Since I hail from South Jersey(exit 4), I think I know a thing or two about the Philly Cheese Steak. My friends and I would often frequent South St. just to get a mouth watering cheese steak. This past summer we took the kids up to Philly to do some sight seeing and a quick stop at Pat’s for a couple of “Whiz wit out”. That is steak talk for two cheese steaks with Cheez Whiz ®, no onions. We could argue about who makes the best cheese steaks for the entire length of the Jersey Turnpike, but it is all a matter of tradition. I like Pat’s and their whizzy goo steak sandwiches because it conjures memories of my youth. Something about sitting outside Pat’s on a warm summer evening with orange goo dripping through my fingers, yammering to my friends about the latest Madonna album, hence I now date myself. But I must say that my favorite cheese steak sandwich of all time comes from Big John’s in Cherry Hill, NJ. The bread is perfect and I prefer their provolone to the nuclear orange processed cheese of Pat’s (but I will still eat a Pat’s any day of the week). When we have made the Jersey Jaunt, my hubs and I bring back a big treasure chest of cheese steak gold, double wrapped all special-like by the folk’s at Big John’s. I think on our next trip we will try Tony Luke’s.
Now that I live in VA, I am having a difficult time finding the perfect Philly Cheese Steak. I have given up and have resorted to making my own. We call it The Philly Cheese Steak by the Inch. I purchase a long French baguette and slice open. On my cook-top-cast-iron-grill, greased with olive oil, I brown up 20 ounces of shaved beef, once it is browned, I top with four to five slices of provolone cheese, let the cheese melt, distribute on to the bread, a little S and P to taste, and happiness begins. My hubby and I take turns moving the knife back and forth until the kids decide on their desired sandwich length. I take a bow for the standing ovation granted then sit to devour my own mega inches of Cheese Steak Glory.