Regional Food....Philly Cheesesteak, disappointing

Again, we see regional food favorites migrating to other area’s of the US in search of the divine dollar. New to my community is the Philly Grille, home of the Cheesesteak & Hoagie. Residing on the West Coast, this is nothing new, we get a plethora of new eating establishments that mostly fail after a couple of years of poor sales. A few, such as L & L Hawaiian Barbeque bcome successful. I stopped at the Philly Grille and picked up a Cheesesteak since I am generally a meat-eater.
My only other expierience with the Cheesesteak was at Appleby’s however, it reminded me of Fajita’s, a mexican favorite. After being assured by the restuarants mgr. that this was the real-deal sandwich and after coffing over $8., I was disappointed. Sure, it was hot, big and filled with a gooey meat and cheese mixture, I would have been much happier (and saved $3) with a Burrito. Next on the menu is a Hoagie…WTF, looks like an italian submarine to me. I’ll try one, but maybe this stuff should stay on the East Coast.

A hoagie IS a sub sandwich. Same thing, different name.

If there is an acceptable Philly Cheesesteak on the West Coast, I haven’t found it. Regional food never transfers well. I also can’t find sicillian pizza or a good friggin’ bagel. (I am originally a Jersey Girl). And a Hoagie is an Italian Sub.

It goes the other way, too. Try eating sourdough or artichokes on the east coast. Blegh. Try FINDING good mexican food.

(A Philly Cheesesteak IS a ball of grease though. As such, even a good one may be an aquired taste and prone to grossing out someone raised on the healthier diet common out here)

Some localities fetishize their crappy local specialties well beyond whatever merits the stuff may have (think Vegemite here, or cattle testicles), mainly as a mind game with outsiders. Maryland has some genuinely wonderful local specialties, like crabcakes, and some questionable ones like scrapple. I was always a little doubtful about the “wonder” of NYC pizza until I finally had some that met up with the hype.

Philly Cheesesteak is vile stuff. It’s not your imagination. The Cheez Wiz is certainly a cruel inside joke.

At least the mentioned local specialties actually reflect where they came from. I always giggle non stop when I travel and they have things like “The California Burger!”- which always has sprouts and avocado. Now, we do eat a lot of avocado, but I don’t know many people that actually eat sprouts on a regular basis, let alone on their burgers.

And they just opened a Hawaiian BBQ here too. Hawaiian food is gross, so why the hell are they opening these places all over the place?

Oh, I was going to say: if we had a “specialty”, I would say it should be Tritip sandwiches. It is my understanding that other places don’t have tritip, which is, really, a crime against humanity.

Philly expatriate here. Never, ever fall for the "Philly_____ " lie. Either get it in Philly (or New Jersey), or forget it. There is only one exception I’ve ever found and man, is it bizarre.

Out on the prairie in Cheyenne, Wyoming, there was a sub shop run by two New Jersey transplants. They baked their own bread and everything. [Getting the bread right is crucial, it should not be like a hot-dog roll, but slightly chewy on the outside and soft on the inside.]

Anyway, the place was so authentic that I even heard them just about throw some woman out for asking for mayo on an Italian hoagie. Even they didn’t advertise “Philly.” Only “Cheesesteaks” and “Hoagies.” Makes me homesick and hungry just thinking about it.

NJ transplant here too and I concur, the correct bread is crucial. Any old hoagie roll will NOT work. Damn I miss those cheesesteak hoagies we used to get around the corner.

However, I was very happy to find that Tastykake ships across the country. :smiley:

I.B. Hoagie in Berkeley and Oakland, CA has pretty good hoagies, although I wouldn’t know how well they stack up against one from Philly.

You’re making that up. Wikipedia and know NOTHING of tritip.

Do you easterners know the joy of Rapa Scrapple? :dubious:

:smack: westerners

Perhaps you should have tried tri-tip :smiley:

You want a decent cheesesteak, make sure to attend a Dopefest with Airman Doors.

Ah, Philly.

No cheesesteak I’ve ever had out here on the West Coast compares to Jim’s or Pat’s. Same goes for the hoagies, although I gave up eating Italian hoagies a long time ago. I would agree it’s mostly the bread. The crap they use at Subway bears about as much resemblance to Amoroso’s as Martha Stewart does to Raquel Welch.

Togo’s in Silicon Valley has halfway decent bread, but the rest is meh. Fortunately, they don’t even try to make cheesesteaks.

Mayonnaise on a hoagie? :smack: Oy. This reminds of the time I was standing in line at a sandwich restaurant in Center City and the woman next to me ordered pastrami on white. I thought the sandwichman was gonna leap over the counter and kill her with his knife right there. That would have been kewl…

My brother sends me a box of TastyKakes for my birthday every year. For some reason, I can get by without them until he sends me some. I think he’s trying to drive me crazy, in hopes he can get me out of the will, the little fink. :smiley:

I had no idea good sourdough bread was that much of a west coast thing. What do they do to it on the east coast? Is it too bland or or too sour?

So I don’t make the same mistake when I’m in your part of the country, what is a good bread to eat with pastrami?

Also, mayo on a hoagie may be bad but it’s nothing compared to mayo on a BBQ sandwich (as I related in a thread awhile back).

Any chance you remember the name of the place, or about where it was? I’m very curious. Also how long ago it might have been?

Amato’s (in San Jose) is pretty damn good. The folks who run it are from Philly-- they yell at you if you take more than 5 seconds to order, or if you ask any questions about the menu. If you ever make it down this way, check it out. It’s a real hole-in-the wall place on Saratoga Ave in West San Jose.

The sourdough is not particularly sour, and nothing is crusty enough. I’m really not sure how I lived life without dutch crunch, but it’s non-existant out there. After a spell in SF in the '60’s, my mother has been on a lifelong quest to find good sourdough in Jersey. She’s given up and just eats it by the loaf when she visits me.

You eat pastrami on rye. But you can’t find good rye out here (I’ll add that to my list).

John Mace, I will check that out.

It’s about 5 minutes west of 280 on Saratoga Ave.