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South Street Steaks, Gaithersburg and Bethesda


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Always being on the lookout for a good cheese steak, and after reading the Post article yesterday, I decided to head over to this place and see.

Turned out to be even better than I had hoped. I had it with onions (wit), American cheese, and hot peppers. Had it as takeout and, as it happens, gave it about 45 min. to develop its flavors. It was still nice and hot, and had really good flavor and a lot of meat. At least as good as my favorite to date, Al's in Mt. Vernon. They clearly are trying to emulate Jim's on South Street, and there's nothing wrong with that. Bread from Amoroso. $6.50 with tax--about 10"

Certainly worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood (College Park) or if you're just jonesing for a cheese steak.

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On that note, anyone know where to ACTUALLY get an authentic steak this side of Delaware? I'm talking one that's just fatty griddled beef, onions, and some Cheese Whiz™ on an authentic Amoroso roll.

To answer Dan, South Street Steaks in College Park gets their rolls from Amarosa, uses Whiz and does it all with out the 'tude. I like Pat's and Geno's and have even tried Jim's on South Street which is the place the owners of South Street Steaks have based theirs on. There are picks of South Street inside and there is definately a Pro Philly vibe to the place and all of the principle are from Philly or spent a great deal of time there from what I understand. My new food runner is actually friends with three or so of the owners. I've eaten there several times and it fills my cheesesteak hankerings everytime. It's right on Baltimore Ave. Depending on where you live, it can be a hike, but I drive all the way from Falls Church for the steaks if that says anything.

And just an aside to Don, Cheese Whiz isn't disgusting on everything, just everything but cheesesteaks :unsure:

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anyone know where to ACTUALLY get an authentic steak this side of Delaware? I'm talking one that's just fatty griddled beef, onions, and some Cheese Whiz™ on an authentic Amoroso roll.

There is place in College Park, right on the main strip( I don't recall what the name of the street is) called South Street Steaks. I don't claim to be from Philly, i actually don't care for the sports fans there at all: ex. Booing Santa Clause, booing Donovan McNabb on draft day. I am, on the other hand, an alum of a seven year stint at Penn State. I've had my share of cheesesteaks in State College as well as Philly. South Street Steaks is the real deal you can even order it "with" and they know talkin 'wiz and onions. And they put yor picture on the wall if you eat two or more in one sitting.

Craig

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Oh wow! Hey Daniel! I will have to check this out. I pass by this place all the time on my way to Marathon Deli for their gyros, subs, and pizza on pita bread. Never heard anyone say much about it before, but I understand from the review it's sort of new.

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OK, here's the report.

Bread: the aforementioned Amarosa rolls. And fresh, even on a Saturday. A

Steak: sliced moderately thinly, definitely ribeye. They don't leave too much on the grill at once, so the meat doesn't get steamed before they fry a portion up for a sandwich. However, from the two steaks that we had, plus what I saw others eat, they fry them about 1 minute too long. So you get some of the crispy bits (good), but the rest of the steak is a bit too dry (bad). B

Cheese: The american or provolone is standard deli cheese, but the whiz is the real deal. This isn't whiz from the sqeeze can - it's essentially large vats of nacho cheese, kept on the grill to keep them warm. And the whiz goes on the roll, not on the steak. But they use a ladle for the cheese, not a spatula. Get with the program! B+

Onions: Fried until translucent, but not browned, in advance, and kept warm in liquid in a tray on the grill, just like in Philly. A sizable portion mixed into the meat if you order 'wit. A

Other toppings: They offer fried mushrooms or peppers (acceptable), hot peppers (fine), ketchup (if you must) lettuce, tomato, and mayo (in Philly, you won't see the last 3). B for offering the first 4, F- for allowing LTM anywhere near a steak.

Ambiance: Grill in the front, smoke everywhere, attitude from the grillmakers, Philly sports jerseys and photos on the wall, kind of a hole in the wall. A+

My son and I shared a wiz wit, and a pizza steak (provo, not wiz). Very very good. The daughter had a hot dog, split and grilled, and served on the same roll. Also good. I can't say that I'll drive the 30 minutes all that often, but it's miles ahead of anything I've ever had outside of the greater Philly area.

Be warned about going during prime time (probably lunchtime, and after 10pm on a weekend when UMCP is in session). The grill dudes are sloooooow, and the assembly line technique isn't well implemented there.

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Dan's report and summation is exactly right on the money. We got there about 12:20, there was only three people in front of us and it took almost fifteen minutes to take an order and get food.

The hot dog's were the big quarter pounders on the same big rolls as the steaks. My girls could have shared one.

They were not serving fries today, one of the guys said the fryer was down.

In regards to mayo - they do have a sign that they will not put it on the sandwich and packets are available if you want to do it youself.

