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And when the wait is at the 45 minute level, you can bet they are busy back there and don't have the time for any explanations.

As a proud native son of the City of Brotherly Love, I can tell you that no self-respecting cheesesteak establishment would make you wait that long. If you don't have your cheesesteak in the time it takes you between ordering and pulling out your wallet at a place like Pat's, you better believe it's because someone it having a heart attack on the griddle.

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.

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nothing really this side of Philly and I agree with the writer of the story that Geno's is way over-rated. Spent last weekend in the city of brotherly love and found a couple of smaller spots that served great cheesesteaks on the southside of town.

I'm so dissappointed to hear that about Al's. I'm also a Philly native and would love to be able to get a decent cheesesteak with ease. But, alas although Al's is local to me, I am loathe to support them in light of this really poor customer treatment.

The Philadelphia Cheesesteak Company in G'town [Closed in 2009] reportedly ships their stuff from Philly.

I haven't been in a long time, but would imaging you'll get a decent one there.

Dan, it took me awhile to accept that this is the land of "steak and cheeses", not " cheesesteaks" sad.gif - I just make mine at home and it hits the spot!!

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Instead of pm'ing Dan, I thought I'd share where I get the beef for the steak. Costco. Yup, there, I admit it and I own it. They have a fantastic brand of frozen shaved beef (don't think it's ribeye) that works really well. And, I get to LOAD up as much as I want!

In fact I get the whole darn thing at Costco; frozen beef, marinara, provolone and even the rolls, which are not bad at all. Not Amoroso or Sarcone's, but they work.

In 5 minutes I can get my fix and I don't even leave home.

Don, yeah. Cheese-Whz is something man just shouldn't have invented. Just because they could've, doesn't mean they should've. But Dan, you can pick up a bucket as big as your head at Costco! laugh.gif

For those that don't have Costco memberships, the Trader Joe's in Old Town usually has pretty decent shaved beef. Can anyone reccomend where to find proper rolls for making real cheesesteaks?

Back on topic, I live down the street from Al's as well. The steak are good, but are massively underseasoned for some reason. I bring 'em home and dump a fair amount of salt on them as I eat.

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Scrambled eggs and Mircle Whip.

Have you ever had an Al's sandwich? Where do the folks in Phila get their meat from, what kind of 'shrooms" do they use. Do they use ChezeWhiz? If so, then all cheesesteaks suck.

Actually, the "cheese" that most places in Philly use, including Geno's, isn't even "real" CheezeWhiz--it's some canned stuff that tastes mostly like paste. But folks, that's what makes an authentic Philly cheesesteak, like it or not.

My apologies to the "food snobs," but IMO pre-conceived notions about "good" and "bad" ingredients are mostly just that, notions. Everything has its place, and sometimes even "industrial" ingredients. put together right, will make an ethereal product, much better than if "high quality" ingredients had been used instead.

Who is it that gets to decide what is good and bad in these matters anyway? Am I less worthy if I happen to like American cheese more than, say, (insert any of 200-300 cheese names).

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For those that don't have Costco memberships, the Trader Joe's in Old Town usually has pretty decent shaved beef. Can anyone reccomend where to find proper rolls for making real cheesesteaks?

Back on topic, I live down the street from Al's as well. The steak are good, but are massively underseasoned for some reason. I bring 'em home and dump a fair amount of salt on them as I eat.

Its all about the roll and the griddle its cooked on. I suggest you grease it up well before attempting. A good cheese steak (not steak and cheese) will cure any hangover!

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For some strange reason, food writers get all gushy when topics like "cheesesteaks" come up. If something is of the downhome, rathole genre (think BBQ, chili dogs, fried fish, Szechuan hole-in-the-walls), all standards are somehow abandoned.

And why is that? It comes up on every food board I read too. There's a time and place for eating crap (and I will admit that my standards are not always the highest), but please, recognize that it's crap and stop trying to justify it as "downhome" or "authentic".

I see nothing of merit in canned button mushrooms or bad American cheese, nothing at all

Agreed.

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It's just wrong to use fresh mushrooms on a cheesesteak.

I'm of the opinion that any mushrooms on a cheesesteak is wrong. smile.gif And I'm a provolone gal too.

I thought Capitol Icebox posed an interesting question:

Did the person writing this article bother to eat one of the cheesesteaks? It is unclear. I had one and it was fine, except for the nasty ass mushrooms. Did she bother to investigate the owner's assertion that he uses "the best products available", preparing "all fixings at the shop each morning?" Clearly not.

Are these "worth the trip" things researched? And I'd be interested in hearing whether the Post would be willing to promote this place is they knew of the incident Sthitch recounted upthread.

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95% of the cheesesteaks I eat are from Philly and I have never seen fresh mushrooms used. Not at Pats, not at Delsandros and not at the random place down the street from my grandmother's. It's just wrong to use fresh mushrooms on a cheesesteak.

