“The perfect balance of flavors and textures,” is how Roadfood.com’s Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle described the cheese steak at Steve’s Prince of Steaks in northeast Philadelphia. Unlike steak places that chop their meat into hash on the grill, Steve’s slices it into flaps and sizzles the pieces in the traditional Italian-market way. The meat is not prime cut, that’s for sure, but its flavor is a welcome, oily blast of beefy protein. Combine that with a load of Cheese Whiz and a heap of fried-soft, sweet onions all piled into a chewy tube of fresh bread and you’ve got a picture of cheese steak perfection.
Here are the choices you’ll need to make when you dine at Steve’s: plain steak, cheese steak, pizza steak (with sauce), or steak hoagie (with lettuce and tomato); normal weight or double-meat. If you choose cheese: American, Whiz, provolone or mozzarella. Extras? They include pizza sauce, mushrooms, and house-roasted hot red and green peppers. Dill pickles, relish, cherry peppers, yellow peppers, and hot sauce are available as garnishes. The French fry selection features cheese fries and pizza fries. Soft drinks include birch beer; or you can have a chocolate soda, which is nothing but chocolate syrup mixed with seltzer water.
The dining experience is unequivocal street food. Read the menus posted on the wall, place your order at two different windows (one for sandwiches, the other for fries and drinks, each paid for separately), then dine at the easy-wipe silver counter that runs along the wall.
Steve’s has two other locations: at 2711 Comly Rd. in Philadelphia (215-677-8020) and 1617 East Lincoln Highway in Langhorne (215-943-4640).