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View Full Version : Does a Philly Cheesesteak need Cheez-Whiz?


Captain Amazing
09-29-2010, 05:44 PM
There seem to be two schools of thought on the question. One side, we'll call it the "Pat side", believes that if it doesn't have Cheez-Whiz, it's not a real cheesesteak. The other side, the "Geno side" says that provolone or American cheese is also acceptable on a cheesesteak. Obviously strange foreign cheeses like Swiss are beyond the pale.

XT
09-29-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm sort of split here. While I think that cheeses other than Cheez-Whiz are acceptable on a Philly, I always liked Pat's better than Geno's (if nothing else, it's less gaudy).

-XT

villa
09-29-2010, 05:51 PM
I can't vote in the poll, because both Pat's and Geno's suck donkey balls. But I don't have Whiz on my steak. I have provolone. And D'Allesandros, the greatest steak place in the universe, is happy to make it that way.

Acsenray
09-29-2010, 05:54 PM
I'm pro-Whiz.

Between Pat and Geno, I'm with Pat. But I prefer Jim's to either of them.

Huerta88
09-29-2010, 06:00 PM
Provolone every time.

Skammer
09-29-2010, 06:03 PM
I appreciate Pat's dedication to tradition, but I prefer Provolone so I voted for Geno.

Nars Glinley
09-29-2010, 06:04 PM
It doesn't speak very highly of your ________ (insert any food item here) if Cheez-Whiz makes it better. I'm with Geno.

SpoilerVirgin
09-29-2010, 06:08 PM
I had never had a Philly Cheesesteak before they opened a Phat Philly across the street. It's not actually Philly, but the experts seem to agree that it's pretty close. Anyway, in the interest of fighting ignorance, over successive weekends I tried every steak they offered, with every possible cheese option, and I ultimately concluded that a cheesesteak just isn't the same without the Whiz. I will revisit the question if I ever get a chance to try Pat's or Geno's, but in the meantime I'll take my steak with Whiz, thank you.

pulykamell
09-29-2010, 06:11 PM
I'm sort of split here. While I think that cheeses other than Cheez-Whiz are acceptable on a Philly, I always liked Pat's better than Geno's (if nothing else, it's less gaudy).

-XT

This here. As for Pat's vs. Geno's vs Jim's, I thought it was no contest. Pat's. (And, yes, I understand there's plenty of local places that make better steaks--I'm just commenting on the Big Three.)

Chopper9760
09-29-2010, 06:14 PM
Westerner, never had a steak with Cheese Whiz, never had Pat's or Geno's.

That said, we've always made our Phily's with Provolone. Best cheesesteak ever gnoshed was made with American White Cheddar.

TriPolar
09-29-2010, 06:22 PM
'Philly Cheesesteak' is a marketing term devised when the 'Cheesesteak' became available outside the Philadelphia area. Through the 70s, from whenever it originated, Cheese Whiz and other disgusting concoctions were rarely used. Provolone was most widely used in my experience, although mozzeralla and American cheese were not uncommon. It was a sad day when the 'Philly Cheesesteak' and its vile topping began to take over the market even in Philadelphia. It sickened my stomach further that in some shops I had to order a 'Jersey Steak' to get one made properly.

Jimmy Chitwood
09-29-2010, 06:24 PM
Man, don't make the correct side of the argument be called the Geno's (http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local-beat/Genos-Raises-Money-for-Arizona-Immigration-Law-98524309.html) side.

Apocalypso
09-29-2010, 07:23 PM
Never had a Cheese steak in Philly - I'm from Pittsburgh, and the steak sandwich most people associate with Pittsburgh is this god-awful concoction with watery coleslaw and greasy french fries slapped on it (yes, on the sandwich itself:smack:). That said, when I make a or order a cheese steak, it must have fried onions, mushrooms, and provolone cheese. Fried bell peppers and other toppings are nice, but optional. I hate Cheese Wiz and the thought of putting it on a sandwich scares me.

Smapti
09-29-2010, 07:45 PM
Westerner here. Cheez Whiz is an unholy abomination. I'll take my cheesesteaks with provolone or (heaven forbid) pepperjack if it's available.

Chronos
09-29-2010, 07:50 PM
Y'know, you can get a cheesesteak with American or Provolone at Pat's, too. I must confess, though, that I've never tried Geno's.

Quoth TriPolar:'Philly Cheesesteak' is a marketing term devised when the 'Cheesesteak' became available outside the Philadelphia area. Through the 70s, from whenever it originated, Cheese Whiz and other disgusting concoctions were rarely used. Provolone was most widely used in my experience, although mozzeralla and American cheese were not uncommon. It was a sad day when the 'Philly Cheesesteak' and its vile topping began to take over the market even in Philadelphia. It sickened my stomach further that in some shops I had to order a 'Jersey Steak' to get one made properly. While American or Provolone is probably the most common, there's no denying that Whiz was the original. And the cheesesteak has never really become available outside of Philadelphia, except at a very small number of places you have to look carefully to find.

FoieGrasIsEvil
09-29-2010, 07:56 PM
I ahve little idea what this whole thing is about, I've never heard of Cheez Whiz (am I correct in assuming that we're talking about canned, processed cheese product?) being put on a Philly Cheesesteak, but to me the notion is absolutely disgusting. That stuff is passable for crackers and whatnot, but on a cheesesteak sammich? No fucking way. Melted provalone or maybe swiss is the only way to fly. I feel I'm missing something here.

Shark Sandwich
09-29-2010, 08:43 PM
I've been to Philly, and the only way I've had 'em is with Whiz. Also, the bread is a crucial component as well. If the bread sucks, the sandwich sucks.

Captain Amazing
09-29-2010, 08:56 PM
While American or Provolone is probably the most common, there's no denying that Whiz was the original. And the cheesesteak has never really become available outside of Philadelphia, except at a very small number of places you have to look carefully to find.

Cheesesteaks were invented in the 1930s, and Cheezwhiz wasn't invented until the 1950s, so cheezwhiz couldn't have been the original.

AmunRa
09-29-2010, 09:12 PM
Cheez Whiz is an unholy abomination.

This. Cheez Whiz doesn't belong on anything, ever, period.

wolfman
09-29-2010, 09:14 PM
Cheese steaks are a lot like Buffalo wings. The farther you get from the ridiculous and sad traditions of the originals the better the meal gets.

XT
09-29-2010, 09:20 PM
You don't like the Anchor Bar? I think the wings there are pretty damn good, to be honest.