Having discovered the jpy that is Tony Lukes, underneath the maze of concrete of I95 and other assorted roads in South Philly, I have not had a cheese steak since. What I have had is wonderful peppered roast pork, sliced paper thin and piled on a chewy roll, to which rabe, boiled till all the flavor is in the broth and the color is as gray as Rock's face after derinking enough to say he is selling his wine cellar, is added. The top bread is then dunked into the raab broth, and then sharp provolone is added. This is truly heaven and does not require the ingestion of orange paste or canned mushrooms. There is also a line out the door at all times of the day and night!

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"It is what it is" - this is exactly what I mean by authentic. It doesn't mean best, but when you were from Philly, it didn't matter where you got the cheesesteak from, there were some base "rules" that they all followed. Amoroso crusty rolls, fresh ribeye, choice of provolone/american/whiz, grilled onions.

Al's might be a better tasting sandwich than anything I grew up eating in Philly (doubtful! biggrin.gif ), but it's not a Philly Cheesesteak.

How do you know the ribeye was "fresh?"

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How do you know the ribeye was "fresh?"

I suppose I can't prove it, though you saw the beef on the slicer if you got there on an off hour. My original memories are 25+ years old, so not terribly reliable.

When I go back now (maybe twice a year), I'm struck again how it just tastes like STEAK. Similar to how when I'm dragged to an Outback-type place with friends, it tastes like meat, but when I go to Ray's, I know I'm eating STEAK.

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While I think that the taste of Whiz ruins a cheesesteak, I have to disagree with (or should that be wit) you about this, at least as far as Philly goes. I have been sampling many spots around Philly trying to find a cheesesteak that I like the best, and I notice that still most people order it with agent orange.

The above thread is titled cheesesteaks not Philly CheeseSteaks.  I've put in my time in Philly, in the PA and NJ suburbs, visited Wilmington a lot, put in a lot of summer weekends on the Jersey Shore, the South Jersey Shore (more Philly oriented) and the Delaware beaches.

Ray's Big and Cheesy or Steak and Cheesy (whatever he is calling it) is such a high quality meat with an abundance of gloppy cheese.   It is the filet mignon of cheese steaks in my opinion.  It oozes out of its roll...so its in a different class.  Its beyond a sandwich...but its better.   Have a shake with it.  Put on your headphones.  Listen to summertime beach music.

Its a sublime cheesesteak.

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The above thread is titled cheesesteaks not Philly CheeseSteaks.  I've put in my time in Philly, in the PA and NJ suburbs, visited Wilmington a lot, put in a lot of summer weekends on the Jersey Shore, the South Jersey Shore (more Philly oriented) and the Delaware beaches.

Ray's Big and Cheesy or Steak and Cheesy (whatever he is calling it) is such a high quality meat with an abundance of gloppy cheese.   It is the filet mignon of cheese steaks in my opinion.  It oozes out of its roll...so its in a different class.  Its beyond a sandwich...but its better.   Have a shake with it.  Put on your headphones.  Listen to summertime beach music.

Its a sublime cheesesteak.

Can you even get the Ray's cheesesteak anymore and if so where?

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Can you even get the Ray's cheesesteak anymore and if so where?

It's on the hell burger menu as part of the inner circle section. But didn't they used to have two sizes? I see one size. Guess I'll have to do a physical check. Or someone else needs to update.

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On 2/6/2016 at 1:21 PM, DaveO said:

The above thread is titled cheesesteaks not Philly CheeseSteaks.  I've put in my time in Philly, in the PA and NJ suburbs, visited Wilmington a lot, put in a lot of summer weekends on the Jersey Shore, the South Jersey Shore (more Philly oriented) and the Delaware beaches. 

[it's fine - each city has its own set of threads (like Cheesesteaks) - it's my responsibility to move them to the correct city. Now DC has its own, too.]

I've never tried the "Nice & Greasy, Steak & Cheesy" at Ray's because I found the name disgusting; that doesn't mean it wasn't great, however.

I've been to two different Santini's (a chain with various Northern Virginia locations), and it's as good as any chain-level cheesesteak I've found in the area.

The best Steak & Cheese sub I've had in memory in the DC area was at Chase The Submarine, Tim Ma's new venture in Vienna - if you like great cheesesteaks, you owe it to yourself to try this.

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Back in the day, Al's Steak House on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria had a good cheesesteak, and current reviews suggest that is (was) still the case. Unfortunately, Big Al himself died of cancer last August and it appears the place may have closed for good, though it isn't certain. Info here:

"Al's Steak House: Temporarily Closed in Del Ray" by Mary Ann Barton on patch.com

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Back in the day, Al's on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Alexandria had a good cheesesteak, and current reviews suggest that is (was) still the case. Unfortunately, Big Al himself died of cancer last August and it appears the place may have closed for good, though it isn't certain. Info here:

"Al's Steak House: Temporarily Closed in Del Ray" by Mary Ann Barton on patch.com

There are currently mixed signals - make *sure* you read the article itself, and not just the title:

01/05/16 - "Del Ray's Al's Steakhouse Closed for Good in Alexandria? #Developing"

In particular, this comment in that post claims to have been there in late December; yet, when I call, I immediately get rolled over to a funny-sounding busy signal, so I believe the phone is either temporarily or permanently disconnected.

