Originally posted by georgiadawgs
Well...I finally tried a Philly Cheesesteak from the Mad Italian...
It was definately a good meal, sandwich, chips and a pickle for $5...Can't complain.
The Cheesesteak was good, but it seemed to be nothing compared to the pics of the cheesesteak joints in the northeast I've seen on here! Very little meat, about a 3:1 bun-to-meat ratio. I would have to say, for somebody that has never experienced a true cheesesteak it was good enough, but compared to pics of what I've seen on here, it really didn't seem all that great! The only difference between this and the chain Philly Connection seemed to be it was fresh and not nearly as big a rip-off. Other than that...
Sorry, am I missing something? Is this what you would get in Philly? I sure hope not, because compared to the pics of the places in Philly they look to be at least 10 times better!
Yes, we are missing something here in lovely Georgia! I think an integral part of my cheese-steaking experiences in Philadelphia (two only that there were: Pat's and Geno's) was the "street food" aspect of it all: watching the people added to the charm immensely. (The food was perfectly serviceable, but it proved to be only, say, 75% of the attraction.)
A major variable is the bread. Amoroso's is a common baker for many cheese steak places, but there are several others as well. I can't quite explain it, but that bread simply isn't available in Atlanta. It might be because of the water, but both cities use soft water from a basically-granitic source... so I'm running out of hunches.
Both the steaks I had in Philly were piled with meat. The Mad Italian's version sounds rather skimpy by comparison, which is a shame... I'd have expected something better from them.
One of my occasional drinking companions tells me of a place on old U. S. 23 in Gwinnett County - Duluth, he thinks - that is a sandwich shop run by a Philadelphia expatriate who produces "damned good" cheese steaks and beef sandwiches out of a nondescript strip-mall storefront location. It's named after the owner, I believe, but I've never seen anything that could have been it reviewed in the Atlanta newspaper's guide.
You're closer to it than I am - go see what you can discover one day when you're out hitting thrift stores and flea markets in the area. I'm anxious to know more. And if I manage to beat you there, I'll report back here.
Steaking My Life On It, Ort. Carlton in Phillyless Athens, Georgia.