Saturday, August 28, 2004

Being born in Philadelphia affords me certain inalienable rights, the rightto speak with a slight accent, to eat really soft pretzels, the right toreally great water ice (not just shaved ice with syrup splashed on it), andthe right to gorge myself on, in the opinion of a native Philadelphian, thegreatest food ever invented, the Philadelphia cheese steak! Now there areplenty of foods that use the word Philadelphia, i.e. (Philadelphia creamCheese) but have no real connection to Philadelphia. The first cheese steakwas invented in the City Of Brotherly Love in South Philly to be exact.While back in Philadelphia, one of my first priorities was to head to SouthStreet and hit up Jim?s Steak House and feed my Jones, and if that wasn?tenough the next day we visited Pat?s Steak House in South Philly for more.Why the furious need for cheese steaks? It?s very simple, once you have hada Philly cheese steak, anything else is just steak!I must say this ?a Porterhouse steak on a french roll with melted cheese isnot a Philly cheese steak! Let me say that again, ?A Porterhouse steak on afrench roll with melted cheese is not a Philly cheese steak! Back in 1984,when I first arrived in Salinas, California, I had cheese steak withdrawal,so I headed to a restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula which had a signadvertising ?Philly Cheese steak? on the menu, needless to say I was onehappy camper until my plate arrived, there were sesame seeds on the bun andwhat appeared to be a whole steak with green bell peppers, this was not aPhilly cheese steak, it was a cheap knock off, a really cheap knockoff. So Iwent on a personal quest in search of the great Philly cheese steak outsideof our nation?s former capitol. It is so hard to understand why people whohave never been to Philly seem to think that they are experts on what makesa great steak sandwich. They say go here, go there, this place makes themthe best, yada, yada, yada. As it turns out, each one is just as weak as thelast cheese steak I tried, you walk in and they have accolades about howgreat their cheese steaks are clipped from newspapers magazines and localfood critics!! Have any of these people even flown across Philadelphiaairspace, I think not!Have I ever found any place outside of Philly that makes a mean cheesesteak? Yes, I have and of all the places I have ever dined in and I havetried hundreds of steaks shops, there have only been one or two places thatstick in my mind, that even when confronted with a die hard Philadelphian,it was love at first bite. One such restaurant is called ?Philly?s Best?,located in Fountain Valley, California. I feel as though I have just walkedinto a South Philly steak shop. I can order my sandwich, sit down and readthe Philadelphia Enquirer, eat Tastykakes which until recently was almostimpossible to find in California. If you ever get the opportunity to gothere, you will find my photo amongst the many lovers of this greatrestaurant, I am the one wearing the black CBS News jacket. What makes a?real? Philadelphia Cheese Steak? First, you have to import your breadfrom Amoroso Baking Company located at 845 S. 55th Street in Philadelphia,no place else on the planet makes bread like Amoroso. Next, you need thefinest sirloin steak money can buy, sliced paper thin, of course, add theright amount of American cheese, along with some sweet and hot peppers andpresto, then you have a Philadelphia Cheese Steak. All you need are someGoldenberg?s Peanut Chews and wash it down with Frank?s Black CherryWishniak Soda and you are set for life. Hey restaurants, if you don?t havethe original cheese steak, please rename it something like ?cheap imitationPhilly Cheese Steak?, so I won?t be confused and have to send it back for areal meal, oh yeah and for the Cheese Steak place in Texas, We really don?tuse A-1 Sauce on Philly Cheese Steaks!!I found a website that says they will send you a genuine Philly cheese steakor Hoagie, (which could inspire a whole new Stanley?s Corner), anywhere in the world. The site is called Philly foods and the website can be found at, I may give them a try then Iwill let you know how my experience was. The menu sounds good but I havebeen fooled before there is something about getting anything off thetelevision or the internet that still bothers me, it always looks so greaton the screen but when you get it home its always turns out to be adisappointment!

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