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What is the Deal With Cheesesteaks in Philly?

December 7, 2023

cheesesteaks philly

You may have heard of it but you might not know what the Philly cheesesteak is. If you live beyond Pennsylvania, it might sound like some sort of foreign meal that might not seem very appealing. But it’s quite delicious and there is a reason why so many people love Cheesesteaks in Philly. As the years have gone on, these sandwiches have taken on a whole new life and have really become a symbol of the city, its people, and its culture.

There is actually a lot of history behind the Philly cheesesteak. The original Philly cheesesteak is an iconic sandwich that originated in, you guessed it, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since its inception, it has turned into a beloved staple of the city’s culinary scene and has gained popularity across the United States.

If you want to learn more about cheesesteaks in Philly and what they mean to the people of the city, you’re in luck. Learning about the sandwich’s rich history is exciting, interesting, and downright delicious too.

The Ingredients

It all starts with some thinly sliced steak, which is of course the most important part of cheesesteaks from Philly. Traditionally, it’s made with ribeye steak sliced very thinly. And there is the cheese of course. The most common types used are Cheez Whiz, provolone, or American cheese. Finally, what is a sandwich without bread? A long, crusty roll is used, often an Italian roll or hoagie roll.

The Origins

The Philly cheesesteak got its start all the way back in the 1930s, at a place called Pat’s King of Steaks. This chain is often credited with creating the cheesesteak and Pat’s claims to have invented the sandwich by placing grilled beef on a roll. It was as simple as that but soon, a legend was born. Shortly after Pat’s got things rolling, Geno’s opened across the street from Pat’s in the 1960s and then created its own brand of the Philly cheesesteak, although it is a lot like the original. Right away, it became another iconic cheesesteak joint in Philly and fans of cheesesteaks in Philly quickly celebrated it.

The Controversies

When you talk about Philly cheesesteaks, you have to consider the multiple different ways that people make it. There are actually multiple debates about this delicious one-of-a-kind sandwich, including what you put on it. If you are looking to find the best cheesesteak near me or buy cheesesteak online, you need to consider how you want it prepared.

Cheese Whiz vs. Provolone vs. American

It seems like a simple question but it has been one that has torn people apart for years and the debate about which type of cheese is best has raged for generations in Philadelphia. Of course, the choice of cheese can be a matter of personal preference but it still creates a ton of debate among locals and visitors alike.

Onions or No Onions

Some love their cheesesteaks with onions while others prefer without. This is another decision that is based solely on your preference but it’s very important that you decide how you’ll have it before you order, either online or at a delivery service near you.

And when it comes to ordering your Philly cheesesteak, you need to keep quite a few things in mind. Believe it or not, it’s not as simple as just buying a regular meal at a fast food joint.

Ordering a Cheesesteak

Like all things, folks in Philadelphia order their cheesesteaks in a very particular way. If you want to be just like a local fan, you have to know just how to order this specialty sandwich.

Philly Lingo: When ordering, you might hear locals say “Whiz wit” (Cheez Whiz with onions) or “Provolone witout.” Don’t worry too much about how you pronounce these things, as local Philly residents will likely cut you some slack because they know you’re a tourist. Don’t worry, it’ll still taste great.

Customization: You can also spice things up with your cheesesteak by adding various toppings such as assorted peppers, mushrooms, or even some hot sauce if you’re feeling daring and want to experience something hot.

Remember that enjoying a Philly cheesesteak is as much about the experience as it is about the taste. That means that you shouldn’t expect to have a normal, sit-down restaurant experience when you are getting the cheesesteak. Instead, you should plan to run into some long lines, a somewhat rowdy atmosphere, and the sound of the sizzle of steak on the grill add to the charm. Soak it all in and enjoy it, because you know that you can’t get this sort of experience in just any restaurant across the country.

The good news is that if you’re in Philadelphia, you have multiple options to enjoy the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak. Beyond just Pat’s and Geno’s, there are now many other establishments in the city that serve their very own version of the cheesesteak, each with its own twist. But don’t be too afraid because even though times have changed and restaurants are now trying new things, a cheesesteak will still carry the same great taste and ingredients that have been used since the 1930s.

Over the years, Philly cheesesteaks have turned into something so much more than a simple sandwich. They have now transformed into a symbol of the city’s vibrant culture and are a must-try for anyone visiting Philadelphia. The good news is that no matter where you are staying in Philly, you won’t be far from a great spot where you can buy and try this one-of-a-kind local delicious dish.

When you bite into a Philly cheesesteak, you’re going to experience a whole lot of things. You’ll taste the thinly-slice meat, the cheese, the peppers, and the wonderfully toasted bread. But you should also always remember that you’re really trying a piece of history too. That’s because Philly cheesesteaks represent a flavorful, special blend of history that can only really be done correctly in this part of the country.