Help this Californian create and authentic Philly Cheesesteak

Background: I’m a native Bay Arean, I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve made occasional trips to Philly to visit relatives, who no longer live there. It’s unlikely I’ll get back there on a regular basis.

But curse the cheesesteak. I’m now addicted, and the only way I’ll ever again eat a decent one is to make it myself. I’ve had Jim’s, Geno’s, most of the famous ones, and countless excellent ones at various pizza parlors and sandwich shops around Philly. I am not a cheesesteak rube. :slight_smile:

Anyway, give me your recipes. What kind of meat? What kind of bread? What kind of cheese? I think I’ve heard most of the better places use white american (which is a pain in the ass to find), and some swear by cheese whiz (I want no part of that).

Also a sub-question: Does ANYONE know of a place to get a decent cheesesteak in the bay area? Preferably the south bay. There is a local franchise around here called “The Cheese Steak Shop”, which isn’t bad. But I need to do better. And don’t get me started on Subway’s version of a Cheesesteak.

I previewed and missed the “and” instead of “an”. If a moderator runs across this… See, this is what happens during cheesesteak withdrawls.

Now you know why Philadelphia continues to thrive. People get addicted to cheesesteaks and then move in (or never leave).

I’m not a DIYer so I can’t help with recipes, but there are businesses that will ship authentic Philly food to you in a day or two. This place has a good but seems way overpriced. $76 for 2 cheesesteaks? They better be made from Bessie herself.

Ribeye Steak, very thinly sliced and sauteed with onions and peppers, placed on a fresh-baked, non-Wonderbread hoagie roll, topped with Cheez Whiz.

While it is not the type of bread traditionally use, I’m willing to bet that a sourdough baguette would make a killer cheesesteak. As far as cheese, provolone is popular around here.

used. Must stop forgetting to preview.

Nope. You need an Amoroso’s roll, which you just ain’t getting anywhere else.

Nyah nyah nyah.

twicks, who lives 100 yards from a pizza-and-hoagie place that won a neightborhood Best of Philly for its cheesesteaks a few years ago.

My evil plot to make the perfect cheesesteak in (not so) sunny ca is advancing. Amaroso’s bread. Got it. This may take some doing, but apparently a few wholesalers carry it.

Having never been to CA< let alone your area, if at all possible, find a farmer’s market to get yourself some good chipped sirloin. In my experience that makes some of the best steak meat, and is a little easier to get in some places than the ribeye

For cheese, white american is pretty much th standard, but my favorite place (Mom’s in Bala Cynwyd for the Philly-ites) seems to use a 50-50 american and provolone.

As far as the rolls go, the “true” Philly steak needs an Amoroso roll, there’s not much getting around that, but, if you have a bread bakery, get your hands on some fresh hoagie rolls and you’ll be in good (better IMHO) shape. :slight_smile:

After doing a google search (shame shame zuma :)) you can find some good tips on making a cheesesteak here.

It ain’t a cheesesteak if it ain’t got Cheez Whiz. Ditto on the Amoroso’s rolls. Fresh ribeye steak, almost frozen, sliced thin, sauteed in butter (not margarine or PAM) on a flattop giddle with onions & mushrooms. No mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato. I’m talkin’ bread-meat-onion-mushroom-Cheez Whiz-bread. Hots (spicy pepper sauce) if you’re into that sorta thing. Culinary Orgasm. Man, I gotta get over to Philly.

Man I miss driving a cab a stopping at Gino’s in the middle of the night…

As a poor student I could make a passable cheap imitation cheesestake with Steak-ums chooped fine, onion powder, and whatever white cheese was on sale. If the rolls weren’t the freshest, (sale-buy one get two free 2 day old ones) pour the grease from the pan over everything and you could hardly notice.

Before I get pelted by cans of cheeze wiz, I’ll say the OP asked recipes. Here’s mine even if I’m not proud of it, did I mention it was cheap?

How do you pronounce that?

Cheez Whiz, Velveeta, American Cheese - it’s all pasteurized process cheese. You’re not consuming anything that different one way or the other.

How do you pronounce that?
Bala (rhymes with Hal - ah ) KIN-wood.

Should be Kin-wid, I guess, but no one actually says that.

And our lovely river, the Schuylkill, is pronounced SKOO-kull.

I once leaned over the counter at The Mad Italian to ask the grill guy what kind of cheese he was putting on the sandwiches. He leaned over and winked in a conspiratorial manner and whispered, “White American.”

I think he was referring to the cheese…

When I lived there we called it the SURE-kill. Have they fixed it yet?


You are correct that there is a slight but distinguishable difference between the pronunciation of the name of the river and of the expressway named after it.

Other than confirming that, I’m not going to dignify your post with an answer. :stuck_out_tongue:

Steven’s Philly Cheesesteaks in Sunnyvale (Lawrence & Tasman) runs commercials that claim that they have “real” Philly Cheesesteaks. Cheesesteaks not being my cup o’ tea, I wouldn’t know, but you might give it a shot.

A not so overwhelming review can be found here, but neither of the guys claim to be cheesesteak experts…

Incredibly, there’s a pretty good cheesesteak place here in Anchorage run by a couple of Greeks from Philly. My quandry over today’s lunch selection is settled.


Whiz or velveeta (no real difference there) can make a passable cheeseseak, but those cellophane wrapped abominations are NOT the kind being referred to for a cheeseseak.
The American cheese used on a cheesesteak is the kind you get sliced at the deli. From what I can dig up it’s basically un-aged cheddar, before going through all the processing that creates Kraft singles.