulfilling experience!
It's a lot like the Kramer tour actually available in NYC with Kenny Kramer, the real-life person the character on Seinfeld is based on.
#85
howard8
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/05 09:31:12 (permalink)
CheeseWit:
I would love to join you and other roadfood aficionados on a cheese steak trek in Philly.
#86
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/05 09:36:33 (permalink)
howard 8: You're not far from Philly, so anytime you want to come down, just let me know!!
Every day is a great day for a cheesesteak!!
#87
Coops3
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/06 08:45:25 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by capnhank

Yeah, CW, I was thinking the same thing...
Is Coops3 a fan or a spammer?

I'd love to take your tour someday. It sounds educational and filling! Unfortunately, my traveling days are behind me for the time being. Being sole breadwinner in San Jose is financially tapping, to say the least. Maybe when my wife's business takes off...
#88
Coops3
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/06 08:47:18 (permalink)
Hey guys,
I plead the fifth on posting the John's Roast Pork Bruschetta Cheesesteak twice..... I promise you that I am a female cheesesteak officianado, not a spammer.... Don't hate the player, just hate the game!!
quote:
Originally posted by capnhank

Yeah, CW, I was thinking the same thing...
Is Coops3 a fan or a spammer?

I'd love to take your tour someday. It sounds educational and filling! Unfortunately, my traveling days are behind me for the time being. Being sole breadwinner in San Jose is financially tapping, to say the least. Maybe when my wife's business takes off...
#89
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/12/06 09:05:20 (permalink)
Coops: Please join us in our tasting tour. You're not far from me geographically.
#90
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