-XT

rockle
09-29-2010, 09:20 PM
I am very strongly anti-Whiz except "ironically." And also: Steak-umms with gouda on a hot dog roll can be goddamn delicious, if you use the right kind of hot dog roll, lightly toasted, with just a smudge of butter and caramelized onions. But then again, I am very pro-gouda in any application.

pulykamell
09-29-2010, 09:26 PM
Cheese steaks are a lot like Buffalo wings. The farther you get from the ridiculous and sad traditions of the originals the better the meal gets.

No to both.

RealityChuck
09-29-2010, 10:05 PM
Cheez Whiz is something I would never put into my mouth ever again; when I saw it was in Philly cheesesteaks, I swore off them.

I prefer them without cheese, though mozzarella is good in a pinch. If someone gave them Swiss, Emmentaler, or camembert, I'd give that a shot.

TriPolar
09-29-2010, 10:22 PM
While American or Provolone is probably the most common, there's no denying that Whiz was the original.


Cheesesteaks were invented in the 1930s, and Cheezwhiz wasn't invented until the 1950s, so cheezwhiz couldn't have been the original.

I find doubt.


And the cheesesteak has never really become available outside of Philadelphia, except at a very small number of places you have to look carefully to find.

Starting in the 1980s, the Philly Cheesesteak was introduced around the country through chains and a few individual shops. Until then, the cheesesteak was virtually unknown outside of the Philadelphia area by that name, although similar sandwiches were served in local variations.
I only lived around Philadelphia for about 10 years, but I ate as many cheesesteaks as I could, sampling varieties throughout the the area. West of Exton, Steakum type meat was more prevalent. Northward towards the ABE area the quality of the meat was better than in the Philadelphia area. Soft rolls were the norm, and the greatest disappointment was getting one on a hard roll. Onions were standard, and if you didn't want them, you had to say so. Provolone was predominant, but other choices were available. Pizza steaks, with sauce and mozzarella were common, along with optional mushrooms (sometimes marinated mushrooms in South Philly), hot and/or sweet peppers, and any variations the specific shop wanted to offer.
Although I had heard rumors of the dreaded Whiz, I never actually encountered it until several years later in a shop in New York. In the early 90s I went to a shop in Cherry Hill where the locals, aware of my background, warned me not to order the standard Philly Cheesesteak because of the <gawlix> that would be deposited on it.
I do not recall if I have been sampled the product from Pat's or Geno's, but the very best cheesesteaks came from a place called the White House, somewhere around Rittenhouse Square. I still go to a shop called Real Pizza in Wayne when on my visits to that area. The quality is not what it used to be when they opened around 1972, but their product far surpasses anything advertised as a Philly Cheesesteak outside of the area, and in many cases within.

evilbeth
09-30-2010, 12:04 AM
I'm with Pat. I know some people find it gross but it's just good. In a Chris Farley-ish way, a cheesesteak with both provolone and Whiz is delicious. And potentially artery-cloggingly deadly.

(Plus, the owner of Geno's a douchebag--even if he made the best, I'd never be "with" Geno.)

Turble
09-30-2010, 01:33 PM
Pat is the undisputed originator of the Philly steak sandwich. If you go up to the window at Pat's and order a cheese steak you get Cheez Whiz.

Yes, you can specify other kinds of cheese, but the Cheez Whiz "defines" the Philly cheese steak; it is the default.

TriPolar
09-30-2010, 01:55 PM
There is a special place in Hell reserved for Pat.

blondebear
09-30-2010, 01:55 PM
I'm not really a cheese steak connoisseur, so I don't feel qualified to vote. They all taste good to me!

I feel this is the appropriate thread for breaking the sad news that the San Jose's King of Cheese Steaks passed away last week (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_16174908?). Jonne Aleeson, the owner of Calvin's World Famous South Philly Cheesesteaks opened his first place back in 1981. He was kind of a "Cheese Steak Nazi", often chiding customers for not ordering their sandwiches correctly. I can't say he had the best sandwiches in town, but he'll definitely be missed.

Chronos
09-30-2010, 02:51 PM
Pat is the undisputed originator of the Philly steak sandwich. If you go up to the window at Pat's and order a cheese steak you get Cheez Whiz.
Standard format for an order at Pat's is <type of cheese> <with or without onions>. So, for instance, you might order "American with" or "Whiz without". This format is clearly posted on a sign there, and if you don't have your order ready when you get to the window, you're sent to the end of the line so the next person can order. So I wouldn't really say there's any default.

And as I said, the sliced cheeses (American or Provolone) are much more common than the whiz, anyway. There are plenty of places that sell cheesesteaks that don't even have whiz available.

hotflungwok
09-30-2010, 05:03 PM
You have to be kidding me. Cheez Whiz isn't something you eat, it's something you go see a urologist for.

Turble
09-30-2010, 05:39 PM
Like I said, you can order different types of cheese at Pat's ... but if you just say "Cheese wit." you get Cheez Whiz wit onions; Whiz is the default cheese.

The Italian food place right down the street from has two listings on the menu: Cheese Steak and Philly Cheese Steak. The Philly has Cheez Whiz; that is what makes it a Philly Cheese Steak ... anything else is just a sandwich. ;)

XT
09-30-2010, 05:45 PM
I think people are just grossed out by the thought or concept of Cheez Whiz...sort of like the automatic reaction to Spam. :p In fact, a Philly is damn good with the Whiz (I get mine without onions), though, as I said earlier, I also like them with other cheeses as well (though then they aren't really a Philly).

ETA: And there is nothing wrong with 'Steakums with gouda on a hot dog roll'...though I like the Sam's Club type better, personally. And I'm partial to mild cheddar...

-XT

koeeoaddi
09-30-2010, 06:50 PM
Another Philly native here, though I moved away in the mid 70s. Back in the day I ate boatloads of yummy cheesesteaks and I don't remember any place ever using or even offering Cheez Whiz (ew). Can't be the original recipe.

wheresmymind
09-30-2010, 08:46 PM
I can't vote in the poll, because both Pat's and Geno's suck donkey balls. But I don't have Whiz on my steak. I have provolone. And D'Allesandros, the greatest steak place in the universe, is happy to make it that way.

My girlfriend in college took me to D'Allesandros the first time I visited her parents house, her whole family seemed to take the place VERY seriously. I have to admit they're probably the best I've ever had. The guy behind us got a meatball sub (hoagie, whatever) and actually complained in the shop that it sucked. The person behind the counter basically said "Why the hell didn't you get a cheese steak?"