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I'll agree with Daniel & HM's posts. The rolls make the sandwich at South Street and the Amoroso's are better than anything in the D.C. area. Service was painfully slow, but if you've never been to Philly where they crank 'em out asap, it might not seem that bad.

Also stopepd at Marathon Deli for the first time in years and the gyro was as good as I remembered.

Thanks,

Eric

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Another option on the other side of the beltway is Jimmy's in Herndon. They have the rolls, and the whiz. The rest of their menu is really good for a bar - make that great for a bar. I'm taking a philly raised coworker there next week and will report back.

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Where on Rte 1 is this relative to Marathon Deli? I haven't been out to College Park in a while but would like to try this.

There was until a few years ago a pretty good place to get Philly-style cheesesteaks in Oxon Hill. It was a small family operation called Lileons, but the proprietor became too ill to continue running it. He was from Delaware and used to drive up the Phila. on a regular basis to get his food. I guess I'm a little late with that information :unsure:

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Where is South Street in relation to Marathon Deli?

Do you know the outdoor parking lot at Route 1 and Knox? If you parked in the lot and faced Route 1, South Street would be on the other side of Route 1, a little toward Riverdale. Just a block maybe. For Marathon, face Knox from that parking lot and cross Knox down the alley, then turn right. There are some little shops on a sort of alley. Can't remember the name of the street or alley Marathon is on.

Hope that helps.

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There was until a few years ago a pretty good place to get Philly-style cheesesteaks in Oxon Hill. It was a small family operation called Lileons, but the proprietor became too ill to continue running it. He was from Delaware and used to drive up the Phila. on a regular basis to get his food. I guess I'm a little late with that information :unsure:
Lileons was great, though I always thought the onions were never done enough for me. Always lots of cops getting cheesesteaks and hoagies in there.

As MC Horoscope noted, South Street is just a block or so up Rt 1 toward Riverdale on the former 'Vous side of Rt 1. There used to be a Sonoco gas station there. Easy walking distance from Marathon.

Thanks,

Eric

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I am on cheesesteak number 5 on my South Street Steaks frequent flyer card, and Don is right on the money with his review. Most of my visits have been during the lunch hour, mostly on weekdays, and the wait has been about 15 minutes each time.

Last Wednesday (their first day open after the Sunday Source article), there was a line of about 12 or so wrapped out the door at lunch time. Phone orders also get mixed in, and there was a delivery dude that lugged three loads out the door during my eat-in experience that day. The team there would definately benefit from a lesson or two in production efficiencies, but the folks work hard and are into what they are doing, which I think makes the wait feel better, and you forget about what you went through to get your cheesesteak after you've eaten it.

I too got hooked on the cheesesteak train during my days in State College, PA and my roommates from the Philly burbs. Being from the better... er, I mean, other side of the state where the sandwich craziness involves piling lots of untraditional combinations together on the same sandwich (Primanti's), I have come to look forward to a great cheesesteak, and I think this place has it down.

Previously my wife and I have settled for the cheesesteak from Cheesesteak Mike's in Hillandale just north of the Beltway exit on New Hampshire Ave. They make a good sandwich, but South Streets' version has become my favorite with about 30% more steak than what I have become used to at Mike's.

I have to try the aging process on a take out order next, although I have a hard time thinking that the great bread does not go completely soggy after 30 or 40 minutes. Happy eating.

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I have to try the aging process on a take out order next, although I have a hard time thinking that the great bread does not go completely soggy after 30 or 40 minutes. Happy eating.

See my original post which started this thread.

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I am on cheesesteak number 5 on my South Street Steaks frequent flyer card, and Don is right on the money with his review. Most of my visits have been during the lunch hour, mostly on weekdays, and the wait has been about 15 minutes each time.

Welcome Maxfli!

Great avatar.

Central Catholic High School Class of '88

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Thanks for the directions. I found it with no problem, though I forgot how bad traffic and parking can be out there :) .

I went for lunch today and got a sensational cheesesteak (whiz, onions, peppers, mushrooms, hot peppers). I didn't have any appreciable wait for food at all. The people who work there are quite nice, too. One friend who was with me didn't know what water ice was, so the fellow working the cash register gave her a free sample.

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FYI their second location appears to be getting very close to opening in Gaithersburg at 12207 Darnestown Rd, just north of Quince Orchard Rd (MD124). It's in the new shopping center behind the Chevy Chase Bank, next door to a new location of California Tortilla. The signs and window decorations appear to have gone up this week. Hot dang.

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FYI their second location appears to be getting very close to opening in Gaithersburg at 12207 Darnestown Rd, just north of Quince Orchard Rd (MD124). It's in the new shopping center behind the Chevy Chase Bank, next door to a new location of California Tortilla. The signs and window decorations appear to have gone up this week. Hot dang.

Weird that this location is going to beat the Bethesda location to opening.

