Join me in mourning

Harry Olivieri, inventor of the Philly Cheesesteak, has died. This is a tragedy to all of us overweight gluttons.

May he find that in the afterlife, the bread is always fresh and the toppings plentiful.

Man…I’ve been away from the US and Philly for awhile…but when I worked in Washington DC I used to take a train to Philly to visit my now deceased uncle there…and EAT PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS!. There’s no better Cheese Steak than one from a mom and pop in Philly!

You have to love the success story of this guy and his brother Pat, who had a hotdog stand on a corner. One day, sick of eating dogs, he told his brother to go pick up some beef. They fried it up with some onions and were eating it on a roll when a cab driver came by for a dog, smelled the heavenly aroma, and demanded a sandwich. The rest, as they say. . .

I’ve heard of Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, but I’ve never had one and am not sure what they consist of. Can any of the “mourners” give directions for building one? It may not be an official sandwich from Philadelphia, but being as I’m here in Kansas it’s a ways to travel.

Or is it one of those things where no two places have the same version, yet all claim to be the best?

The Philly Cheesesteak is so omnipresent that it’s hard to believe it even had an inventor – much less that it was invented a mere 70 years ago! I’d have thought people would have been chowing down on them through the Roaring 20’s at least. R.I.P.

I’ve never made one myself, but the basic idea is to get some very thin strips of steak (I think you can buy them frozen), throw them on a hot skillet, and chop them up till they’re kinda curly. Throw in some chopped onions and, if you want, peppers or mushrooms. When it’s all cooking nicely, lie some strips of provolone cheese on top till it starts to melt, then take a hoagie roll, lie it open on top of the mess, and kind of scoop it up. That’s pretty much the basic, but of course there are variations. You can use Cheez Whiz instead of provolone, chicken instead of beef, with or without marinara sauce, etc.

Here’s Pat’s recipe.

Wow, I was looking for a good reason to get a nice Italian cheesesteak (what my local place calls a Philly w/Marinara sauce), and know I have one. You know…to honor the dead.

It’s the rare restaurant that will post the recipe to their most famous dish on their website. That’s pretty classy in my book.

Thanks for the link! I’m on a reducing diet now, 1400 calories per day, but I’ve been consuming only 1300, to “bank” some calories. I’m gonna save them up, and in a couple of weeks I can have that sandwich!

What’s not to like about meat, cheese, and onions?

Chicken instead of beef is just so wrong. That’s not a cheesesteak; that would be a… cheesechicken, I guess. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And I believe that if you add marinara sauce, it turns into what they call a “pizza steak.” Not a true cheesesteak, I’m told.

My husband grew up around South Philly, and he introduced me to good cheesesteaks. What a brilliant culinary invention that was.

No way, man! I went to school in Philly, and chicken is a very common and acceptable alternative to beef. You call it a chicken cheesesteak, and most of the time, truth be told, I perfer it to regular cheesesteaks. Okay, so diehard purists may quibble with it (it’s not on the menu at Pat’s OR Geno’s), but I’d bet it’s available at 75% or so of the cheesesteak joints I’ve been to in Philly.

if you are in, near, or visiting the Philadelphia area, and plan on paying homage to Mr. Oliveri through gluttony, check out for a great list of cheesesteak eateries complete with menus, addresses, and photos…

Also, if you are in Atlantic City, be sure to stop by White House Subs… my personal favorite cheesesteak…

Could someone help a soon to be relocating Chicagoan? Is there any place in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area where I will be able to get a decent Philly cheesesteak? I’ve already given up on finding a proper Italian beef sandwich there.

You must be kidding. I’d give my left…something to be able to eat Eastern Carolina BBQ when I want. And you want some inferior beef with frickin’ CheeseWhiz on it? It takes all kinds. :slight_smile:

Oh, I’ve developed quite a taste for Carolina BBQ during my frequest visits. I’m just anticipating the future withdrawal symptoms when my arteries start clearing out.