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Old 06-03-2007, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default REAL Philly Steak Sandwich

Growing up in eastern PA, I learned to enjoy a good steak sandwich. For some reason, you just can't get a good one anywhere else. I have pretty much given up on ordering them anywhere but "back home." Outside of the "motherland," I've been served everything from a slab of overcooked cube steak with cheddar cheese to hamburger with bad tomato sauce to a decent cut of filet mignon with a bunch of seasonings and sauce in the name of a "steak sandwich." Here's the right way to do it:

Meat:
4-6 oz GOOD steak, almost frozen
Ribeye is best. Any good cut of beef with a bit of marbling and little gristle works. Cut it as absolutely thin as possible - when it's really cold, it cuts easier. Use a deli slicer on the thinnest setting if you have one.

Cheese (choose one):
Cheese Whiz (yes, the Whiz!)
Provolone
White American
Mozzarella
NOT Swiss or Cheddar!

Toppings (completely optional):
Thinly sliced onions (arguably the only appropriate topping)
Thinly sliced peppers (green, red, hot, mild, etc - not necessarily authentic)
Thinly sliced mushrooms (not necessarily authentic)

Bread:
A GOOD hoagie roll
White, soft throughout, crust should be soft, not chewy or crispy
A French roll will do in a pinch if the crust isn't too tough

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Be careful with the heat - too much will leave you with burned bits, and too little will make the meat chewy and gray. Toss a bit of butter or olive oil into the pan, and add the meat. Leave it alone for about a minute, then toss any desired toppings on top. If you want to stay true to style, no seasoning is required. A little salt and pepper is nice. I sometimes add some garlic salt and onion powder. Break up the steak with a pair of spatulas, tearing it into small pieces, browning it on all sides. Don't mess with it too much. When there's little pink remaining, pile the steak and toppings up, and add the cheese (unless it's Whiz - wait till the end for that). Warm the roll face down on the skillet if desired. When the cheese is mostly melted, pile the whole mess into the roll, and serve (now add the Whiz if that's your choice of cheese).

You can put ketchup, mustard, relish, or hot sauce on it, but I prefer mine sans condiments...unless it's a...

Pizza Steak:
Use mozzarella and top with marinara sauce

ANYTHING ELSE IS NOT A PHILLY STEAK!!!

Serve with Yuengling Lager, other local micro lagers, or (gasp!) a cold BMC.

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Old 06-03-2007, 07:27 PM   #2
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Pat's or Gino's

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Old 06-03-2007, 07:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barley-Davidson
Pat's or Geno's
For me - no preference - I just want a good steak!

There are those who say differently, but as far as I'm concerned, you can go up to about 60 miles west of Philly and still get a decent steak from a few places.

EDIT:
My response here proves that I'm not a true Philadelphian. If I were, I'd have picked one steak place, argued its merits until I was blue in the face using mostly verbal abuse and insults, all the while throwing things at the computer monitor and actually yelling out loud. No, I don't have the accent, no I didn't grow up in Philly, but yes, I do know a good steak. I was born and raised a few miles west of the city in a fairly rural town.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:00 PM   #4
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Yah, there's a "philly" brewpub in Portland, good beer, decent steak sandwiches, but not phillies. Italian beef seems to be easier to replicate. Always reminds me of Chitown & my father. I've got a local source of deli sliced ribeye and there's a baker in Willimina who is a wizard, so I'm covered.

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Old 06-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
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When in Philly,
my vote goes to Tony Lukes.

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Old 06-03-2007, 10:36 PM   #6
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A couple of Philadelphia boys opened up Tat's in Seattle about 3 years ago. It's the best Philly Cheesesteak I've had outside of the City of Brotherly Love. I order mine "Whiz wit" of course.

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Old 06-04-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barley-Davidson
Pat's or Gino's

My friend from Philly quoted me some other place, can't recall off the top of my head. Gotta love how wierd that section of town is at night lol.
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:28 PM   #8
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A huge trick to a good cheese steak is in the roll. The favorite in philly is Amoroso. Not sure how the chemistry works, but it is the one thing any non philly based "authentic" shop cannot replicate.

Tony Luc's is my fav, then Pats.

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #9
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I don't know a single person that actually likes the wiz on their steak that lives around here....yet when folks come to town for a cheese steak, they gotta have the wiz from Pat's or Geno's. Between the two, I have pref'd Geno's.

With out a doubt, it's Jim's Steaks on south street for my first choice.

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Old 06-04-2007, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
With out a doubt, it's Jim's Steaks on south street for my first choice.
I think that's the one my friend said.

Yeah I know, we were in Philly one night and out of 'been there' obligation we went to Geno's and of course I had to try Pat's too. It was wierd man. Geno's like burned my eyeballs out from the neon and Pat's seemed dim and had some wierd folk hanging round. They were ok I guess. It was interesting to see the limo's pull up for cheesteak.
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