Apr 16, 2005

cheesesteak report

went to philadelphia, and i wanted a real philly cheesesteak. a friend sent me the following philly.com link that rated 23 places..

http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/dining/3832011.htm


this was good, because they rated the stakes 5: cheesesteak paradise, 4: worth busting the diet, 3: Will satisfy the craving, 2: If you had to, 1: Save the calories.

Friday night, i went to chinks:

4: worth busting the diet
Chink's Steaks, 6030 Torresdale Ave., Philadelphia, 215-535-9405. Step into a time warp at this marvelously preserved soda shop, where chocolate egg creams and frothy shakes are the ideal pairing for what may be the most succulent traditional soft-roll American cheesesteak in town. Owner Joseph Groh's rib-eye steaks have a great, lingering beefy flavor. The restaurant's monicker [sic] is the late founder's nickname.


got a regular standard cheesesteak.. it was really good. alex was in cheesesteak heaven.

saturday afternoon, I set my GPS to head to tony lukes, but on the way, by sheer luck, i drove by the only place rated 5:
5 - Cheesesteak Paradise
John's Roast Pork, Snyder Avenue and Weccacoe Street, Philadelphia, 215-463-1951. Wedged between a train track and a chemical plant, this sandwich shack has existed in delicious obscurity since 1930. Aside from serving the city's best pork sandwiches, chef-owner John Bucci Jr. unanimously swept all three categories of the cheesesteak competition, serving up heavyweight portions of zestily seasoned, perfectly seared beef and chicken steaks on crusty rolls with real cheese and garlicky spinach. The picnic tables offer a great, gritty city view. It's open only weekdays through lunch; come early if you want a seeded roll.


the article said that it was only open on weekends through lunch, so i bummed we wouldn't try it. when i drove by, i saw a shop that was open.. alex saw it too and said, "wasn't that the name of the place that was rated the highest?"

Me: "I thought so, but the article said it would be closed - that place is open, but the name matches"

Alex: "And it's between a chemical factory and railroad tracks"

So we went to check it out, and sure enough, there was a sign on the door that said, "now open saturdays." still wanting to go to tony lukes, we ordered one cheesesteak and split it.

Alex's response: "we're never going to chinks again."

afterward, we went to tonylukes.
4 - Worth Busting the Diet
Tony Luke's Old Philly Style Sandwiches, 39 E. Oregon Ave., Philadelphia, 215-551-5725. Crusty house-baked rolls, bitter broccoli rabe and aged provolone give the hefty steak Italian a gutsy neighborhood flair, and the neon-lit awning lends the South Philly location an authentic ambiance [sic], from the employees in black T-shirts to the diverse and colorful clientele. The Rittenhouse Square outpost has the food, but none of the ambience.


alex is a lover of broccoli rabe and so am i, so that cheesesteak what we ordered - which, with the sharp provolone, had a flavor that overwhelmed the meat - so it can't be compared to the two above. suffice it to say that it was delicious..

alex and i split a sandwich at both johns and tonyluke's, so our net lunch was just one sandwich, not two. we drove by geno's (rated 3) and pat's (rated 1), but didn't stop because they were mobbed and we were full. in fact, it's now 6 hours later and we're still stuffed - after essentially one cheesesteak..