Oh, I prefer provolone. And if I'm making (or eating) at home, a drizzle of honey down the middle is awesome.

rhubarbarin
09-30-2010, 10:16 PM
I lived in the Philly area for 7 years before I got around to trying a Pat's steak, and I remember being surprised at the whiz. It's certainly not the default option anywhere else round here I ever had a steak (which are often advertised as 'Philly', w/o whiz). Whiz steaks are good, but I prefer Provolone.

clarkstar
10-01-2010, 03:26 AM
i like them with american cheese, tried cheez whiz a couple times and it wasn't anything special

ShibbOleth
10-01-2010, 07:41 AM
Cheez Whiz is an unholy abomination.

This. Cheez Whiz doesn't belong on anything, ever, period.

Cheese Wizz tastes like vomit to me. Provolone is nice. Not wild about American cheese on anything, either, and somewhat embarrassed that our country is named after one of the most boring cheeses ever.

fjs1fs
10-01-2010, 11:51 AM
While American or Provolone is probably the most common, there's no denying that Whiz was the original.



I find doubt.


And the cheesesteak has never really become available outside of Philadelphia, except at a very small number of places you have to look carefully to find.

Starting in the 1980s, the Philly Cheesesteak was introduced around the country through chains and a few individual shops. Until then, the cheesesteak was virtually unknown outside of the Philadelphia area by that name, although similar sandwiches were served in local variations.
I only lived around Philadelphia for about 10 years, but I ate as many cheesesteaks as I could, sampling varieties throughout the the area. West of Exton, Steakum type meat was more prevalent. Northward towards the ABE area the quality of the meat was better than in the Philadelphia area. Soft rolls were the norm, and the greatest disappointment was getting one on a hard roll. Onions were standard, and if you didn't want them, you had to say so. Provolone was predominant, but other choices were available. Pizza steaks, with sauce and mozzarella were common, along with optional mushrooms (sometimes marinated mushrooms in South Philly), hot and/or sweet peppers, and any variations the specific shop wanted to offer.
Although I had heard rumors of the dreaded Whiz, I never actually encountered it until several years later in a shop in New York. In the early 90s I went to a shop in Cherry Hill where the locals, aware of my background, warned me not to order the standard Philly Cheesesteak because of the <gawlix> that would be deposited on it.
I do not recall if I have been sampled the product from Pat's or Geno's, but the very best cheesesteaks came from a place called the White House, somewhere around Rittenhouse Square. I still go to a shop called Real Pizza in Wayne when on my visits to that area. The quality is not what it used to be when they opened around 1972, but their product far surpasses anything advertised as a Philly Cheesesteak outside of the area, and in many cases within.

There's a White House Sub shop in Atlantic City that makes The Best Cheese Steak I've ever had. Also make an awesome meatball parm. If it's affiliated with the Rittenhouse Square one mentioned here, I believe the AC one is the original--it seems like it's been ther since earlier than 1972.

fjs1fs
10-01-2010, 11:59 AM
There's a White House Sub shop in Atlantic City that makes The Best Cheese Steak I've ever had. Also make an awesome meatball parm. If it's affiliated with the Rittenhouse Square one mentioned here, I believe the AC one is the original--it seems like it's been ther since earlier than 1972.[/QUOTE]

I should've mentioned they use Provolone, which I consider the best cheese for a CheeseSteak. I am surprised to find out that Pat's uses cheez whiz. I've always wanted to have one at Pat's and one at Geno's, but never realized either place had used Cheez whiz!

Huerta88
10-01-2010, 12:38 PM
There's a White House Sub shop in Atlantic City that makes The Best Cheese Steak I've ever had. Also make an awesome meatball parm. If it's affiliated with the Rittenhouse Square one mentioned here, I believe the AC one is the original--it seems like it's been ther since earlier than 1972.
I am not thinking they are affiliated but I could be wrong. Agreed on their cheesesteaks being very good. Their other sandwiches are equally solid (and huge). Be prepared for long lines unless you go off-hours.

Chronos
10-01-2010, 05:48 PM
I am surprised to find out that Pat's uses cheez whiz. I've always wanted to have one at Pat's and one at Geno's, but never realized either place had used Cheez whiz! Again, if you don't like Whiz, don't get Whiz. I've never yet seen a place that didn't have Prov available.

Neptunian Slug
10-01-2010, 07:20 PM
I can't vote in the poll, because both Pat's and Geno's suck donkey balls. But I don't have Whiz on my steak. I have provolone. And D'Allesandros, the greatest steak place in the universe, is happy to make it that way.

This, although I am partial to Pudge's. Pat's and Geno's are for tourists and drunk college students.

ryobserver
10-01-2010, 07:23 PM
Overcoming my distaste for Geno's owner to vote for provolone. Or American, but provolone is better. I have only ever had Whiz at crummy food-court steak places that didn't have actual cheese. Blech.

When Rick's was at the Reading Terminal Market they sometimes had mozzarella steaks. Very good and I wish they were more common. Particularly good as a pizza steak, of course--for non-Philadelphians, that's a cheesesteak with pizza sauce on top.

That could be another poll--the best cheesesteak topping/add-on. Onions? Mushrooms? Lettuce & tomato? Peppers? I always thought pizza sauce was the best steak add-on until I tried a cheesesteak with bacon. Oh my.

Larry Mudd
10-01-2010, 10:15 PM
Cheez Whiz is not cheese and has no place near anything with pretensions towards being classed as "food."

I loves me some cheesesteak.

Little Nemo
10-01-2010, 11:47 PM
I like mine with American cheese so I voted with Geno.

johnpost
10-02-2010, 12:44 AM
Cheez Whiz is not cheese. It is a cheese flavored whey (a discard in the making of cheese). It might be edible to some but it is not cheese.

Wallace would not eat it.

BigT
10-02-2010, 01:25 AM
Let me see if I understand this. A cheesesteak is something valued for its taste, right? And Cheez-Whiz is something valued for its ease of use, and not its taste. So why in the world would I want to mix one with the other? Why wouldn't the Wizzed version be the inferior, cheaper, yet quicker version?

Next, are we going to have debates on whether skirt steak (or worse ground beef) can be used instead of ribeye or top round?

Oddly enough, I would find that a more palatable option, as skirt steak with white queso sounds like it would make an awesome sandwich. But I wouldn't call it a cheesesteak.