Oh well, bring it on!

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FYI their second location appears to be getting very close to opening in Gaithersburg at 12207 Darnestown Rd, just north of Quince Orchard Rd (MD124). It's in the new shopping center behind the Chevy Chase Bank, next door to a new location of California Tortilla. The signs and window decorations appear to have gone up this week. Hot dang.

OMG, that is ONE block north of my office! Originally a Philly girl, I'm a loyal Jim's Steak's fan (the Pat's vs. Gino's thing..it's for tourists) and looking forward to a reasonable MD facsimile of a steak wit'!

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OMG, that is ONE block north of my office! Originally a Philly girl, I'm a loyal Jim's Steak's fan (the Pat's vs. Gino's thing..it's for tourists) and looking forward to a reasonable MD facsimile of a steak wit'!

I drove by on Friday, one of the owners was there with the contractor. They tell me they're shooting for a Mid-September opening.

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It's opening day at the Gaithersburg Location. I arrived just before 1pm, at the tail end of what appeared to be a late lunch rush. It's a tiny place, and opening day pains were in evidence on the faces of the people who stood around the small, crowded dining room waiting for their steaks to come up in the window. No ice, no plastic carry out bags, there must have been 10 people behind the counter tripping over each other. Fewer folks back there may have made things go a little smoother. There was lots of confusion on which sandwhiches were for dining in, and which were to go. As I waited, I watched as many sandwhiches get unwrapped and put on trays as I saw wrapped up to take out.

I ordered a provolone steak, 9 inches, to go. The steak does come on a traditional Amoroso roll (the menu calls them "imported", but really, they're imported from the Fleet Street bakery of North East Foods in Baltimore, so it's a little hard not to laugh). The steak was chopped a la Jim's Steaks, it could have used a little more seasoning and a more generous amount of cheeese. That said, it was a pretty good sandwhich, certainly one of the best cheesesteaks I've had since moving to MD. Since it came wtih a $2 coupon, I'll probably be back for another fairly soon.

I did not order any fries, they seemed to be cooked to order, but since the sandwhiches were taking so long to come up, they would up sitting under a heat lamp for a while.

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I used to frequent South Street Steaks in College Park, the last time I got a cheesesteak there I was disappointed. It seems like they switched the brand of meat they used and it was horribly fat and tough. To the point that I could not chew or swallow it. :lol:. I will give them another chance this weekend to see if it has gotten better.

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The steak was chopped a la Jim's Steaks, it could have used a little more seasoning and a more generous amount of cheeese.

Agree on the seasoning and cheese, but luckily the one I had last week wasn't excessively chopped (whew). It hit the spot, especially considering the proximity to home. The teen who took my order was probably working her first customer-facing job ever and seemed a bit bewildered; hopefully things will straighten out with a couple of weeks' experience.

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alright so my boyfriend and I went to south street steaks in college park this afternoon and this has to be the most embarrassing experience I have ever had.

Let's start off with the greeting we walked in and there was a guy at the counter he didn't say anything as we walked up to order, then turned his back and came out saying lemme see those hands! lemme see those hands! That was in order to grab the attention of the fry cook to throw him a bag of fries(which he dropped on the ground). Ok we let that slide, then he finally turns to us and says for here or to go no hey or hi or how are you not even "what can I do for ya". then we order, very simple 2 cheesesteaks original which is cheese whiz onions and thats it and an order of fries and 2 fountain drinks, easy enough right? Well it gets worse.... there was one guy ahead of us that had ordered but not received his food yet, then after us a few more people walked in not a big deal, we ended up waiting and i kid you not maybe 25 mins for our cheesesteaks and they forgot the fries, i was so livid by this point that there was no way i was going to enjoy my delicious treat. Well for good reason the bun was no way the authentic bun we were promised but more a sad sad sad H&S bun from the supermarket and i know the difference the cheesewhiz i watched them scoop from the number 10 can(does that give away that im a chef?) Thats a pretty big food crime if you ask me, i think that god would be very disappointed to know what was going on down here. All in all i would absolutely never go back here or maybe even never to college park again, thats how much this experience has damaged me.

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alright so my boyfriend and I went to south street steaks in college park this afternoon and this has to be the most embarrassing experience I have ever had.

