Cheese Steak

A sandwich of beef and molten cheese on a length of robust Italian bread once was a specialty unique to Philadelphia, but now Philly cheese steaks are universal. The classic way to prepare the meat is to griddle-cook very thin slices of steak and leave them fairly intact, folding them into the roll separately from sauteed onions (which are virtually de rigueur). The second method is to hack up the beef as it sizzles. This technique allows the onions to be blended in with the beef on the griddle. Some restaurants even stir cheese to the beef-onion mix, but it is more typical to apply the cheese after the meat is in the bread. When it was invented in 1930 at Pat’s in the Italian Market, the original version was simply steak on a roll, without any cheese. The presumption is that the essence of a cheese steak is not the cheese, but the right combination of beef and bread. However make no mistake: cheese now is essential. While most cheese steak connoisseurs are fairly liberal in allowing provolone, Cheese Whiz, or even American, ordering any other cheese is a faux pas. In 2003, when Senator John Kerry was campaigning to win the Democrat party nomination for President, he tried to show he was an ordinary guy when he visited Pat’s in Philadelphia and asked for a cheese steak … with Swiss cheese. Sacrilege! Craig LaBan, food critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said flat-out, “It will doom his candidacy in Philadelphia,” explaining that to get Swiss cheese on a steak in Philly was “an alternative lifestyle.”

Restaurants With This Dish

Five-O

FAIRFIELD, CT

Mama’s Pizzeria

BALA CYNWYD, PA

Tony Luke’s - Uncle Mike
Tony Luke’s

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Bacon cheeseburger, fully dressed ... good quick eats
Come N Get It Grill | Good Quick Eats | Hephzibah, GA

HEPHZIBAH, GA

Donkey’s Place

CAMDEN, NJ

Giacomo’s Italian Market and Grille

EASTON, PA

Discuss

What do you think of Cheese Steak?

Latest Articles & Guides

Lobster roll
6 best restaurants in New England

Looking for some stops along your Road trip  Check out our picks for the 6 best restaurants...

Clam Shack - Lobster Roll
14 Best Lobster Rolls in New England

Bad lobster rolls are easy to come by  We've done the research and have found the best...

Best Affordable Eats Along Sedona’s Red Rock Drive

Scenic Driving and Good Eating Rising an average of an inch every 60 to 80 years, the...

Road trip | Seattle to Yakima Washington

Road Trip Overview A road trip over the Cascades through Snoqualmie Pass leads not only to a...

America’s Byways: Road trip through the Florida Keys

Road trip through the Florida Keys Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico...

The Best Hidden Gem Restaurants of Boston | Roadfood Bests

Best Hidden Gem Restaurants in Boston Tradition-bound and cutting edge, Boston has...

×

Connect with us #Roadfood