Zebra
10-02-2010, 12:14 PM
Cheese Wiz is an abomination before the Lord and it doesn't belong in any food.

pulykamell
10-02-2010, 12:18 PM
Whatever. I like my fancy-ass cheeses, but I like the Whiz on a cheesesteak, just like I like (at least some) Velveeta in my mac & cheese, and Kraft singles in my grilled cheese.

amanset
10-02-2010, 04:41 PM
You can't buy either here in sweden. A while back I tried making one with Kraft slices. The results were 'interesting'.

DesertDog
10-02-2010, 06:29 PM
I worked one summer in 1969 at Sammy's Steaks, a small chain (like 3 shops) in Reading. They were definitely a variant of a Philly sandwich being thin-sliced sirloin, grilled onions, tomato sauce (not pizza) and provolone. We had various cold sandwiches as well but I don't think there was even any sliced american on hand. We did have shredded mozzarella since we made pizzas as well, but I don't recall anyone ordering a steak sandwich with it. Our competitor, V&S Steaks, had provolone and tomato sauce as well.

IvoryTowerDenizen
10-02-2010, 08:27 PM
Cheese steaks are a lot like Buffalo wings. The farther you get from the ridiculous and sad traditions of the originals the better the meal gets.

That's ludicrous. Duff's or Anchor Bar are hands down superior to anything I've had after leaving Buffalo.

Darth Nader
10-03-2010, 01:33 AM
Jeez. If it had a name like "Bill Penn's Philly Special Sauce" I bet folks wouldn't be so against it.
Having said that, the very best cheesesteak I've ever had used Rico's nacho cheese, so what do I know, right?

DrDeth
10-03-2010, 02:25 AM
Pat is the undisputed originator of the Philly steak sandwich. If you go up to the window at Pat's and order a cheese steak you get Cheez Whiz.



Yes, like no-one before him thought of putting thinly sliced steak on a roll.:rolleyes:

gaffa
10-03-2010, 02:35 AM
Cheese steaks are a lot like Buffalo wings. The farther you get from the ridiculous and sad traditions of the originals the better the meal gets.
Very true. I've had steaks at both Pats and Ginos and both were mediocre. The best cheesesteak I had in Philly was at the train station on our way out of town. It's the same in most any town - the pizza at Uno's and Gino's East is, at best, mediocre and bland. I know of a dozen better pizzas in Chicago, but those are the two that everyone steers visitors to. And the best BBQ in Kansas City is NOT Arther Bryant's.

My general rule of thumb in a new town is to find the top two places for the local specialty that everyone recommends - then keep asking. #3 or #4 are going to be the real thing, not coasting on their rep.

Magiver
10-03-2010, 02:51 AM
I'm bi-cheesual and will consume it both ways but non-traditional should be labeled steak and cheese for clarification.

Turble
10-03-2010, 12:39 PM
Yes, like no-one before him thought of putting thinly sliced steak on a roll.:rolleyes:

Cheesesteak History (http://www.visitphilly.com/restaurants-dining/authentic-philly-cheesesteaks/)
"The cheesesteak made its official debut in 1930. Pat Olivieri was a South Philadelphia hot dog vendor who one day decided to put some beef from the butcher on his grill. A taxicab driver noticed the alluring aroma and asked for his own steak sandwich. The next day, as the story goes, rumor of the delicious lunch had spread, and cabbies around the city came to Olivieri demanding steak sandwiches. Soon after, Olivieri opened up a shop on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, Patís King of Steaks, to sell his new creation. Eventually, according to legend, he added cheese to the recipe. Today, Patís grills are sizzling 24 hours a day, as are Genoís, the rival shop across the street.":p

DrDeth
10-03-2010, 03:01 PM
Yes, like no-one before him thought of putting thinly sliced steak on a roll.:rolleyes:

Cheesesteak History (http://www.visitphilly.com/restaurants-dining/authentic-philly-cheesesteaks/)
"The cheesesteak made its official debut in 1930. Pat Olivieri was a South Philadelphia hot dog vendor who one day decided to put some beef from the butcher on his grill. A taxicab driver noticed the alluring aroma and asked for his own steak sandwich...s. Soon after, Olivieri opened up a shop on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, Patís King of Steaks, to sell his new creation. Eventually, according to legend, he added cheese to the recipe. Today, Patís grills are sizzling 24 hours a day, as are Genoís, the rival shop across the street.":p

That's nice. But it's hardly proof he thought of the first steak sandwich. In fact, since the Earl of Sandwich (and likely before) there's been steak sandwiches.

Turble
10-03-2010, 05:57 PM
You're absolutely right, of course ... unless this thread is about the Philly Cheesesteak.

samclem
10-03-2010, 07:24 PM
Yes, like no-one before him thought of putting thinly sliced steak on a roll.:rolleyes:

Cheesesteak History (http://www.visitphilly.com/restaurants-dining/authentic-philly-cheesesteaks/)
"The cheesesteak made its official debut in 1930. Pat Olivieri was a South Philadelphia hot dog vendor who one day decided to put some beef from the butcher on his grill. A taxicab driver noticed the alluring aroma and asked for his own steak sandwich. The next day, as the story goes, rumor of the delicious lunch had spread, and cabbies around the city came to Olivieri demanding steak sandwiches. Soon after, Olivieri opened up a shop on 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, Patís King of Steaks, to sell his new creation. Eventually, according to legend, he added cheese to the recipe. Today, Patís grills are sizzling 24 hours a day, as are Genoís, the rival shop across the street.":p



That's nice. But it's hardly proof he thought of the first steak sandwich. In fact, since the Earl of Sandwich (and likely before) there's been steak sandwiches.

You're absolutely right, of course ... unless this thread is about the Philly Cheesesteak.

Pat Olivieri didn't invent the steak sandwich. Period.

He almost certainly didn't invent the cheesesteak sandwich. Period. HIs heirs say as much.

Chronos
10-03-2010, 07:47 PM
But he did invent the Philadelphia steak sandwich.

samclem
10-03-2010, 07:59 PM
But he did invent the Philadelphia steak sandwich.
Probably not, but I haven't investigated the Philadelphia steak sandwich.