Let's start off with the greeting we walked in and there was a guy at the counter he didn't say anything as we walked up to order, then turned his back and came out saying lemme see those hands! lemme see those hands! That was in order to grab the attention of the fry cook to throw him a bag of fries(which he dropped on the ground). Ok we let that slide, then he finally turns to us and says for here or to go no hey or hi or how are you not even "what can I do for ya". then we order, very simple 2 cheesesteaks original which is cheese whiz onions and thats it and an order of fries and 2 fountain drinks, easy enough right? Well it gets worse.... there was one guy ahead of us that had ordered but not received his food yet, then after us a few more people walked in not a big deal, we ended up waiting and i kid you not maybe 25 mins for our cheesesteaks and they forgot the fries, i was so livid by this point that there was no way i was going to enjoy my delicious treat. Well for good reason the bun was no way the authentic bun we were promised but more a sad sad sad H&S bun from the supermarket and i know the difference the cheesewhiz i watched them scoop from the number 10 can(does that give away that im a chef?) Thats a pretty big food crime if you ask me, i think that god would be very disappointed to know what was going on down here. All in all i would absolutely never go back here or maybe even never to college park again, thats how much this experience has damaged me.

best.first.post.ever

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the cheesewhiz i watched them scoop from the number 10 can

ummmm, this is exactly how they do it in Philly, which is why this Philly native always orders provolone instead.

The attitude, additionally, sounds just like Philly. So maybe it was more authentic than you thought! :P

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i just got sent this message:

"is Fayrehair just another Landrum alias? cos WOW. it was like someone crossed RJ with Brett Ashley with Adam Curling"

I'm going to have to try this place.

And I always get a chuckle when philly cheesesteak snobs curse at LTM on "steak sub" here in the south. If it's what people like, then it's in their best business interests to offer it.

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Lunch at the Gaithersburg location on Saturday was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Other than the forgettable fries (that are nothing like the Philly shop equivalents), the cheesesteaks were spot on. If you have a craving for a real Philly cheesesteak, this place serves em up right.

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Bethesda is still working out the kinks (had lunch on Friday). They have rookies on the grill - Very Very nice front counter staff. - I think they will work into a groove but they have only been open two weeks.

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Went today to give it a test drive. Nice space, plenty of seating, bright and cheery. Counter people where you place your order are friendly. People giving you your food, not quite as much.

Ordered a 12" pizzasteak to go. Got my order in about 5 min. Watched the guy at the grill, where he took out what appeared to be mostly cooked steak out of a metal container and presumably re-warmed it on the grill. Hmmm.

How did it taste?

Took it back to my office about 3 blocks away. Bread was good, but a bit soggy considering it was a pretty short walk. still nice and hot. Tasted good, but it was missing something. Around the 4th bite, I opened the steak up and realized that the provolone cheese was missing. MISSING! ARGH!

So, go back to get a new sandwich or just eat it? I chose to just eat it. It was still tasty. I have to ask why most cheesesteak places hack their meat to death instead of at least trying to keep some larger bits (like Steve's Prince of Steaks in Philadelphia does!).

I'll go back and make sure to check my sandwich for cheese before I leave the joint to try a regular steak.

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Around the 4th bite, I opened the steak up and realized that the provolone cheese was missing. MISSING! ARGH!

Not that you wouldn't have noticed, but in a Philly pizzasteak, the cheese and sauce are chopped in with the steak. So you don't see a separate layer of cheese, but you should obviously still notice and taste the mixed-in cheese.

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Not that you wouldn't have noticed, but in a Philly pizzasteak, the cheese and sauce are chopped in with the steak. So you don't see a separate layer of cheese, but you should obviously still notice and taste the mixed-in cheese.

Unless the cheese atomized, there was no cheese to be seen or tasted.

Went back today and got a classic steak with whiz. Much better. The meat there gets overcooked some. I don't think this should happen as they were very, very busy so they were making cheesesteaks at great speed. Odd. The onions were particularly nice this time.

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Adding another thing....they sell Tastykakes there. They have them on display so you can just grab whatever you want and pay for it along with your order. Ditto for chips. But one thing is odd about the chips....they are Lay's chips, not Utz (or some other Mid Atlantic or PA or Philly unique brand.

What's up with that?

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Adding another thing....they sell Tastykakes there. They have them on display so you can just grab whatever you want and pay for it along with your order. Ditto for chips. But one thing is odd about the chips....they are Lay's chips, not Utz (or some other Mid Atlantic or PA or Philly unique brand.

What's up with that?

Don't forget Herr's!

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Anyone know if South Street Steaks is under new ownership or something. Had to walk out at lunch and got a cheesesteak.

I suspected this was not going to be wonderful when I ordered and it was up before I even returned one quick email. I even said, "This can't be mine, I just ordered" - They said "It is Yours"/

The meat was dry and flavorless - apparently totaly precooked and just heated up for a minute and thrown on a roll. This is really a shame, they used to be very good.

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I'd been walking by for months & on a whim decided to stop in today and get a 9' cheesesteak hoagie. It was seriously no better than what I could get from Pizza Movers, or Manny & Olga's, or any local pizza & sub shop in the area: a fluffy roll with no discernable onions, gray flavorless meat, shredded lettuce, mayo & 2 paper-thin half moons of tomato.

A waste of $9, calories, and the time it took me to eat it. Crossing it off the list. Very disappointed. :)

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