Helpful ReplyThe best Cheesesteak

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bigguy
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2003/02/25 19:20:14 (permalink)

The best Cheesesteak

OK, I've been to Pat's, Geno's, Jim's, Tony Lukes and the rest of them, but I want to try something new. I'm a fan of the classic with Whiz and fried onions on an Amoroso roll. Anyone know of a good place in center city Philadelphia that secretly has a winning cheesesteak? I travel a lot to NYC and DC, and maybe there's a classic cheesesteak place there?
#1
Michael Stern
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/02/28 19:55:05 (permalink)
Can't help you in NYC or DC, but if you ever get into Connecticut, along I-84 at exit 16, up route 188 in Middlebury is Perrotti's. It's a great place for pizza and calzones ... but they also make an excellent cheesesteak with the onions all hacked up with the beef and buttery mushrooms an option.
#2
Simon Hart
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/03/08 01:17:48 (permalink)
Philadelphia cheesesteaks are a poor second place to the great ones served in the New Brunswick - Trenton, New Jersey areas. The keys to a really great sandwich are the beef (ultra thinly sliced ribeye), and the liberal use of oil during cooking. It must be a blend of light olive oil and light vegetable oil. I remember my first ever cheesesteak, at the Freeway Steakhouse in a rundown section of Trenton. I sat at the counter and loved it, but before I was half-way thru, I felt a strong urge, so I ran to the men's room. It was the oil, but I didn't care. I finished the first one and ordered another. I've been in love with them ever since. Try it and see if you agree, and add tomato, grilled onions, mushrooms, salt, pepper and white american cheese. Cheez Whiz is a cheap and easy way to diminish a really great thing!
#3
Gordon
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/03/15 01:40:41 (permalink)
You got to try Big John's, in South Jersey, on Route 73, just off I 295, on the left side of 73, headed toward the shore (the beach/ocean/etc., for anyone not from the South Jersey/Philly area; headed away from Philly), about a mile down. A bunch of "Best Of" awards for their steaks. They say they cut their own meat, rather than buy it from a vendor.

Great subs/hoagies (not grinders; this is South Jersey), too. The Italian is my favorite.

And Big John's has a "John" theme. The mens' room is the "Elton John" and the ladies' room is the "Olivia Newton John." And the decor is photos of all the famous "Johns" there are -- John Lennon, etc.

(Too many "etc.'s" here.)

And they have a pickle bar and the best South Jersey culture you can find.
#4
Gordon
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/03/15 02:25:26 (permalink)
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.

#5
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 18:31:54 (permalink)
Hey, I've tried 'em all in the Philly area. A few places you should try even though they don't make the Cheez Whiz version are:
Leo's on Chester Pike in Delaware County; Mama's in Bala Cynwyd; Bocella's Deli on Eagle Road in Havertown; Chubby's in Roxborough across from Dallesandro's (which is good too).
#6
Sundancer7
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 18:40:41 (permalink)
I was at the place on the corner at South street when Bill Clinton was there. After he left and the crowd cleared, I went in. It was my first Philly Cheese steak. I watched them used the thin sliced steak. It ws a meal. Not much to look at and hardly any place to sit, but they told me that he was the original. I do not know, but it was good and greasy. Neat street also with a lot of shops and pretty close to the Italian Market where the huge cheese blobs hang from the ceiling.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#7
Bushie
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 19:46:26 (permalink)
Pat's is KING. I don't know why anyone would want to "try something different". I've tried a bunch around the country (out of necessity), and nothing else even comes close. (Although I maybe should have tried others in Philly besides Geno's, but again, WHY?) Once you've had perfection, you just know it.
#8
Ort. Carlton.
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 20:47:44 (permalink)
Dearfolk,
A fellow who is a native of Philadelphia says he prefers the provolone cheese version with added peppers and onions. Hands down, he reports, the best such sandwich is to be had at Mama's Pizzaria on Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd... across from the huge cemetery out there. He says they've got a weird opening/closing schedule, but a fanatically loyal clientele.
For the "Whiz with" ultra-purist version, he says to try a place out Bustleton Avenue... something like the 6500 block. He doesn't remember the name, but it's a family-owned place as opposed to even the smallest of local chains.
Maybe some of you can clarify this.
Wishing I Had One Right Now, Ort. Carlton in Athens, Georgia.
#9
Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 21:00:11 (permalink)
Trying to determine the best Philly cheesesteak from locals is the equivalent of asking New Yorkers where the best pizza is. You will get 100 different answers from 100 different people. I have tried about 7 different places and still stand by Pat's.
#10
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/10 22:12:38 (permalink)
Perhaps he was referring to Steve's "Prince of Steaks" on Bustleton Ave. They do make good cheesesteaks. Mama's is unique and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a version w/provolone.
quote:
Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