Steak sandwiches were very available long before Pat. They were around from at least the teens-20's. If they weren't available in Philly, I'd be surprised.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 08:21 PM
Not being from Philadelphia and never visiting there, My first Phillycheesesteak was at The Great Steak and Potato Company back in the eighties. It never seemed like a controversy, you could get either provolone or philly cheese, and I preferred the provolone. I like both, however... nothing wrong with the whiz but I've always thought it was a little too salty and never been a fan of that artificial cheddar flavor.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 09:05 PM
Here's the controversy was/is a Great Steak Philly Cheese Steak in '85 just as tasty/tastier than a Pat's or Geno's in '10? Say what you want about that franchise, but they made a helluva cheesesteak back in the day. It was the same meat and ingredients as far as I could tell, but I bet they had a better roll than even Pat or Geno's.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 09:35 PM
Plus, my earliest Philly Cheesesteak experiences were always informed by the combo of a Cheesesteak accompanied by Hot, Crispy, Hand Cut, Skin-on, "Carnival fries" with salt and malt vinegar. Can you get that at Pat's or Geno's? ... as far as I'm concerned, native Philadelphians have missed out on the better cheesesteak tradition and taste sensation.

DrDeth
10-03-2010, 10:07 PM
But he did invent the Philadelphia steak sandwich.

What is a Philadelphia steak sandwich? In fact, the way he made it- with Cheese Whiz- is not the way others do. Thus, he invented the sandwich he sells, a small variation on the steak sandwich. Others invented slight variations on his version.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 10:15 PM
Otherwise known as, I prefer the less acidic and melty natural cheese (provolone) plastic with my vinegar dressed carnival fries. Otherwise, they clash, da whiz and da finnegar.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 11:15 PM
I can sort of understand the anger at Great Steak for offering Mushrooms as a steak topping. In the orthodoxy of Philly Cheezesteak, I think it should only be onions- and maybe, maybe, peppers.

devilsknew
10-03-2010, 11:18 PM
Although a Chicagoland sounds good right about now-

Chicagoland Cheesesteak

This one’s got it all – Philly Cheese, Provolone & White American cheese with grilled onions, green peppers & mushrooms.

Chronos
10-04-2010, 01:02 AM
What is a Philadelphia steak sandwich? In fact, the way he made it- with Cheese Whiz- is not the way others do. Thus, he invented the sandwich he sells, a small variation on the steak sandwich. Others invented slight variations on his version. Grilled chopped beef and some sort of cheese, on a firm, crusty hoagie roll, with optional onions and/or mushrooms, and nothing else. What isn't on it is nearly as important as what is: If you add lettuce and tomato, say, as almost everyone outside of Philadelphia seems to, it isn't a Philadelphia cheesesteak any more.

ryobserver
10-04-2010, 07:01 PM
What isn't on it is nearly as important as what is: If you add lettuce and tomato, say, as almost everyone outside of Philadelphia seems to, it isn't a Philadelphia cheesesteak any more.

Of course not. It's a cheesesteak hoagie if it has lettuce and tomato. And it costs extra.

I have a weird compulsion to try "Philadelphia" cheesesteaks when traveling, just to see what the out of towners get wrong (besides the roll, which is a given; the proper long Italian roll seems hard to get outside of Philadelphia). Probably the most common error is assuming lettuce and tomato are standard toppings. The sheer simplicity of hot meat, melted cheese and crusty bread (and grilled onions if you must) seems to be unappreciated outside the Delaware Valley.

Another error is offering toppings that are simply wrong. Once a Manhattan "Philly steak" place asked if I wanted mayo; I barely got my breath back in time to say no. Mayo on a cheesesteak!

devilsknew
10-05-2010, 02:25 AM
What about a Cheesesteak Parmagiana... Think it would work?

Instead of paper thin slices of ribeye, slice them a bit more substantially... a 1/4 inch or so scallopini... roll in flour, dip in eggwash, and coat in Italian Breadcrumbs.... fry them up like chicken fried steak on the flattop in a pool of butter. Top each with a half slice of provolone and steam... Serve on the Steak roll with sauteed onions and peppers, and a dab of simple marinara.

devilsknew
10-05-2010, 03:42 AM
I wouldn't blame ya, if you deepfried the Iti-coated Ribeye, chicken fried steak. You might even want to use a kinetic tenderizer. The rolling needles.

Neptunian Slug
10-05-2010, 07:06 AM
What about a Cheesesteak Parmagiana... Think it would work?

Instead of paper thin slices of ribeye, slice them a bit more substantially... a 1/4 inch or so scallopini... roll in flour, dip in eggwash, and coat in Italian Breadcrumbs.... fry them up like chicken fried steak on the flattop in a pool of butter. Top each with a half slice of provolone and steam... Serve on the Steak roll with sauteed onions and peppers, and a dab of simple marinara.

A veal parm sandwich? Pretty much every pizza joint in this part of the world does that already.

Unintentionally Blank
10-05-2010, 07:35 AM
This is the gustatory equivalent of Jacob vs. Edward.

pyromyte
10-05-2010, 09:08 AM
I was on a bus and it was the middle of the night, and I had a box of crackers and a can of easy cheese. But it was the middle of the night, so I could not see how much easy cheese I was applying to each cracker. So each bite into the cracker was a surprise as to how much easy cheese I had applied, which makes me believe that they should have a glow in the dark version of easy cheese. Itís not like the product has any integrity to begin with. If you buy a room temperature cheese that you squeeze out of a can, you probably wonít get mad cuz it glows in the dark too.
-Mitch Hedberg
Sorry, couldn't resist.

Put me in the anti Cheez Whiz crowd (I admit I've never tried it on a cheesesteak sandwich), but I do not like processed cheese products. I have had Cheez Whiz on crackers, but I wouldn't say they were very good.

DrDeth
10-05-2010, 04:13 PM
Grilled chopped beef and some sort of cheese, on a firm, crusty hoagie roll, with optional onions and/or mushrooms, and nothing else. What isn't on it is nearly as important as what is: If you add lettuce and tomato, say, as almost everyone outside of Philadelphia seems to, it isn't a Philadelphia cheesesteak any more.

Which is just about a patty melt, ain't it? Except a patty melt used different bread and often hamburger- which is of course a type of Grilled chopped beef. Again, minor variations.

Here in CA, they often use a Bolito (sp?) roll, which is soft, white and with a little crustyness. Lettuce, Tomato, Pizza sauce, etc are all only options, often with different names. According to the reviews, the local Philly Steak places are often very close to Phila places, and quite good.
Calvin's World Famous South Philly Cheesesteaks are/were tasty as are other local places.

And I have had steak sandwiches at places like Original Joes that were nothing but a nice slice of steak on a roll with grilled onions. The difference being the thinly sliced or chopped beef on the Philly and the addition of cheese.

So, since even the "Original" has local variations, there's no "originator" of something which has been around for hundreds of years.

pulykamell
10-05-2010, 04:18 PM
Which is just about a patty melt, ain't it? Except a patty melt used different bread and often hamburger- which is of course a type of Grilled chopped beef. Again, minor variations.


