I have now completed an official trip to Philly, rather than just a quick stop over, I gotta tell you, I was very impressed. This place is much better than I expected.

We stayed in Rittenhouse Square. I did like this area but it was a little more spread out than I wanted it to be. The square itself is mainly a park, another example of the US failing miserably when it comes to creating awesome European style multi function “squares”.

The old town area is cool to wander around in, but the main historic sites, namely the liberty bell, is actually kind of boring. I mean when you see the liberty bell you will wish you hadn’t. Totally underwhelming and they have placed it in a museum that doesn’t remotely relate to colonial times. Kind of a fail if you ask me. Don’t you just want to walk up a creaky staircase in like a wooden school house and see this amazing bell sitting there? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Before I really knew Philly, I mainly did this post so I could keep track of cheesesteak places…the worlds greatest sandwich.

Now, you will notice that the description below is about cheesesteaks, not really philly steaks. I do not find wiz to be incredibly interesting, and overall I think the meat to cheese ratio with philly’s is almost always off. I need more cheese, and I need some basic toppings. In any case, I love them all and love trying every type, but here is perfection, according to me.

Overall, the best cheesesteak on the planet would be served to go in a brown bag, wrapped with foil (2 layers). The bread would be slightly hard on the outside (yes, enough to cut the mouth), and chewy in the center. There would be slices of cheese that were melted on one side and on the top (like folded into a 90 degree angle), but the cheese should not be so melted that it blends with the meat. The meat should be moist and chunky. The sandwich should have mayo on the bun, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and raw white onion on it. Cheese should be American or mozzarella…rarely provolone and never with cheddar. Swiss works but then you’re headed into French dip territory. When I bite into the sandwich I should have to pull my bite off, it should resist me. The sandwich should drip, and I should have quite a few toppings in my tinfoil before I’m through. The size should be 12 inches, but I will save the second half for a cold serving later. Chips are a perfect complement.

There…do that and I will love you forever.

Some Philly steak spots that I’ve been to:

Pats and Ginos – Very good but classic Philly. Best with cheese wiz which I think is always inferior. They put so much meat on the sandwich and the cheese gets lost. I do like both of their cheese fries though…wiz is perfect for that.

Tony Luc’s – Same issue as with Pats and Ginos. Ratios are off for me, and classic philly’s just aren’t as good as a cheesesteak sandwich.

John’s Roast Pork – Close to a perfect sandwich. The flavors were so perfect together and the bread was fantastic. I’m not sure anyone would say it’s a classic Philly…but what the fuck does that matter, I’m eatin’ over here!

Jim’s Steaks – Oh man! The steak on these sandwiches was soooooo good. So juicy and so flavorful. None of that dried out shit you often get. So happy. Everything else was about the same.

Steve’s Prince of Steaks – I really liked this place, and I really appreciated how many cops and firefighter types frequented the downtown spot. Made me feel like I was in the know. Overall, I felt the sandwiches were a little standard. A great go to but nothing super special.

Notes to self:

-Whiskey Tavern is a great go to for a beer and a burger. I was sad when the AC version closed. Cool old school atmosphere.
-Dandelion was pretty awesome. Cool design. Good food. Great service. I would definitely go again.
-Charlie was a sinner is a must visit next time we are there. Hip cocktails…done well.
-Reading station market is rad.
-Ashton cigar bar was cool and packed as shit, but the smoke was so miserable that we didn’t last.


Palomar Philly (Nov 2015)