Dearfolk,
A fellow who is a native of Philadelphia says he prefers the provolone cheese version with added peppers and onions. Hands down, he reports, the best such sandwich is to be had at Mama's Pizzaria on Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd... across from the huge cemetery out there. He says they've got a weird opening/closing schedule, but a fanatically loyal clientele.
For the "Whiz with" ultra-purist version, he says to try a place out Bustleton Avenue... something like the 6500 block. He doesn't remember the name, but it's a family-owned place as opposed to even the smallest of local chains.
Maybe some of you can clarify this.
Wishing I Had One Right Now, Ort. Carlton in Athens, Georgia.

#11
stanpnepa
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 07:13:35 (permalink)
Pat's varies a little more than need be, but it's still my favorite too.
#12
RC51Mike
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 08:05:51 (permalink)
Have to disagree on Pat's but it is the center of the cheesesteak universe. I like the meat sliced thinner and a bit more of it than I got at Pat's. The important thing is to find a place that slices their own from a real piece of former cow. And the roll has to have some crust and chewiness to it- structural integrity if you will- to support the contents.
#13
jmckee
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 13:30:54 (permalink)
In the Cincinnati area, the Penn Station chain has done a nice take on the Philly specialty. It lacks that streetfood Philly sass; the meat's a little too tender, the bun's a little too tidy, and the interior too modern--hey, we're Ohioans! They also have terrific fresh-squeezed lemonade and a variety of other sandwiches, including a Chicken Teriyaki my co-worker Mike (a.k.a. "The Human Disposal") swears by.

#14
RC51Mike
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 13:54:13 (permalink)
It does seem to be one of those subjectively polarizing subjects. So, identifying the "best" is likely unattainable. I'm not a fan of Cheese Whiz or greasy, oil laden cheesesteaks. Some folks are. I like them a little crispy on the edges, provolone and the roll has a sort of chewy, egg wash sheen to it, not like the usual Amoroso- which I think has become a little to white breadlike of late. Some aren't to picky about the roll but, should be. The places mentioned above are all good, the one in Reading Terminal Market was pretty good. Jim's on South too. A friend points out that the best one you ever had was the one at 2:00 in the morning after the bars close.
#15
mobley
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 14:12:31 (permalink)
I find the "big three"..Pat's, Geno's and Jim's all about equal, all with their own merits. I would love to try some of the others like Mama's, Deleasandro's and some of the others in the Philadelphia area, so I can make a fair evaluation. The White House in AC has a good cheesesteak, even though it's made with provolone. Also, The Dog House in Wilmington DEL has a pretty decent cheesesteak. Out of a 60 mile radius of Philly, forget about it! It's the same reason I don't eat crab cakes away from Maryland. Some foods are just only fit in their native region.
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CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/11 15:19:45 (permalink)
Wanted to give a few more Cheesesteak recommendations:
John's on Snyder Ave. and Weccacoe St. in South Philly;
Tony Luke's on Oregon Ave. in South Philly;
Chink's Steaks 6030 Torresdale Ave. in Northeast Philly;
Sonny's Famous Steaks 216 Market St. in Old City Philly;
Abner's 38th and Chestnut St. Near U of Penn.;
Donkey's Place 1223 Haddon Ave. in Camden, NJ-this one is VERY unique as it uses a round Kaiser roll instead of the customary long Italian roll. This place has an imitation in Manhattan that has been getting a lot of publicity.
As you might tell from my contributions, I'm a big cheesesteak fan. You might also notice that my username here is what you say at Pat's when you want a cheesesteak with fried onions. Gotta' run-so many cheesteak places, so little time!
#17
Michael Stern
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/04/12 12:49:13 (permalink)
I managed to veer away from the four-star pizza at[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=568']Carminuccio's[/url] and have their small cheese steak for lunch today. Excellent! The cheese is provolone, buried underneath the meat. The peppers -- which I always get on a pizza in this place -- have an especially tangy flavor. And the bread, of course, is fresh-baked.