Are there patty melts without hamburger? To me, a patty melt is a griddled hamburger patty (hence the name) with cheese and griddled, slightly caramelized onions. (Not grilled. Then again, I've never had a cheese steak that was grilled, either.) It is served on rye bread. I suppose in a way they are similar, but they're different foodstuffs to me, in the way a roast beef sandwich and a hamburger are different to me.

NAF1138
10-05-2010, 04:20 PM
I am from California but my wife is from Philly. I voted with Gino because of the word need in the title. Does Cheesesteak need Wiz? No, provolone is an acceptable substitute.

But I have seen the light and know that a cheesesteak is demonstrably better with wiz. It took some convincing on my wife's part to get me to try it, but once I did I haven't looked back.

Larry Mudd
10-05-2010, 04:42 PM
Jeez. If it had a name like "Bill Penn's Philly Special Sauce" I bet folks wouldn't be so against it.Would Bill Penn's Philly Special Sauce still substantially resemble silicone caulking with a little food colouring in it? If so, I'm pretty sure I'd be agin' it.

DrDeth
10-05-2010, 06:37 PM
Jeez. If it had a name like "Bill Penn's Philly Special Sauce" I bet folks wouldn't be so against it.Would Bill Penn's Philly Special Sauce still substantially resemble silicone caulking with a little food colouring in it? If so, I'm pretty sure I'd be agin' it.

Cheez-whiz doesn't even make good caulking. :DOTOH, Velveeta makes excellent fish bait and stays "good" even on a multi-day hike. I rate Velveeta a solid 9 out of 10 for "survival" purposes then.

Gangster Octopus
10-05-2010, 06:51 PM
I prefer the wiz, but it can be easily overdone, that's for sure, and when that happens it is absolutely horible. Provolone is very good and it is much harder to put too much on.

ralph124c
10-05-2010, 07:37 PM
I have had Phillyp Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, and they are simply nothing special..and cheesewhiz is vile (tastes like spoliled milk).
The best Philly Cheesesteak I had was in Delaware.

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 08:03 AM
I think the last real cheesesteak I had was about 10-15 years ago at Mr. Spots cheesesteaks. They don't use cheezewhiz, just american or provolone slices. It was a pretty good cheesesteak, good size, good bun, gooey with cheese and overfilled for the college crowd. Didn't blow my mind or anything... I guess we here in the western OH tradition have been the most successful ones to give Philly a run for their cheesesteak money, with Great Steak and Potato Company being founded in Dayton in '82. Mr. Spots came not long after and is a BG institution. My guess is that's the case for most "foreign" cheesesteaks outside of philly, their individual styles were probably built around a college town.

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 08:22 AM
[QUOTE=Chronos;12985036]
I have a weird compulsion to try "Philadelphia" cheesesteaks when traveling, just to see what the out of towners get wrong (besides the roll, which is a given; the proper long Italian roll seems hard to get outside of Philadelphia).

Apparently the local Cheesesteak place uses Philly's Amoroso's Rolls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoroso%27s_Baking_Company). Are those up to snuff?

rockle
10-06-2010, 08:38 AM
Apparently the local Cheesesteak place uses Philly's Amoroso's Rolls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoroso%27s_Baking_Company). Are those up to snuff?Oh God, YES. They're the ones I like best.

foolsguinea
10-06-2010, 10:08 AM
I like a steak sandwich with Swiss. Heck, I'd eat one with Asiago if the meat is good.

Neptunian Slug
10-06-2010, 10:46 AM
I think the last real cheesesteak I had was about 10-15 years ago at Mr. Spots cheesesteaks. They don't use cheezewhiz, just american or provolone slices. It was a pretty good cheesesteak, good size, good bun, gooey with cheese and overfilled for the college crowd. Didn't blow my mind or anything... I guess we here in the western OH tradition have been the most successful ones to give Philly a run for their cheesesteak money, with Great Steak and Potato Company being founded in Dayton in '82. Mr. Spots came not long after and is a BG institution. My guess is that's the case for most "foreign" cheesesteaks outside of philly, their individual styles were probably built around a college town.

From my time in Dayton, I thought the western Ohio food tradition was thin pizzas with no crust.

Not sure that I would consider mall food court cheesesteaks to be along the same lines as some of the better places in Philly though. That said, 80% of places here make a pretty so-so cheesesteak.

Acsenray
10-06-2010, 10:51 AM
From my time in Dayton, I thought the western Ohio food tradition was thin pizzas with no crust.

Well, that's part of it. But you thought that's the only food they have in Dayton?

Loisseau
10-06-2010, 10:54 AM
In Massachusetts, more than a few Philly students at the local colleges have declared Carl's in Waltham to have a better cheesesteak sub than Pat's, Geno's or Jim's.

TruCelt
10-06-2010, 11:51 AM
IME the true Philly cheese steak has provolone. The cheese-wiz sandwich is the Camden Cheesesteak, and you can tell Pat I said so. . .


Wait, is Pat a big guy? Does he know how to throw a punch, because maybe you could just keep it on the DL, you know . . .

Chronos
10-06-2010, 02:59 PM
Quoth Dr Deth:Which is just about a patty melt, ain't it? Except a patty melt used different bread and often hamburger- which is of course a type of Grilled chopped beef. Again, minor variations.

Here in CA, they often use a Bolito (sp?) roll, which is soft, white and with a little crustyness. Lettuce, Tomato, Pizza sauce, etc are all only options, often with different names. According to the reviews, the local Philly Steak places are often very close to Phila places, and quite good.
Calvin's World Famous South Philly Cheesesteaks are/were tasty as are other local places.

And I have had steak sandwiches at places like Original Joes that were nothing but a nice slice of steak on a roll with grilled onions. The difference being the thinly sliced or chopped beef on the Philly and the addition of cheese.

So, since even the "Original" has local variations, there's no "originator" of something which has been around for hundreds of years. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Those things all have some similarity to the Philadelphia cheesesteak, but they're not "variations on the original"; they're different dishes. There are indeed many different kinds of meat sandwich, one of which (which is found almost exclusively in the Delaware Valley) is the the Philadelphia cheesesteak.

devilsknew, Amoroso's is the standard cheesesteak roll, and should be used if available (almost everyone in Philadelphia uses them). I only referred to "a firm, crusty hoagie roll" in generic terms because Amoroso's isn't available most places. I'd be wondering about freshness, though, getting them in California.

