Monday, August 15, 2005


Philly Cheese Steak


This was the most spectacular weekend! I went to a (Uncatered. Sigh) party on Saturday night that was built around watching a few episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. A seriously funny show, that you should check out. (Feel the plug. Watch the show.)

I was there for an hour or so when I realized the man sitting across from me was actually dear friend I had not seen in ages. I hardly recognized him, (he was sort of dazzling actually) but the minute we started talking, it was just like old times. Seems he had moved to Philly for med school and only came back to LA last year. (His Philly connection was what got him invited to this shin-dig I suppose)

We happily chatted about food for awhile, especially Douglas Rodriguez’s Alma De Cuba, the first (and best, in my opinion) Nuevo Latino restaurant in the country, Philly's renowned rich custard style ice cream and the world famous (sic) Philly Cheese Steak, which to his chagrin, I had never tasted. You know, now that I think about it, for a cardiologist, he sure can wax rhapsodic over some outrageously bad-for-you foods. Hmmm.

Anyway, I was super stoked when he invited me out to his beach house the next day to hang out and play. I promised to bring all the fixin’s (Hee hee. I love saying fixin’s) for some Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, in keeping with the theme of the weekend, so he could show me how it’s done. Turns out, that wasn’t the best idea ever, since it ended up of the 8 people there, three were vegetarians, one on a juice fast, but the rest of us were loving it. Too funny. He got the recipe from a Philadephia area news website, and I fancied it up a bit, so I’m including my changes. I didn’t have a camera on hand, and it wasn’t that photogenic, but it is tasty, so try it, and enjoy!

1 ½ pounds of double shaved (ask your butcher to do this. We got it from Bristol Farms, after explaining what we were doing they were all over helping us. They also told us you can buy this in the frozen section at Costco. Who knew!) Sirloin Steak
2 thinly sliced sweet maui onions
2 tbsp of vegetable oil for grilling onions
1/4 tsp each, salt and pepper
1 pound of sliced: Provolone cheese, (or Cheez Whiz. Seriously, that’s what they use)
4 (7-inch), Sliced Italian Soft Rolls (we got these at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. I don’t know how authentic they were. Then again, we weren’t going for authentic!)
1 large bunch of watercress, cleaned

On a flat top griddle or your largest sauté pan grill the onions, with the oil until browned and set aside. Open up roll and heat on grill, place raw steak on another part of grill, season with salt and pepper and brown and break apart steak pieces, cook evenly to about medium, incorporate onions. Make a mound the same size as the bread, place cheese on the steak. Place the heated roll on the meat and cheese and onion, and when melted, slide griddle spatula under the steak turn over, garnish with watercress and enjoy.

Makes four sandwiches


Don't forget about The (First) Really Big Cookoff! Where everyone makes the same recipe and compares. Good fun all around!

The History of Ice Cream in Philadelphia

Review of Alma de Cuba from Zagats “It would take another revolution for Havana to look and taste” like this “Alma-zing” Center City Nuevo Latino from Stephen Starr and Douglas Rodriguez (Patria); nine-to-fivers sip “incredible” mojitos in the “sexy” first-floor lounge while “gawking”, not “talking”; upstairs in the “modern”, “stark” dining room, “bursting-with-flavor” food “makes you want más”; still, critics counsel “bring night-vision goggles” to find your date in the “darkness” and mutter “Fidel had a point” when they see the check; N.B. dinner only.

The Cheez Whiz website is a total let down. I'm guessing, Cheez Whiz fans don’t have internet access. (Oops. Did I say that?)

My daughter is at school in Philadelphia. I go on a Philly cheesesteak binge each time I visit her. I frequent the renowned Pat's, Geno's, and Jim's plus a few others near Penns campus. I don't know what it is, but compared to any I have had in L.A., those in Philly taste better. I am partial to Pat's.
Ooh! That's fun information! Thank you!
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