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Cheesesteak madness

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Larry Greenly

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Cheesesteak madness

by Larry Greenly » Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:17 am

I saw on TV that Geno's in Philadelphia won't sell their cheesesteaks to anyone who doesn't order them in English. Your opinion?

Pat's cheesesteaks (made with Cheez Whiz) vs Geno's cheesesteaks (made with provolone) have been a source of arguments for decades. If anyone is familiar with the two establishments, which do you prefer amd why?

Since I'm going to PA in a few days, you can bet I'm going to scarf down a few Philly steak sandwiches wherever I am.
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Stuart Yaniger

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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Stuart Yaniger » Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:41 am

I've been to a few places in Paris which won't serve you unless you order in French. Though my menu French is quite adequate, it did not engender a warm feeling in my heart toward that city.

Then again, there is something authentic about this. Philadelphia is the town where they booed Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton. And the National Anthem. This is really part of experiencing the Real Philly, just as getting sneered at for having imperfect grammar and accent in Paris is part of that true experience.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Bruce K » Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:58 pm

I'm against cheez whiz and also against xenophobia. I guess that puts me against both of 'em.

If it's still there (been a while), try Jimmy's on South Street.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Marc D » Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:24 pm

Not only do you have to order in English, but they have a whole code of the proper way to specify what type of steak sandwich you want.

Cheese wit is a cheese steak with fried onions.

Pepper cheese wit gets you a cheese steak with fried onions and green peppers.

Provolone wit is with provolone replacing the Cheeze Wiz.

A steak hoagie gets you a steak sandwich with lettuce and tomato and raw onion.

Last time I ate at Geno's (in March) I wasn't impressed. The roll wasn't as good as Pat's (across the street from Geno's) or Jim's on 4th and South. The steak was a little tough, too. A good roll is essential to the success of the sandwich. It needs to be fresh but with enough of a crunch to the crust to hold all the fillings. Delassandro's in the Roxborough section of Philly is my all time favorite. The counter has at least 4 kinds of marinated or pickled hot peppers to put on the cheese steak. When I was in school at Temple, I always celebrated finishing exams with a visit to Delassandro's, for a pepper mushroom provolone with a Rolling Rock.

Yo Philly, a cholesterol feast at its finest!
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David Creighton

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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by David Creighton » Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:28 am

dear larry - i grew up on cheesesteaks so i have a few opinnions. neither cheese option you give is the correct one. the real orginal ones are made with white american slices. almost every place makes them that way - haven't seen one in years that didn't. however i usually watch them being made first to make sure it is not cheese whiz. fried onions are a requirement in my view; but...... if you haven't ever been, go to the reading (pronounced like the past tense of 'read') terminal market - which is fun anyway esp. wed -fri when the amish farmers are there. the cheesesteak place there does a typical version. have some bassetts ice cream for dessert - nothing richer in the world. i usually get the cinnamon. have fun! best regards; david
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by ScottD » Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:13 am

Larry Greenly wrote:I saw on TV that Geno's in Philadelphia won't sell their cheesesteaks to anyone who doesn't order them in English. Your opinion?

Pat's cheesesteaks (made with Cheez Whiz) vs Geno's cheesesteaks (made with provolone) have been a source of arguments for decades. If anyone is familiar with the two establishments, which do you prefer amd why?

Since I'm going to PA in a few days, you can bet I'm going to scarf down a few Philly steak sandwiches wherever I am.


And Geno's is supposed to be the kinder, gentler cheesesteak.

Good Article here

Zoiks!! 200 an hour?!




Rookies, tentative, stand back, study the menu, then exceed the unofficial four-word limit: "Hello, may I please have one whiz. No, wait - wit. No. Whiz-wit ... wait." On a good day, there might be some coaching from the window. But if there's a line, well, legend has it you'll be sent to the rear to practice your ordering skills - no kidding - like a mortified third grader who misspelled "cat."

For Kathy Smith, night manager at Pat's King of Steaks, the line is both her reason for being and the bane of her existence. She's serving as many as 200 "breads" an hour, so she prefers customers to go somewhere else to fumble for their money.