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 04:50 PM
I think the last real cheesesteak I had was about 10-15 years ago at Mr. Spots cheesesteaks. They don't use cheezewhiz, just american or provolone slices. It was a pretty good cheesesteak, good size, good bun, gooey with cheese and overfilled for the college crowd. Didn't blow my mind or anything... I guess we here in the western OH tradition have been the most successful ones to give Philly a run for their cheesesteak money, with Great Steak and Potato Company being founded in Dayton in '82. Mr. Spots came not long after and is a BG institution. My guess is that's the case for most "foreign" cheesesteaks outside of philly, their individual styles were probably built around a college town.

From my time in Dayton, I thought the western Ohio food tradition was thin pizzas with no crust.

Not sure that I would consider mall food court cheesesteaks to be along the same lines as some of the better places in Philly though. That said, 80% of places here make a pretty so-so cheesesteak.

Never heard of thin pizzas with no crust? Some places make thin crust pizzas, if that's what you mean?

One thing about The Great Steak and Potato Company before it was conglomerated and corporately homogenized is that it was a pretty damn good and fairly small franchise without the foodcourt reputation back in the 80's. ...When they only had a few stores they were really good and much different than the current model. Probably very similar story to the original Pete's Submarines in Bridgeport Connecticut and the nine headed monster it has now become- Subway. That said, I said we have been most successful with the cheesesteak in franchising and building on it... not necessarily the best or most traditional.

ryobserver
10-06-2010, 07:21 PM
Apparently the local Cheesesteak place uses Philly's Amoroso's Rolls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoroso%27s_Baking_Company). Are those up to snuff?

Oh yes. Amoroso's is the gold standard cheesesteak roll.

foolsguinea, if the meat is good enough, who needs cheese? Nothing wrong with a plain steak sandwich; it's leaner and better for you than a hamburger of equivalent meat mass (at least 6 up to 8-9 ounces of meat, depending on the steak shop).

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 09:54 PM
However, I do verily and truly repent and ask for forgiveness for this venal sin - Behold, The Philly Mac and Cheesesteak (http://www.thegreatsteak.com/promotions/index.html)- A Great Steak Cheesesteak topped with Macaroni and Cheese.

I guess this was only to be expected with the last couple of years of the trending Mac and Cheese Comfort Food Fad... Deepfried Mac and Cheese, and now this.

Anybody ever had one of these, I'm curious if it's any good?

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 10:32 PM
devilsknew, Amoroso's is the standard cheesesteak roll, and should be used if available (almost everyone in Philadelphia uses them). I only referred to "a firm, crusty hoagie roll" in generic terms because Amoroso's isn't available most places. I'd be wondering about freshness, though, getting them in California.

I perused their website a little and Amoroso's distribution area includes 36 states and depending on where you are at, they are available either fresh or frozen. Now I don't know how that works, if they come partially baked, or fully baked and frozen, or what? But I have worked with some refrigerated and frozen commercial Italian bread that had a hearty crust and when thawed/ baked/finished in the oven they were just as good as fresh bread.

Neptunian Slug
10-06-2010, 11:33 PM
Never heard of thin pizzas with no crust? Some places make thin crust pizzas, if that's what you mean?



Since I moved from Dayton, I have not seen anyone that has served the flat pie with no crust the way Cassanos or Marion's cooks it. Other than that I would say that there is nothing that I would consider "traditional" Dayton food even in the loosest sense of the word.

devilsknew
10-06-2010, 11:52 PM
Yea, I hate to say it, as a proud Ohioan, I can think of nothing really distinguishable that sets Dayton apart in the food category. Although you could tell me about this curious crustless pizza, if you wanted to.

DrDeth
10-07-2010, 01:31 AM
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. Those things all have some similarity to the Philadelphia cheesesteak, but they're not "variations on the original"; they're different dishes. There are indeed many different kinds of meat sandwich, one of which (which is found almost exclusively in the Delaware Valley) is the the Philadelphia cheesesteak.

devilsknew, Amoroso's is the standard cheesesteak roll, and should be used if available (almost everyone in Philadelphia uses them).

Well, you see- exactly what ingrediant makes a Philly cheesesteak a Philly Cheesesteak? Not the cheese, clearly (that's the debate here). The beef also varies. The roll varies (well out here in CA we don't have the Amoroso), and it ain't the onions.

And certainly CA and even San Jose has great Philly Cheesesteak places, where even Philadephians have said the sandwiches are as good as the originals.

rayxi
10-07-2010, 02:05 AM
Anything with Cheeze Whiz cannot be considered food. It's called Whiz, why would you want to eat it?

devilsknew
10-07-2010, 02:30 AM
I'll scrape off and boil these delicious oysters on the side of the boat, while you are gone. That's my Philly reference, but I thought Mac and company were missive in telling Danny and co. not to eat the barnacles. Those are a true delicacy and a signification of healthy water quality.

I want another catfish.

Darth Nader
10-07-2010, 03:19 AM
Anything with Cheeze Whiz cannot be considered food. It's called Whiz, why would you want to eat it?'Cause it tastes good? All real food snobs know that there's a time when you draw the line between
gourmet and ballpark. Come on, please.

It's food. If I ended up hosting the queen of England at a surprise party in my backyard tomorrow-- She'd get the best hot dogs available, I'd make sure mustard and ketchup were available, and wouldn't say a thing when she went for the red stuff...

I'm sure that folks who hate the Whiz do so because of it's name.

Chronos
10-07-2010, 01:31 PM
Quoth DrDeth:
Well, you see- exactly what ingrediant makes a Philly cheesesteak a Philly Cheesesteak? Not the cheese, clearly (that's the debate here). The beef also varies. The roll varies (well out here in CA we don't have the Amoroso), and it ain't the onions. Why on Earth would anyone think that a single ingredient makes a dish? I can't think of any other food for which that's true; why would cheesesteaks be any different? Rather, any dish is made up of some combination of ingredients, and I've already given the combination of ingredients that makes a cheesesteak.

Arcite
10-07-2010, 02:48 PM
Another Philadelphia native here seconding the idea that American or Provolone are the defaults. I don't believe I have ever had a cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz; nor had I even heard of this phenomenon until news stories about Pat's and Geno's (tourist traps I have never been to) started appearing in the national media. May God strike me dead if I ever utter the phrase "Whiz wit."

