Tag Archives: philly cheesesteak

Al’s Beef

For my third and final Italian beef sandwich of the Chicago trip, I tried Al’s Beef.

Portillo’s is still better. This one was nice, but just not quite up to snuff. The giardiniera here was just celery. No carrots or other pickled veggies. Also, when you ask for spicy, they just give you the celery with crushed red pepper and a bit of roasted pepper strips in it; not sliced hot peppers like both Mr. Beef and Portillo’s. I added provolone this time to mix it up.

Oh well. You live and learn. It was still enjoyable though.

AL’S BEEF
169 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654

Mr. Beef

My wife and I hit this joint on the way home from a speakeasy next door called The Drifter. I couldn’t resist with a name like Mr. Beef.

With a no-frills interior and a simple flat top griddle in back, this was a no brainer joint that I had to try.

We took a sandwich to go, with the dip sauce on the side.

Not too bad, but I would have liked a better giardiniera with more than just celery. The spicy peppers were nice though.

Meat quality wasn’t as good as Portillo’s, but it’ll do the job if you’re in a bind.

MR. BEEF
666 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60654

Warren 77

This joint puts up some solid pub food. I came in with a group of food bloggers to help them promote their Stanley Cup game night specials (the joint is owned by an ex-NY Ranger). Anyway, here’s what we had:

Wings

These are breaded and served lollipop style. I liked them, despite generally having less of a preference for breaded wings.

Nachos

Stacked high with tons of toppings. Really good.

Boneless Chicken Wings

For the vagina in your group who doesn’t want any bones. Still good though – and also breaded.

Fried Pickles

A little too salty for me, but I liked the texture and sauce.

Philly Cheesesteak

I loved that this was on a hot dog potato bun. They said they usually serve it on different bread but ran out. I say stick with the hot dog bun. It was great. Low budget and tasty.

Double Cheeseburger

This was nice and basic too, but well executed. For $11 this is a great deal (fries were $3 extra, shoestring style, and  very nicely cooked). Their “77 Sauce” is like a Big Mac sauce. Dig it.

WARREN 77
77 Warren St
New York, NY 10007

Pat’s v. Geno’s

The classic Pat’s / Geno’s rivalry has been done to death, so I’m not going to write a treatise here. I’m gonna tell you how it is plainly: Both are highly overrated, but they’re worth hitting at least once just to do it.

My wife and I tried one sandwich from each place, the same exact way: cheesesteak with wiz. No onions, no mushrooms, no other cheeses. Why? I wanted to test the meats out. $10 each.

PAT’S

Pat’s gives you more meat and more cheese on a superior bread.

However, that meat is riddled with chewy wads of fat. I’m a champion of rib eye fat, but this was no bueno. We spit pieces out several times throughout the process of eating our respective halves. Also, the quality of the meat seemed a bit shitty. You can just taste it. I think they also cook too much at once, because it had a steamed, rubbery texture as opposed to a nice griddled crisp.

GENO’S

Geno’s has the better ambiance, if such a thing can even be assessed.

Geno’s also had better meat quality, although that quality was still sub par on the whole. On the other hand, Geno’s didn’t give enough cheese on the sandwich. Lame.

So each had a benefit and each had a negative, but both were overrated. I think these places suffer from too much business. They make so much quantity so far ahead of time to deal with crowds, that they lose quality in the process.

In the quest for cheesesteaks, I suggest hitting Shorty’s or Wogies here in NYC. They’re better than these two joints by far. A buddy who grew up outside of Philly tells me that the better cheesesteaks are found in local pizza shops anyway down there, and that Shorty’s and 99 Miles to Philly are apparently pretty close to the real thing here in NYC.

PAT’S
1237 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

GENO’S
1219 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

1 2 3 Burger Shot Beer

I’ve walked by this joint on many occasions. Today I finally had the time to go in and see what it’s all about.

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The name comes from the daily specials offered: $1 burgers (sliders), $2 shots and $3 beers – ANY beer on tap, other than the ciders. Not fuckin’ bad!

The joint is set up like a college style sports bar. Lots of TVs throughout, with seating at the bar and along the opposite wall.

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They even have some drinking games like the wheel of death pictured below, along with beer pong, and there is an outside drinking area in the back as well.

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So I came with a coworker and we noticed outside that if you bring a friend you can get their daily lunch special in a two-for-one deal. The daily lunch special is three sliders, fries, and a beer for $7. Normally that will cost you $10 if you order the items separately, on their own. With the “bring a friend” special we got six sliders, two beers and two fries for $7. AWESOME!

The beers are probably only 10oz, but they don’t restrict you on the draft options, which is nice. I got a Hoegaarden and my buddy got a Rebel IPA.

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The sliders are nice and tasty. They come topped with American cheese and grilled onions, nicely jammed between a mini potato bun. Deeeeelicious. I can easily put away a dozen without even blinking.

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The fries needed salt. They were decent, but seasoned with a salt substitute sort of thing. Perhaps paprika and some other herbs. The portion size is a bit small if you were ordering separately at the full $4 price tag.

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Since I’m a fat fuck, I also needed to try some other items. First was this Philly cheese steak. It comes with finely sliced steak, ooey-gooey cheese and onions on a hot dog style bun for $5. I ate the fuck out of this thing. It was way tastier than the sliders, for sure. But maybe you can get a better one at a larger size for just a few bucks more down at Shorty’s, nearby on 9th Avenue in the 40s.

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Wednesday is double wing day. When you order wings, they double it for free. I recommend that Wednesday is the ONLY day to try the wings here, as they are small (which I actually like, but most people do not) and don’t come with many per order (four or five), at a price tag of $7. Since we came on a Wednesday, our order was $7 for nine or ten wings. They’re breaded and fried crisp before they are tossed in the Hell’s Kitchen wing sauce, which is a standard mild to medium spice level. If you get these on a non-Wednesday, you’ll probably feel like you got ripped off.

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Overall this is a great place to grab some grub and suds, especially on a nice day, since the place has an open and airy feel. Go with a friend during lunch to get the most bang for your buck. That two-for-one special on the $7 lunch deal is amazing. Just add some more sliders to the order to get a real filling meal out of it.

1 2 3 BURGER SHOT BEER
738 10th Ave
New York, NY 10019