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Author Topic: So If I'm Going to Philly, Where Do I Go to get a REAL Philly Cheesesteak?  (Read 6361 times)
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ATB
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« on: February 10, 2009, 08:32:25 PM »

Hmm?
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 08:45:45 PM »

Something tells me Pete won't be in here to give you advice.

Edit - Actually, I might be wrong...I think I was thinking you and he had a heated argument about something recently, but I think I might have confused you with someone else.
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 08:57:24 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 10, 2009, 08:45:45 PM

Edit - Actually, I might be wrong...I think I was thinking you and he had a heated argument about something recently, but I think I might have confused you with someone else.

It was me. But I'm not sure that it is lifetime grudge-worthy. 
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 09:02:26 PM »

I actually wondered this very question last summer when I was in Philly.  I found a web site by doing a Google search called http://www.bestcheesesteaks.com/.  I ended up not having time to check any of them out, so no clue if any on that site are any good.
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 09:07:36 PM »

Pat's.

Do not go next door to Geno's unless you hate Mexicans.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 09:17:35 PM »

Quote from: Captain Caveman on February 10, 2009, 09:07:36 PM

Do not go next door to Geno's unless you hate Mexicans.


Explain.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 09:45:25 PM »

Geno's has this thing where you must order in English. I'm sure there's more to it, but a bunch of panties got all in a... well, bunch.

Edit - Ah, here we go:


Personally, I've tried a couple, and I think the cheesesteak is perhaps the most overrated sandwich in the world. They're not bad, mind you, it's just that they're not good enough for people to get all possessive about them and care what is real and what is not. I'd much rather have a good corned beef.
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 09:47:03 PM »

Wiki aarticle on Geno's controversy.
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 10:08:37 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on February 10, 2009, 09:45:25 PM

Personally, I've tried a couple, and I think the cheesesteak is perhaps the most overrated sandwich in the world. They're not bad, mind you, it's just that they're not good enough for people to get all possessive about them and care what is real and what is not. I'd much rather have a good corned beef.

 ban

You simply disagree with everything, don't you.

It's a regional thing, and to those from the area cheesesteaks are a way of life, just as peaches are important to Georgia, pizza is king in Chicago, and hot dogs are synonymous with Coney Island. 

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 08:32:25 PM

Hmm?

I have had cheesesteaks all over Philadelphia.  Geno's, Pat's, Jim's, Tony Luc's, and it may have something to do with aquiring a taste for the place I visit most often, but my preference has always been Pat's.  Jim's doesn't provide enough wiz on the steak, plus the meat is over-seasoned, Geno's is too clean and the neon lights are unnecessary, Tony Luc's is overrated and in my opinion one of the worst places in Philly, and so I would strongly recommend Pat's (we may have even taken Caveman there when my wife and I were in town, or perhaps it was with my friend Beef after an Eagles game).  They have the best bread as well, and bread is what truly elevates a sandwich from good to great.  A friend recently visited Philly and hit both Pat's and Geno's, and being able to compare the two side-by-side even he arrived at the same conclusion, that Pat's is superior. 

And disregard anyone who suggests that Pat's is a "tourist" place.  They've been around since 1930 and are said to be responsible for creating the fabled sandwich.  And having been going to Pat's for over 24 years, I would argue that they make the best cheesesteak in Philly.

When you get to the window just order a "wiz wit".  Forget provolone, american, or any other kind of cheese.  You can get mushrooms if you want, but the standard way to eat a steak is "wiz wit."  If you want mushrooms then get a "mushroom wiz wit."  The "wit" is for "with fried onions."  But that's all you get at the first window.  Don't even think about ordering a soda or french fries.  That's done at the second window.

Once you get your steak then move down the line and get your soda and fries at the next window.  Then find a seat and enjoy the local delicacy.

If you follow these easy steps no one will even know you're from out of town.   
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 10:15:25 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on February 10, 2009, 10:08:37 PM

Forget provolone, american, or any other kind of cheese.

Wait, they're called cheesesteaks, but you're not supposed to get them with cheese on them?
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 10:18:30 PM »

Quote
Wait, they're called cheesesteaks, but you're not supposed to get them with cheese on them?

