Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Order a Cheesesteak in Philadelphia.

I have just returned from 4 weeks in Philadelphia. Since I grew up just 30 miles south of Philly I know how to order a sandwich. But in case you go there for a visit, here are a few pointers:
If it's a woman behind the counter she'll say, "What d'ya want hon?" If it's a guy, he'll say, "Hey Bud, what can I get ya?" If they are real busy, they'll just flick their head up while looking at you. That means GO. And if you don't the next guy will. You say, "Cheesesteak small," that's it. Not cheesesteak sub or sandwich. "Cheestay" is okay as well. Pause briefly as they write, then say, "fried onions" if you want them, and "sweet peppers." If they have a choice of cheeses they'll ask, "American?" You say, "provolone", pronounced "priv' u lone." They'll say, "Anything else"? At this point don't say something like ketchup, or mustard, or mayonnaise. Tomatoes are okay, and in a pinch lettuce, but don't push your luck. They're going to serve you whatever they serve you and you're going to like it. Here is the real beauty of it. A 10 inch crusty sub roll filled with steak, cheese, peppers, and onion, served wrapped in paper, and placed in a bag, piping hot is about $5.50. Where do you order them? Almost anywhere, but honestly I look for a small, busy establishment with an Italian looking guy behind the counter. Not a chain looking place but someplace named, Gus' or Franks. Don't be afraid of the street corner stands, for breakfast you can get the same roll with 2 eggs, scrambled while you watch, with cheese and Italian sausage for about $2.50. Hot, fresh and fantastic.

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