Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Jim's Steaks

400 South St., Philadelphia, PA - (215) 928-1911
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/6/2002 4:23:00 AM
Jim's was on the hit list of essential cheese steak places that Marc Bruno put together for the Roadfood team's Philadelphia steak-out a while ago. Our eating platoon of seven people arrived about two in the afternoon on a weekday and the place was mobbed! A long line of customers (what a motley crew!) was waiting in the tile-paneled room downstairs.

The wait gives you plenty of time to decide how you like your steak garnished ("wit" or not vis-a-vis onions) and what kind of cheese you want (American, provolone or the most common Cheez Whiz). It also takes you near the back of the room where steak is constantly being cut on a big automatic slicer. It's lovely to see -- the sliced meat is soft red like rose petals -- and good to know that Jim's meat is fresh, not frozen.

The steaks are made by hacking up the meat on the grill (with onions, preferably!) so it becomes a kind of steak-'n'-onion hash. If you get sliced cheese, it is layered in the roll before the meat. Whiz is ladled atop the meat. Pizza sauce and peppers are optional condiments.

The second-oldest cheese steak place in town (after Pat's), Jim's has the distinction of being the sharpest looking. There is a kind of modernistic pizzaz to its black-tile front and white-tile interior; and the counter opposite the griddle downstairs as well as the tables upstairs are regularly cleaned of crumbs and debris.

16 out of 17 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

One of the big differences among Philly cheese steaks is texture. Jim's hacks its meat and onions into a rugged hash.
"One of the big differences among Philly cheese steaks is texture. Jim's hacks its meat and onions into a rugged hash."
Michael Stern





While the provolone is good, Whiz is by far the way to go at Jim's.  I usually request extra cheese, but it is not necessary.  These steaks were so good we plowed through them, despite having eaten four during the past eight hours on our cheesesteak tour.

As you can see, the steaks aren't huge.  I usually get two for lunch, and if you are a big guy who likes to eat you might want to consider three, especially if the line is long.
"While the provolone is good, Whiz is by far the way to go at Jim's. I usually request extra cheese, but it is not necessary. These steaks were so good we plowed through them, despite having eaten four during the past eight hours on our cheesesteak tour. As you can see, the steaks aren't huge. I usually get two for lunch, and if you are a big guy who likes to eat you might want to consider three, especially if the line is long."
John Jacobsen


The action on the griddle at Jim's: raw meat on the left, cooked in the center, onions at the right, ready to be mixed into the meat.
"The action on the griddle at Jim's: raw meat on the left, cooked in the center, onions at the right, ready to be mixed into the meat."
Michael Stern


A pan of just-sliced beef, ready to be thrown on the griddle
"A pan of just-sliced beef, ready to be thrown on the griddle"
Michael Stern


For some Philly cheese steak eaters, Cheez Whiz is essential. It adds a salty kick that old-fashioned provolone doesn't give. (Stephen Rushmore, Jr. photo)
"For some Philly cheese steak eaters, Cheez Whiz is essential. It adds a salty kick that old-fashioned provolone doesn't give. (Stephen Rushmore, Jr. photo)"
Michael Stern


I have no idea how someone could possibly do this, although if they could do it anywhere it would be Jim's.
"I have no idea how someone could possibly do this, although if they could do it anywhere it would be Jim's."
John Jacobsen


Jim's has been around since the earliest days of cheese steaks. In this exterior shot, you can see the upstairs dining room, which provides a view of South Street. And you can see some of the Roadfood team gathered on the corner at the left. (Stephen Rushmore, Jr. photo)
"Jim's has been around since the earliest days of cheese steaks. In this exterior shot, you can see the upstairs dining room, which provides a view of South Street. And you can see some of the Roadfood team gathered on the corner at the left. (Stephen Rushmore, Jr. photo)"
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com