Wiz = cheeze whiz.  This is what authentic cheesesteak sandwiches use.
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2009, 10:19:57 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on February 10, 2009, 10:08:37 PM

When you get to the window just order a "wiz wit".  Forget provolone, american, or any other kind of cheese. 

Okay. It may be my uncultured (cultured?) palette talking, but cheez whiz on a meat sandwich sounds disgusting.

Why wouldn't I try it with real cheese?

That said- should the stay accommodate it, I will try one with the wiz <shudders> and one with provalone.
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 10:21:55 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 10:19:57 PM

Okay. It may be my uncultured (cultured?) palette talking, but cheez whiz on a meat sandwich sounds disgusting.
Hence the overratedness of the cheesesteak.
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 10:31:39 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on February 10, 2009, 10:21:55 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 10:19:57 PM

Okay. It may be my uncultured (cultured?) palette talking, but cheez whiz on a meat sandwich sounds disgusting.
Hence the overratedness of the cheesesteak.

Indeed.  A so-called "real" cheesesteak with "Cheez Whiz" processed food product is garbage.

If you're going to indulge, get yourself a good cheesesteak with quality steak and cheese instead.
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 10:36:04 PM »

Does anyone ever ask for the cheesesteak without the cheese? Like a steak sandwich? Would that get you thrown out?
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2009, 10:50:30 PM »

Quote from: Covenant on February 10, 2009, 10:18:30 PM

Wiz = cheeze whiz.  This is what authentic cheesesteak sandwiches use.

Oooooooooooohhh!  I did not know this.  Thanks for the education.
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2009, 10:55:08 PM »

Everyone I know not from the Philadelphia area knocks the wiz at first, but it's how we eat our cheesesteaks.  If you want the full experience and would like to indulge as the locals do, then a wiz wit is how it's done.  Tourists order provolone, american, etc.  And, while the idea of cheese whiz may sound disgusting, trust me when I say there's no other way to eat a cheesesteak.  The first time my mother-in-law had a Philly steak she also found the idea of cheese whiz disgusting, so she went with provolone. 

While we were eating it didn't take long for her to start dipping her provolone wit into my wife's wiz wit drippings, savoring the melted fake-cheesey goodness.  She regrets her decision to go with provolone to this very day as she never made it back before we relocated to Arizona.  You never know when you'll have another chance to eat a true Philly cheesesteak as the locals do, and so I urge you to "do it right".  Wiz wit.  It's the only way.  Seriously.  Real cheese is for posers and tourists.   
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2009, 10:56:45 PM »

Quote
Indeed.  A so-called "real" cheesesteak with "Cheez Whiz" processed food product is garbage.

If you're going to indulge, get yourself a good cheesesteak with quality steak and cheese instead.
no no no no no, you just dont get it.  Thats why when you go to other places in the country, the cheesesteaks SUCK.


Its about the blend of chooped steaks with cheesewiz and the KEY is the roll.  Philly has some of the best rolls in the country.
Pete gave good suggestions.  I have lived within 10 minutes of Philly my whole life.
 Cheesesteaks are damn good once in awhile as a treat. 
FYI- Philly also has great pizza, right there with chicago and NY.

Pats and Ginos are right on the edge of south philly.  So I wouldnt say things like " thats doesn't look healthy"  Youll be met with the dead stare and the " whaddaya on a diet nancy? " and or much much worse.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 10:58:43 PM by TC Weidner » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2009, 10:58:27 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on February 10, 2009, 10:36:04 PM

Does anyone ever ask for the cheesesteak without the cheese? Like a steak sandwich? Would that get you thrown out?

Sure.  If you want it with onions, then you order a "steak wit."  And for those who don't like onions, you can get a steak without onions simply by ordering a "steak witout."  If you want cheese, you just designate the cheese, like "wiz wit," "provolone wit," or "American wit."  Pretty easy.

But most of this is pointless as "wiz wit" is pretty much the only way.

