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Philly Cheesesteaks
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-07-10 19:58:01 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
While I'm on the road, I always try to eat local. What food comes to mind when you think Philadelphia? Cheese steaks sandwiches of course! Well, you can order your hoagie (local slang for submarine/subway sandwich) in different kinds of shops... each have its particularities.

When I first came to Philly a few years ago, I went to one of the big names... you can easily find them, they're the ones listed when you look for the best cheese steak in town. All those provide very large and expensive sandwiches... since I don't eat that much and my room was not close to downtown, I couldn't go for those big names... and I decided to try other options.

The one in the picture above came from a street vendor... food carts are very popular in Philly, they're over-sized carts... with the operator inside the cart, not beside it like the New York style pretzel cart. I had my hoagie for less than $5 and went to eat it in the park facing Independence Hall... perfect location for a Philly staple. The sandwich was rather basic... with steak, cheese, onions and ketchup. But it was prepared in front of my eyes, in about 5 minutes. That's a fast-food hoagie.

On the other end of the chain, I also had one at a local neighbourhood deli. The deli is an experience by itself. First, they bring in frozen fondue steak and begin to grill it slowly. It takes about 30 mins to have it ready. So, we're just waiting for it to be ready? Not exactly, at least not in this deli on Locust street.... During the waiting, the cook is a real attraction and also keeps feeding you by giving you samples of virtually all his meats and cheeses. On my first time there, I had samplings from at least 6 meats freshly cut for us to taste (all those who were waiting for their order) and 2 cheeses. That already fills you up. The end sandwich is more of a classical edition... with the basics, plus lettuce and tomatoes if you want them... and your choice of bell or spicy peppers.

Overall, I liked both sandwiches and I liked both experiences. I love to eat local food, that often opens an insight on local culture... like this Jewish deli in a neighbourhood filled with Muslims.


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