#18
Oneiron339
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/05/30 10:43:14 (permalink)
I tried all the regulars in Philly,and they're OK, but you guys need to get off the beaten path. Go to the Smith Hotel in Columbia (west of Lancaster) for an outstanding cheesesteak. You'll probably order another to go.
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Leemart
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/02 02:03:03 (permalink)
HELP: I'll be driving through the NE on I-95 next month and would love to stop for an authentic steak sub in Philly. My problem is that I don't like cheese on steak. Will I be run out of the shop if I ask for a sub with onions and "no cheese"?

Thanks.......Lee
#20
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/02 07:00:21 (permalink)
Just don't ask for a sub. You will be run out of the shop if you ask for a steak sub. Ask for a steak sandwich with fried onions. Or if you go to Pat's, ask for a "steak wit".
quote:
Originally posted by Leemart

HELP: I'll be driving through the NE on I-95 next month and would love to stop for an authentic steak sub in Philly. My problem is that I don't like cheese on steak. Will I be run out of the shop if I ask for a sub with onions and "no cheese"?

Thanks.......Lee
#21
Cubs Fan
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/02 13:03:40 (permalink)
Jim's on South Street is the place I go for cheese steak whenever I'm in Philly
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tamandmik
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/25 16:04:14 (permalink)
Gaettano's in South Jersey is my all time favorite. I have been to all of the standards, Geno's, Pat's, Jim's and Mama's (my favorite of those) as well as the White House (the greatest CHEESEBURGER sub in the world) but have to say Gaettano's tops all of them. I enjoy, as a poster mentioned, my steak sliced thinner, and Pat's especially cuts their steak thicker than I like. I also find the flavor lacking at both Geno's and Pat's. In the city, my favorite is actually Abner's, which is on Chestnut Street, over by University of Pennsylvania. Also worthy of honorable mention: Di Vello's cordon bleu chicken cheese steak, in Medford NJ, my hometown.
#23
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/25 17:15:13 (permalink)
Gaettano's is great. I love Mama's. The White House Sub Shop in Atlantic City is wonderful. I agree with you regarding the thickness of Pat's meat. I wonder if you knew that Abner's in University City is like Jim's. In fact, it was founded by an ex-employee of Jim's. I need to get over to Medford and try Di Vello's. A few friends have been raving about their sandwiches for awhile.

quote:
Originally posted by tamandmik

Gaettano's in South Jersey is my all time favorite. I have been to all of the standards, Geno's, Pat's, Jim's and Mama's (my favorite of those) as well as the White House (the greatest CHEESEBURGER sub in the world) but have to say Gaettano's tops all of them. I enjoy, as a poster mentioned, my steak sliced thinner, and Pat's especially cuts their steak thicker than I like. I also find the flavor lacking at both Geno's and Pat's. In the city, my favorite is actually Abner's, which is on Chestnut Street, over by University of Pennsylvania. Also worthy of honorable mention: Di Vello's cordon bleu chicken cheese steak, in Medford NJ, my hometown.
#24
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/25 17:24:50 (permalink)
I'm proud to be a Cheeseburger now. My 100th post was on my favorite topic: cheesesteaks.
#25
signman
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/25 19:24:17 (permalink)
Where is Gaettanos?
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tamandmik
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/26 09:16:15 (permalink)
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.
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wanderingjew
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/26 09:26:51 (permalink)
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.


I went to the one in Mt Laurel on my way back from Miami to Rhode Island. They were great too
#28
CheeseWit
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/26 11:10:22 (permalink)
Think I'm gonna' hit the Gaetano's in Marlton this week coming. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. I like Gaetano's much better than Big John's in Cherry Hill.
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.

#29
tamandmik
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RE: The best Cheesesteak 2003/06/26 12:50:07 (permalink)
When you go to Gaetano's next time, try the new Italian Cheesesteak, with spinach and aged provolone. You are right about Gaetano's, in my estimation, it blows the established ones in Philly out of the water. I know that's bordering on heresy, but that's what I think.
#30
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