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Philly Cheesesteaks


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k2dx---This'll kill ya buddy but I had an excellent cheesesteak tonight in Chicago, the North Side of all places. Place called Philly's Best. The owners are from Philly and are doing it right, so far as I can tell though I can certainly claim no expertise.

I had one with and wiz and it was better than Genos and a much more generous sandwich too. The meat was better quality and lots more of it. The bread was better to; they bake it themselves and it has plenty of snap, the bread at Genos was dead, like it had been kept in a plastic bag.

The woman behind the counter, one of the owners, got a kick out of it when I ordered one "with and wiz", she asked if I was from Philly. :-) She got a bigger kick out of it when I said I preferred her sandwich to Geno's.

We discussed Philly and Chicago Italian food for about 20 minutes. I told her to get down to the South Side to try breaded steak at Ricobenne's on 26th St. or at La Milanese at 32nd and May. They take a flank steak and beat the bejeezus out of it till it's about a square foot in size and an eighth inch thick, then they bread it and deep fry it. Folded up 3 or 4 times and served on Italian bread and covered with red gravy and sweet peppers fried in olive oil. Hubba-hubba.

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From somebody who knows: My cousin who always eats well in and around the Philadelphia area.


Voted best Cheesesteak - Johns House of Pork. I have had many times and they are great. Tony Lukes has really good cheese steaks and they also have the best pork sandwich. They put it on long seeded Italian roll with sharp provolone and garlic. Holy sheet ..I usually get two. Pats is the tourist spot. Steaks are good but the other guys have them beat. Geno's is just ok. You can get cheez whiz or provolone or American at any of the places.

I work within blocks of all of these spots. The next time youre in we will hit em all!

See ya,




I think the key is the bread and if that's done right, the sandwich is usually good. I've never had one with whiz but will try the next time in in Philly. I usually get with american, fried onions and hot pepper relish. A bit of tomato sauce as well. You'll have to let me know where the place is in Chicago. My wife is ready to go.

BTW, in my cousin's quote, I edited the ---- and changed to sheet.

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On 3/21/2004 11:30:17 PM TBrennan wrote:

Piranha---Best tacos in Chicago I know are on the South Side at the Mexico Steak House on Archer a couple of blocks east of Ashland. Best Mexican food I know, the alambres are to die for, I'm tellink you.----------------


Thanks for the tip. I will have to try that place when I am back in Chicago. I wonder how it would stack up against the taco stands out here in the Southwest?

BTW....this thread makes me hungry. I bet I would be clocking in at three and change if I lived out your way. 9.gif

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Back in the old days, (the 60s) There were several drive in resturants in and around the Philadelphia area called "Hot Shoppe". There may have even been some down in Wilmington and Baltimore. Anyway, they had a cheese steak that was very different from the norm. It was good though and I seem to remember a roll with sesame seeds and maybe mayonnaise. Does anybody else remember the Hot Shoppe and their steaks. They were also pretty well known for fast cars and fine women.

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  • 4 years later...

Resurecting this (yikes).

My vote: Jim's on South Street (no other Jims though). Also easy to find (on South around 5th I think, and you can smell it) but often you will need to wait in line. Black and White diner motif from the outside. Seating (and ketchup) upstairs. Take some napkins with you.

Also the only place I've ever almost gotten into a fight, because of line-jumping. (not me) :-)

Thoughts on keys to a good steak:

Fresh steak/hoagie rolls (Ameroso's etc.)

Grill continually in use (high traffic ones are good, if they have to fire up a grill to make you a steak, well...)

- continual use usually means that there is enough grease on the grille

(you must have some grease in it for taste, otherwise it might as well be a 'steakumm')

-Properly fried chopped onions (golden brown, but not terribly burnt per se) *see grease comment

Cheese, onions and steak all made on the grille, then transferred to roll in one deft move, including thus, some of the tasty onion-ated grease, just enough that you might think it will make the roll soggy - but not enough to make it disintegrate before eating or getting cold.

Watery is bad.

Personally I do not care for the 'wiz' or other 'liquid cheese applied with cake spreading knife' approach myself.

Just provalone or american. This helps actually hold it together. Nor do I order using non-english made up cheesesteak words.

Pitfalls of the cheesesteak:

-no grease

-crappy (too much gristle) steak

-stale rolls

-cluttering it up with things other than onions.

(which may be fine, but then it ceases to be a cheese-steak, then becomes a 'piza steak' or a 'philly style steak sandwhich... or who knows).

Remotely I also endorse (circa 2001, e.g. if they are still there) the Cheesesteak Factory in Berkley, CA.

They actually ship in rolls. (And 'Tastycakes' - which are the regions versions of what the world typically sees/encounters as hostess products). ButterScotch Krimpets (and glass of cold milk) reccomended.

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