Getting real cheese is like going to Coney Island and getting a tofu hot dog, or Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh and getting your sandwich "without the grass."  You're not getting the full experience if you start changing variables locals adhere to.  
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2009, 11:01:33 PM »

mmm, now I got to roll and grab one.  I love wiz wit, and two nice long squirts of ketchup on the inside top roll. 
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2009, 11:01:54 PM »

Quote from: TC Weidner on February 10, 2009, 10:56:45 PM

Quote
Indeed.  A so-called "real" cheesesteak with "Cheez Whiz" processed food product is garbage.

If you're going to indulge, get yourself a good cheesesteak with quality steak and cheese instead.
no no no no no, you just dont get it.  Thats why when you go to other places in the country, the cheesesteaks SUCK.


Its about the blend of chooped steaks with cheesewiz and the KEY is the roll.  Philly has some of the best rolls in the country.
Pete gave good suggestions.  I have lived within 10 minutes of Philly my whole life.
 Cheesesteaks are damn good once in awhile as a treat. 
FYI- Philly also has great pizza, right there with chicago and NY.

Pats and Ginos are right on the edge of south philly.  So I wouldnt say things like " thats doesn't look healthy"  Youll be met with the dead stare and the " whaddaya on a diet nancy? " and or much much worse.

If you want to get a slice of pizza and experience the fabled pizza stop in the Fresh Prince's song "Summertime" referred to as "in your Nissan sittin' on Lorenzo's", head over to South Street and stop in Lorenzo's.  Phenomenal late-night pizza.  No grated cheese, no toppings, just plain-jane cheese pizza.  And the line is always out the door.

But, the best pizza in Philadelphia in my opinion is Nino's in Willow Grove.  Nothing comes even close.
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2009, 11:02:21 PM »

Quote from: TC Weidner on February 10, 2009, 11:01:33 PM

mmm, now I got to roll and grab one.  I love wiz wit, and two nice long squirts of ketchup on the inside top roll. 

Or those cherry peppers.  My god, those cherry peppers.   drool

I fucking hate Arizona.
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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2009, 11:07:27 PM »

Ok Pedro.

Tell me exactly how to order it. I get the wiz wit = steak with cheese wiz and fried onions. But is there special vernacular for having the peppers thrown on or ??? Also any kind of special roll or is the standard cheesesteak roll a known quantity?

Also- I if I just want the real deal: do i say Wiz wit and that's it? Or is there some other special ingredient that MUST be on there.

I'm guessing if I get the wiz wit my heart will stop so this is my one chance and I don't want to blow it.

Edit: And when do I throw in 'douchebag'? slywink

Quote
FYI- Philly also has great pizza, right there with chicago and NY.

What, exactly, is 'Philly Pizza'?
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2009, 11:11:00 PM »

The term 'authentic' is so relative in this case. Being from Philly and having tried way too many of them, I deem an authentic cheesesteak to be fried up beef, cheese, and maybe some fried onions on a good south philly roll. Nothing more, nothing less.

Different places use different cuts of meat. I've noticed that Pat's now uses a different cut than in previous years, and I think the sandwich isn't quite as good as it used to be.

I've had 'em all ways in a lot of different places. Sliced beef, chopped beef, cheese wiz, american, provolone, with onions, without, etc. Lately my favorite consists of chopped beef, american cheese, and nothing else...but the roll is certainly key, as PeteRock pointed out. There are several places near where I work that have some of the best damn rolls I've ever eaten. They come from the Conshohocken Bakery, not Amoroso's or Liscio's like most other cheesesteak places use (which are both very good also). These rolls make these otherwise ordinary cheesesteaks fantastic.

Pat's steaks might be some of the sloppiest you'll ever eat...and when I go there I get 'em cheese wit, which means they slather some room temp cheese wiz on there, throw some sliced steak on, then some fried onions. It's pretty legendary...can't argue with that...but the beef is definitely different these days.

Geno's is nearly identical...I don't care what anyone says. And hey...this is America...and if you want some food at an American restaurant I think you probably should be able to order it in english. Regardless, the beef is similar to pats, you've got the same cheese choices, and all the rest. And you can actually get other types of sandwiches there if cheesesteaks aren't your thing...whereas Pat's strictly sells cheesesteaks, despite their vast menu of other choices. I think Geno's is a little neater than Pat's, but overall it's another good cheesesteak experience.