The only way to know for sure is if someone either talks with the family, the purchaser (if there is one), or finds some official documents, but for now, I'm going to go ahead and mark Al's as closed out of respect for John "Big Al" Severson (the closure shows just how important this man was to the business).

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Can you even get the Ray's cheesesteak anymore and if so where?

No. They now have steak sandwiches!! When was the last time you had a steak sandwich?? I think it has to be decades for me. Made with tri tip steak. $11.00 if I recall. Actually quite good..

But dang I miss the steak and cheese. I thought that was the best steak and cheese ever.

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For the second time in several weeks our office has gotten takeout from CheeseCake Factory, Arlington.  This past week I had their "California Cheese Steak.". 

The other week I had a chicken parm sandwich and now a cheesesteak....not fancy dishes....but this cheesesteak was excellent.  It was a bit smaller than I would have expected...but it had quality through and through and through....really good. An excellent sandwich.  Pricier than what might be at a "sandwich shop" but remarkably better.

I'm surprised at Cheesesteak Factory.  I've ordered the simplest and most basic sandwiches now twice...and in both cases they were far better than I ever would have expected.

I'm going to dine there.  They are hitting two for two and that is an excellent percentage.

 

 

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On 10/26/2016 at 5:20 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

I am a sucker for a decent steak and cheese in NoVa.  I went by and tried Jimmy's NY Pizza yesterday for a late lunch.  Great stuff.  This place is nothing as far as atmosphere, but the steak and cheese was worth the trip.  The person cooking and who greeted me said they do a lot of carryout business.  If you blink, you will miss this place.  Tucked away in a very small strip mall off in an obscure commercial area of Sterling.  Next time I will try the pizza - thanks for the recommendation.

Here's our Steak and Cheese Subs thread - best of all is the one at Chase the Submarine, and I also recommend the one at various outlets of Santini's.

---

Jimmy's New York Pizza (TheGut)

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On 10/26/2016 at 8:20 PM, Ferris Bueller said:

I am a sucker for a decent steak and cheese in NoVa.  I went by and tried Jimmy's NY Pizza yesterday for a late lunch.  Great stuff.  This place is nothing as far as atmosphere, but the steak and cheese was worth the trip.  The person cooking and who greeted me said they do a lot of carryout business.  If you blink, you will miss this place.  Tucked away in a very small strip mall off in an obscure commercial area of Sterling.  Next time I will try the pizza - thanks for the recommendation.

On Thanksgiving, I had the cheesesteak at Arlington Kabob, which is served on their house-made Afghan Naan. I have a small personal preference for tomato sauce over lettuce, tomato, and mayo, and Arlington Kabob serves the latter. If that doesn't bother you, I think you'll find this to be one of the best cheesesteaks in the area - the steak is Halal ribeye, and the cheese is Provolone (they also have that Afghan green sauce that I think would be infinitely better than mayo - next time I order, I'm going to nix the mayo, and pour in a tub of that sauce instead, which I think will take it from being "great" to "outstanding."

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Yeah, I've got to give the nod to Santini's over the late Chase the Submarine's offering, simply because you get *way* more for your money calorie/food-wise at Santini's, even with the 8".

Next time I'm in Arlington I'll definitely hit that place up, though. ^_^

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I agree with Destruya on the Santini's steak and cheese--not only value, but good tasting.

Don, I don't understand your comment about preferring tomato sauce to LTM, and commenting that Arlington Kabob serves the latter, as if that might not be the norm.  I have never heard of tomato sauce on a steak and cheese or a cheesesteak, except on ones called something like "pizzasteaks" or "pizzacheesesteaks".  LTM is fairly common on steak and cheeses and (Washington variety) cheesesteaks.  I do agree that the green kabab sauce might go very well on the AK cheesesteak.

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3 hours ago, JBag57 said:

Don, I don't understand your comment about preferring tomato sauce to LTM, and commenting that Arlington Kabob serves the latter, as if that might not be the norm.  I have never heard of tomato sauce on a steak and cheese or a cheesesteak, except on ones called something like "pizzasteaks" or "pizzacheesesteaks".  LTM is fairly common on steak and cheeses and (Washington variety) cheesesteaks.  I do agree that the green kabab sauce might go very well on the AK cheesesteak.

Yes, they are often called pizza-cheesesteaks, and LTM is, from my experience, the norm.

I have usually requested marinara on my Santini's cheesesteaks instead of LTM, and that's the one I refer to on the previous page (they've always done it without question - in fact they have a fairly similar sandwich on their menu called a "Bogey").

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