2018.08.21 16:11 | Sean Carter
Cheesesteaks are the signature cuisine of Philadelphia and the best Philly cheesesteaks have several characteristics in common. But there are plenty of posers out there who claim to make an authentic “Philly cheesesteak” and can’t seem to get it right.
If you want to find a real Philly cheesesteak near you, the first step is to make sure you’re in the City of Brotherly Love or one of its surrounding suburbs. But just as important as being able to find an authentic Philly cheesesteak is knowing how to spot a fake.
The Philly cheesesteak appears on menus across the country, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can get a quality cheesesteak anywhere. A real cheesesteak needs to meet certain criteria and many places outside of Philly fail to meet the standards. You might find yourself eating a fake Philly cheesesteak if you notice any of the following:
Menu says ‘Philly Cheesesteak’: There is no need to call a real cheesesteak from Philadelphia a “Philly cheesesteak.” In Philadelphia, it’s simply called a cheesesteak, no need for the geography lesson.
Not on an Italian roll: Quality cheesesteaks should be served on a fresh, slightly firm Italian roll. A true cheesesteak roll should be soft on the inside but a little crusty on the outside. A soggy, doughy piece of bread doesn’t do a Philly cheesesteak justice.
Not made with rib-eye steak: This can be hard to tell if the steak meat is chopped, but usually once you take a bite the quality of the meat is evident. Authentic Philly cheesesteaks use grilled rib-eye steak for their sandwiches.
Extra toppings included: There are several different toppings out there such as onions, peppers, and ketchup that are popular choices for cheesesteaks. However, none of these extra items should be automatically included with your sandwich. Steak and cheese is all you need to get started and then add on whatever you’d like. Some cheesesteak traditionalists will say only cheese and fried onions are acceptable.
No American cheese, Provolone, or Cheese Whiz: These are the signature cheeses of Philly cheesesteaks. Anything else is just off. Swiss cheese, in particular, is almost an insult to the Philly cheesesteak.