"I'm not here to be nice to you. My whole goal is to take care of the guy behind you," she says during a break. "Sometimes I'm afraid to come outside, I've been so rude to people."
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Larry Greenly » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:11 am

[quote="I'm not here to be nice to you. My whole goal is to take care of the guy behind you," she says during a break. "Sometimes I'm afraid to come outside, I've been so rude to people."
[/color][/quote]

Would've been a good Seinfeld episode--The Cheese Steak Nazi.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Bruce K » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:15 am

Hey, that's what passes for polite behavior in the city of brotherly love (I grew up there so I speak from experience).
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Larry Greenly » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:32 am

I lived for a while just north of Philly in Newtown. I periodically took courses at Temple Univ. and frequented the Franklin Institute. I also remember the "Sure Kill" freeway where I saw my first Jaguar XKE (I wanted one so badly, but they were >gasp< $6200 and I was making $5000/yr as a teacher.)
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Howie Hart » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:29 pm

First of all, everything I'm writing here can be ignored because I've never had a Philly Cheesesteak and I've never been to Philly. I'm a strong believer in the concept that if something special developes in a given place, one should enjoy it in that place. For instance, I'm from the Buffalo area, and I've tried Wings in other areas and always regretted it. So I would assume the same would apply to a Philly Cheesesteak. So, when and if I ever get to Philly, I will surely try one or more. That being said, there is a local sub shop (Viola's) that's been making Steak & Cheese" subs since at least the early 50's and from what I understand, they in no way resemble a Philly Cheesesteak, but I like them a lot. Thin slices of steak, cooked on a griddle with oil, topped with Swiss-American cheese. It tastes similar to Provolone, but melts easier and the discussion about cheese on the Philly Cheesesteak is what prompted me to post this. It's served on a crusty sub roll made by a local Italian bakery and topped with chopped sweet onions, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, oil (I think they use the 10% olive oil salad oil) and a blend of seasonings (oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic?) shaken over the top before everything is folded into the roll. Quite tasty. :P
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Stuart Yaniger » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 pm

Goslow is in upstate NY, if memory serves. Slowly I turn... Oh, sorry, that's "Doucement, j'y tourne.."
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Larry Greenly » Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:19 am

"Thin slices of steak, cooked on a griddle with oil, topped with Swiss-American cheese. It tastes similar to Provolone, but melts easier and the discussion about cheese on the Philly Cheesesteak is what prompted me to post this. It's served on a crusty sub roll made by a local Italian bakery and topped with chopped sweet onions, chopped lettuce, chopped tomatoes, oil (I think they use the 10% olive oil salad oil) and a blend of seasonings (oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic?) shaken over the top before everything is folded into the roll. Quite tasty."

Close, but not a Philly steak sandwich.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Stuart Yaniger » Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:48 am

The descendents of Moe are notoriously grubbing when it comes to images and trademarks. If there's any free TS stuff at all, be assured that the lawyers are in hot pursuit.

Linda had her first Philly cheese steak last year. She liked it. That says it all.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Paul Winalski » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:14 pm

Randy R wrote:
Stuart Yaniger wrote:Goslow is in upstate NY, if memory serves. Slowly I turn... Oh, sorry, that's "Doucement, j'y tourne.."
What were the Stooges doing in upstate New York? Weren't they out in Hollywood? Hey I wonder if there are any TS movies free on the web?


"Slowly I turned...." is an old vaudeville standard--the Stooges didn't invent it, nor were they the only ones who performed it in a film. Abbott & Costello did the bit in one of their movies, too.

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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Stuart Yaniger » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:19 pm

A&C's was sooooooo lame.
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Re: Cheesesteak madness

by Paul Winalski » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:21 pm

This story made "All Things Considered" on NPR yesterday.

The store owner said in the interview that he's doing this because English is the language of American culture, and immigrants to this country are not going to get anywhere in our society unless they learn to speak it. This was true for his ancestors when they came here a couple of generations ago, and it's true today.

Onther interviewees pointed out that when they've visited other countries where English is not spoken, shopkeepers and restaurateurs have always graciously helped them out in their struggles with the native language. These interviewees were concerned about the hostile and unfriendly impression this sort of thing gives to foreign visitors.

I think both are valid points. I question, though, how much of a contribution to language immersion a sandwich shop is going to make.

The shop owner also admitted that he's never yet invoked his rule.

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