Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cheese steak

Being a Philadelphia transplant in DC, it is often difficult to find staples like hoagies, cheese steaks, soft pretzels and other Philly phood. I have had particular bad luck with the cheese steak. The roll is never right, too soft and brittle, no baker in the nation’s capital can create a roll with a hard crusty outside and soft inside. I officially gave up on buying cheese steaks in DC after a lunch with a manager at a Chinese 'by the pound' buffet. After examining the menu at the grill he said, 'Chuck your are from Philadelphia, let’s get some cheese steaks.' I did my best to hide my cringe and politely obliged to go along with his good spirited suggestion. My worries were confirmed when I opened the 'cheese steak' and saw that it had lettuce and mayo on it. A few hours later that 'cheese steak' triggered the most unusual, hilarious and embarrassing bathroom experience of my life, the details of which only a few people know. To this day I wonder if my manager met the same fate. Since then, I've stuck with importing ingredients from home and making cheese steaks myself.

Recipe after the jump.

This recipe could not be simpler, ingredient amounts vary depending on how many sandwiches you are making, use you eye to judge.

My family calls the meat 'chip steak' at our local deli, it is basically rib eye sliced on a deli slicer
some good rolls, purists use Amoroso's
Cheese - any kind will do, we use American or provolone

Optional - onions and peppers cut into quarter inch pieces

1. In a pan start cooking the meat in a little oil over medium heat
2. If cooking onions and peppers, begin cooking in a separate pan
3. Once the meat is done cooking (no longer any red) drain the juices, add some pepper, put cheese on top and cover
4. When the cheese is melted, slice the rolls lengthwise 3/4 of the way through and add the meat, cheese, onions and peppers


  1. TWSF readers want a detailed account of the bathroom incident. +1 for pictures.

  2. If there is ever a TWSF book, that story will be chronicled in detail