My recommendation for a first timer, go to Pat's, get a whiz or provolone with onions, see how you like it. If you dig it...maybe try the other the next time around...like 20 mintues later when you're ready for round 2. You can't go wrong either way and you can say you've been to Pat's and Geno's. Because one is right across the street from the other, you have to try both.

Then the next time you go back to Philly, delve into the weeds a bit. Go find Jim's on South Street, go find D'Alessandro's on Henry Ave (one of my favorites), go looking for the local places that people swear by. A lot of times you'll find a place that can outclass Pat's or Geno's in quality of beef and bread.
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2009, 11:12:49 PM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 11:07:27 PM


Edit: And when do I throw in 'douchebag'? slywink
In Philly, it's proper to throw in 'douchebag' pretty much at any point in the conversation.
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« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2009, 11:15:17 PM »

my wife is making Stroganoff for dinner...i wonder if she'd be offended if I put in on a roll and put some cheese on it. Good lord I want a cheesesteak now.
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« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2009, 11:17:10 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 10, 2009, 11:12:49 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 11:07:27 PM


Edit: And when do I throw in 'douchebag'? slywink
In Philly, it's proper to throw in 'douchebag' pretty much at any point in the conversation.
LOL.

Sensuous. if you really want to do the wiz...which i do not think is necessary if it really grosses you out (but it is delicious...trust me)...you go up and say this if you're at Pat's or Geno's...

'cheese wit' or 'cheese witout' likewise with the provolone....provy with or without.

i would not get the peppers or anything else on there the first time.

Some other places will stop and ask you "Dude, what kind of cheese?" if you just say cheese, but at pat's or geno's...cheese is cheese wiz unless you specify otherwise.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 11:24:06 PM by BEEFHAMMA » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2009, 02:37:32 AM »

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 11:07:27 PM

Ok Pedro.

Tell me exactly how to order it. I get the wiz wit = steak with cheese wiz and fried onions. But is there special vernacular for having the peppers thrown on or ??? Also any kind of special roll or is the standard cheesesteak roll a known quantity?

Also- I if I just want the real deal: do i say Wiz wit and that's it? Or is there some other special ingredient that MUST be on there.

I'm guessing if I get the wiz wit my heart will stop so this is my one chance and I don't want to blow it.

Edit: And when do I throw in 'douchebag'? slywink

Quote
FYI- Philly also has great pizza, right there with chicago and NY.

What, exactly, is 'Philly Pizza'?

It's easy.  "Wiz wit."  Or "cheese wit."  That's it.  The peppers are on the countertop near the napkins and ketchup, you don't order them on your steak.  To make the experience complete get a cherry soda and you're set.  There's just something about a cherry soda from Pat's. 

There's only one size, so you don't have to worry about type of bread or "small", "large", "half", or "whole."  Just "wiz wit."

If you go to Jim's, Pat's, Geno's, Tony Luc's, or any other well-known cheesesteak place in Philly you'll get to experience the real-deal.  It's like getting a slice of pizza in Chicago.  It's going to be good no matter what.
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2009, 03:32:54 AM »

isn't Chicago also known for their 'brats'?

daaaaaaaaa bears.
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2009, 03:52:16 AM »

Quote from: BEEFHAMMA on February 11, 2009, 03:32:54 AM

isn't Chicago also known for their 'brats'?

daaaaaaaaa bears.

You can get great brats in Chicago, but Wisconsin might be the best source for them (Usingers, for example). Between deep dish and the hot dogs, Chicago is probably my favorite northern city as far as signature foods go.  I won't complain about my location, though, as the fried seafood on Boston's north shore is one my summer staples. But this is a thread about Philly, right? smile
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2009, 04:39:30 AM »

Another vote for Pats, just to say that you did it. Then forget about it.

I'm not far from Philadelphia, and go there several times a year to see sporting events and a few other places of interest. That being said, I find the famous Philly cheese steaks comparable to any other fast food. They are "different" for sure, but don't expect an orgasmic experience as many hype them to be. Of course that's my opinion, gimme two cents.