TriPolar
10-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Quoth DrDeth:
Well, you see- exactly what ingrediant makes a Philly cheesesteak a Philly Cheesesteak? Not the cheese, clearly (that's the debate here). The beef also varies. The roll varies (well out here in CA we don't have the Amoroso), and it ain't the onions. Why on Earth would anyone think that a single ingredient makes a dish? I can't think of any other food for which that's true; why would cheesesteaks be any different? Rather, any dish is made up of some combination of ingredients, and I've already given the combination of ingredients that makes a cheesesteak.

Well one might gather from the name of the dish that cheese is an important ingredient. Your argument in general is fallacious. You might as well claim that it makes no difference which end of an egg you crack.

However there is a point to be made. The term 'Philly Cheesesteak' has come to denote a product sold nationwide, which often used the wrong end of the egg. Real Philadelphia cheesesteaks were traditionally made using provolone, as you can gather from the actual residents who just call them 'cheesesteaks', with no qualifier necessary. Like in China, where they just call their local dishes 'food'.

villa
10-07-2010, 03:53 PM
Well one might gather from the name of the dish that cheese is an important ingredient. Your argument in general is fallacious. You might as well claim that it makes no difference which end of an egg you crack.


I'd argue that cheese is an addition to the product, which is a steak, or steak sandwich. We'd talk about going to grab a steak once the bar closed.

I try to make it a rule never to buy such a sandwich from a place that calls it a Philly Cheesesteak, or a Philadelphia Cheesesteak. And certainly not from a palce that considers peppers or mushrooms to be standard ingredients in one.

TriPolar
10-07-2010, 04:15 PM
I'd argue that cheese is an addition to the product, which is a steak, or steak sandwich. We'd talk about going to grab a steak once the bar closed.

I try to make it a rule never to buy such a sandwich from a place that calls it a Philly Cheesesteak, or a Philadelphia Cheesesteak. And certainly not from a palce that considers peppers or mushrooms to be standard ingredients in one.

Good point. I'd go with a plain steak without a problem. Onions should be the only standard extra. I like mushrooms and sweet peppers occasionally, but those are extras, not part of the standard package.

The inambiguity of 'cheesesteak' may have made it the more common term, avoiding 'ditcha wanna steak er a steak samich?' and confusion with the variety of other forms of 'steak sandwhich' in different localities. Up here in NE its often called a 'steak and cheese', but the term cheesesteak is recognized as the same thing.

Chronos
10-07-2010, 04:55 PM
Well one might gather from the name of the dish that cheese is an important ingredient. Your argument in general is fallacious. You might as well claim that it makes no difference which end of an egg you crack.Yes, cheese is an essential ingredient in a cheesesteak, but that doesn't mean it has to be one particular kind of cheese. And you can't argue that the dish is really nationwide and point to the fact that many places that make it do it differently: That's like saying that pizza can have egg on it, because quiche is a lot like pizza, and quiche has egg.

A sandwich consisting of chopped grilled beef and cheese, possibly with onions and/or mushrooms, on a firm, crusty hoagie roll, with nothing else added, is very common in the Philadelphia area, and very rare everywhere else in the country. It makes sense, then, to call such a sandwich a "Philadelphia cheesesteak", and to say that sandwiches that do not meet that description are not "Philadelphia cheesesteaks".

DrDeth
10-07-2010, 05:01 PM
[A sandwich consisting of chopped grilled beef and cheese, possibly with onions and/or mushrooms, on a firm, crusty hoagie roll, with nothing else added, is very common in the Philadelphia area, and very rare everywhere else in the country. It makes sense, then, to call such a sandwich a "Philadelphia cheesesteak", and to say that sandwiches that do not meet that description are not "Philadelphia cheesesteaks".

Like I said, we have 4+ shops specializing in that very sandwich within walking distance of my house. Except that some use very thin slices of beef that are not "chopped", and the rolls vary a bit. Now sure- other items are available as options on the basic sandwich.

villa
10-07-2010, 05:06 PM
A sandwich consisting of chopped grilled beef and cheese, possibly with onions and/or mushrooms, on a firm, crusty hoagie roll, with nothing else added, is very common in the Philadelphia area, and very rare everywhere else in the country.

No. No, no, no, no, no!

NOT possibly with onions and/or mushrooms.

A cheesteak with onions is still just a cheesesteak. A cheesteak with mushrooms is not a cheesteak, it's a cheesesteak with mushrooms. Mushrooms are not part of the basic cheesesteak in any place I have seen that does not call it a "Philly Cheesesteak" rather than just a cheesesteak.

While I am on this. Lettuce and tomato aren't part of a cheesesteak. Nothing wrong with them, but order a frigging cheesesteak hoagie. Don't claim it is authentic and then add salad to the bloody thing.

pulykamell
10-07-2010, 05:15 PM
A fun Philadelphia Enquirer article (http://www.phillymag.com/articles/the_cheesesteak_cometh/page1) on cheesesteaks, with quotes from a wide assortment of folks piecing together an oral history of the cheesesteak.


Maury Z. Levy: People who aren’t from here are appalled by the idea of Cheez Whiz: “What? People don’t really eat that!” Some think it’s worse than Spam. We had the original junk food.

Basil Maglaris, spokesman, Kraft Foods: The Philadelphia/South Jersey market accounts for approximately one-quarter of our total Cheez Whiz food-service sales in the U.S. And the same market accounts for 50 percent of our American White Cheese Slices, as it’s another popular ingredient in the Philly cheesesteak.

Sure, the original was provolone, but who cares? In Philly, there's three acceptable cheeses: provolone, American, and Whiz. And Pat's makes a perfectly acceptable cheesesteak, I don't care how much better Tony Luke's or the local neighborhood joint is. (And I'm one who seeks out the little holes-in-the-wall. That said, the progenitors or most visible outposts of a regional food usually actually are pretty good. Pizzaria Uno in Chicago, is good. Not my favorite, but definitely worth visiting. Same with the Anchor Bar. People told me, no only tourists go there, their wings suck, etc. You know what? It was full of locals and I preferred their wings to Duff's. Same with Pat's or Geno's. They're good steaks, and if Pat (and other establishments) in Philadelphia offer Whiz as a choice, that's good enough for me.

devilsknew
10-09-2010, 06:10 AM
Apparently, here in America there is also a small noveau tradition of French Cheesesteaks. I saw a segment on some food channel, very likely the Food Network, some several years ago featuring a Boheme Frenchman selling Loaded French Baguettes with versions of fried steak with brie, gruyere', mushrooms, garlic onions, and Herbes de Provence. He had quite a variety including foie, poultry, and other fine cheeses. I don't remeber where it was at exactly, but I seem to recall he sold them riverside.