Take a gander,



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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2009, 05:22:37 AM »

Also, if you want to partake in an actual good Philly food thing, check out the crepe trucks that lurk around the campuses of Penn and (I think) Temple.
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2009, 05:36:22 AM »

Quote from: Freezer-TPF- on February 10, 2009, 10:31:39 PM

Quote from: cheeba on February 10, 2009, 10:21:55 PM

Quote from: SensuousLettuce on February 10, 2009, 10:19:57 PM

Okay. It may be my uncultured (cultured?) palette talking, but cheez whiz on a meat sandwich sounds disgusting.
Hence the overratedness of the cheesesteak.

Indeed.  A so-called "real" cheesesteak with "Cheez Whiz" processed food product is garbage.

If you're going to indulge, get yourself a good cheesesteak with quality steak and cheese instead.

hopefully Pete can forgive me for this opinion... (hell, I hate tomatoes, yet loved the tomato based lasagna I ate at Casa de Rock)

Cheez Whiz is disgusting, sandwiches with Cheez Whiz are disgusting.  Philly Cheese Steak style sandwiches with real cheese instead of the processed crap are really good. 

smile
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2009, 05:42:35 AM »

Quote from: Harkonis on February 11, 2009, 05:36:22 AM

Cheez Whiz is disgusting, sandwiches with Cheez Whiz are disgusting.  Philly Cheese Steak style sandwiches with real cheese instead of the processed crap are really good. 
Amen. And having it "wit wiz" or whatever just because that's how the locals do it is just dumb. These are the same locals who throw batteries onto football fields and cheer when opposing players get injured.
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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2009, 05:54:24 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on February 11, 2009, 05:42:35 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on February 11, 2009, 05:36:22 AM

Cheez Whiz is disgusting, sandwiches with Cheez Whiz are disgusting.  Philly Cheese Steak style sandwiches with real cheese instead of the processed crap are really good. 
Amen. And having it "wit wiz" or whatever just because that's how the locals do it is just dumb. These are the same locals who throw batteries onto football fields and cheer when opposing players get injured.

Just because they're animals doesn't mean they don't like good food.
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2009, 02:18:55 PM »

There used to be a great show called "Taste" with David Rosengardner (sp?) where he spent the show on one type of food.  One episode was on the cheesesteak sandwich and several of the places in Philly (maybe Pat's) said you have to use Cheese Wiz.  He was skeptical too, but after he made one with Wiz he agreed it was the best.  After that I went on a cheesesteak tear and made quite a few.  The Cheese Wiz was good, but it wasn't my favorite.  I think I preferred a pepper jack, but that was years ago and I can't remember. 
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2009, 03:01:05 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on February 11, 2009, 05:54:24 AM

Just because they're animals doesn't mean they don't like good food.
Just because my dog likes steak doesn't mean she won't run outside and roll around in some other dog's crap!

I'm not sure how that analogy applies, I just hate having to give her a bath.
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PeteRock
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Fabulous is a state of being. For me, anyways.


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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2009, 03:29:52 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on February 11, 2009, 05:42:35 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on February 11, 2009, 05:36:22 AM

Cheez Whiz is disgusting, sandwiches with Cheez Whiz are disgusting.  Philly Cheese Steak style sandwiches with real cheese instead of the processed crap are really good. 
Amen. And having it "wit wiz" or whatever just because that's how the locals do it is just dumb. These are the same locals who throw batteries onto football fields and cheer when opposing players get injured.

 Roll Eyes
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Beauty is only skin deep.  Which is why I take very good care of my skin.
ATB
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Thanks for everything, Ryan. 1979-2013


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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2009, 04:14:07 PM »

Well, this is gonna be my first time (and hopefully not my last-  paranoid slywink ) so I'm gonna give the wiz a try. The trip is still months away, but that's the plan for now. 

As for the assetion that trying it like the natives is lame...I don't see why that would be the case....

And no one has answered the question about Philly Pizza.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2009, 04:22:29 PM »

Pat's, without question.
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Raise the bridge! I have an erection!
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