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cheesesteaks since Laban's article


herbacidal
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Hey since Craig Laban's Inqurer article, has anyone been to John's for a cheesesteak?

Whaddya think? Better than the rest?

Laban's article

especially notable because he chose a no-name place as top dog.

takes guts, but also might have been done to gain more notoriety.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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John's makes an excellent pork sandwich.

Cheesesteak is very good but too much cheese on the cheesesteak for my taste. I rate them high, but still consider Steve's Prince of Steaks to be the best.

They seem to be all about quality. They were cooking the cheesesteaks to order even when, thanks to LeBan's article, there was a line out the door.

John's Roast Pork

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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John's cheesesteak is fine -- reminds me of the old Steak City on 17th between Market & Chestnut (pre-Liberty Place; the owner sold out to Rouse and retired to Greece).

John's pork is pretty good, too, though I still prefer Tony Luke's and, especially, Tommy DiNic's.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I haven't yet been to John's (their hours are pretty inconvenient), but after five years in Philly, I finally made it down to Tony Luke's.

Absolutely incredible. The cheesesteak? Everything I could ask for. But even better was the veal with greens and sharp provolone. Just an amazing mix of flavors: salty, almost smoky taste of the cheese, just a taste of bitterness from the broccoli rabe. Probably the best five bucks I ever spent.

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yea, i hear you.

the hours at john's are what's keeping me from stopping by.

are they open on the weekend for lunch?

as far as tony luke's, i've been here all my life, went for the first time a few weeks ago.

chicken cutlet with spinach. man, that was a sandwich. polished off the whole thing despite having just eaten 2 filet o fishes (Big Yellow Arches) half an hour before.

i had something at their 18th st. location a few years ago, but it was nowhere near as memorable or tast.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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are they open on the weekend for lunch?

Nope; that's what makes it such a hassle to get down there. M-F only, from early morning to midafternoon, I think. I'll have to make a special trip...

Oh, and Golden Arches, Herb? Say it ain't so...

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Oh, and Golden Arches, Herb?  Say it ain't so...

Jeez, is it that bad?

Don't always get to choose everywhere I get to eat.

But it's bad enough that you're comparing me to Shoeless Joe?

Wow, that hurts.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Sorry; I was just surprised, is all. But props to you for selecting the oft-neglected filet-o-fish.

Say, I went to George's Roast Pork (in the Italian Market) yesterday. Not a bad cheesesteak. Best part was the meat, which was nicely seasoned, with little bits o' blackened flavor (comes, I think, from cooking on a teeny-tiny grill). The cheese (I got provolone this time-- normally go for the Whiz) was pretty good, though not as strikingly flavorful as at Tony Luke's. Same sort of deal with the bread: I don't think it was Sarcone's or an equivalent (though I may be wrong)-- it was good, but didn't have the sort of firm absorbency that a really good steak needs.

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s'okay, andrew.

we all hafta look the devil in the eye sometime.

yea, i think the fish sandwich is probably the best of the lot.

are there equivalents for sarcone's?

can't think of any, and i'd be happy to learn about any.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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  • 1 month later...

Herb: I don't know specifically about substitutes for Sarcone's. But I've had bread that's as good, or close to it, and they can't bake enough for all these places. (Or can they?)

Anyway, I made it to John's Roast Pork today and had a steak. It's good-- very good in a lot of ways-- but the best in the city? Au contraire, mon frere Laban!

Good bread (about a third of an Italian loaf). The steak comes in nice thick slices (sliced not chopped); the meat isn't as greasy as most steaks are. Which is a problem: you want that perfect amount of meat juice and grease blending with the melted cheese, forming a perfect matrix of fats.

The really striking thing about John's steaks is just how much cheese they use. Lots of cheese. And the thing is, they put it on the grilling meat just before it all goes into the bread. The result is a sandwich composed of strata of meat and cheese, the latter not fully melted when it comes off the grill. It's like geology on a roll: youy'll be eating through layers of meat and then suddenly hit a pocket of provolone (White Gold! Load up the truck and move to Beverly...) Which is fine, but-- the fat matrix, man! Where's the matrix? The non-melted cheese surprised and bothered me: was it just because they were busy when I was there? Or is that typical?

I suppose if you really like a lot of cheese, this is the steak for you. (But I'd recommend letting it sit, tightly wrapped, for a minute or two in order to let the cheese melt fully.) As far as I'm concerned, though, Tony Luke's reigns supreme.

Oh! One more thing: John's serves Coke in glass bottles. Which is so cool: scientists have proven that Coke bottled in glass tastes 30% better than Coke in aluminum or plastic. Makes a good accompaniment to cheesesteak.

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Herb: I don't know specifically about substitutes for Sarcone's.  But I've had bread that's as good, or close to it, and they can't bake enough for all these places.  (Or can they?)

Anyway, I made it to John's Roast Pork today and had a steak.  It's good-- very good in a lot of ways-- but the best in the city?  Au contraire, mon frere Laban!

Good bread (about a third of an Italian loaf).  The steak comes in nice thick slices (sliced not chopped); the meat isn't as greasy as most steaks are.  Which is a problem: you want that perfect amount of meat juice and grease blending with the melted cheese, forming a perfect matrix of fats.

The really striking thing about John's steaks is just how much cheese they use.  Lots of cheese.  And the thing is, they put it on the grilling meat just before it all goes into the bread.  The result is a sandwich composed of strata of meat and cheese, the latter not fully melted when it comes off the grill.  It's like geology on a roll:  youy'll be eating through layers of meat and then suddenly hit a pocket of provolone (White Gold!  Load up the truck and move to Beverly...)   Which is fine, but-- the fat matrix, man!  Where's the matrix?  The non-melted cheese surprised and bothered me: was it just because they were busy when I was there?  Or is that typical? 

I suppose if you really like a lot of cheese, this is the steak for you.  (But I'd recommend letting it sit, tightly wrapped, for a minute or two in order to let the cheese melt fully.)  As far as I'm concerned, though, Tony Luke's reigns supreme.

Oh!  One more thing: John's serves Coke in glass bottles.  Which is so cool: scientists have proven that Coke bottled in glass tastes 30% better than Coke in aluminum or plastic.  Makes a good accompaniment to cheesesteak.

i imagine they can't make enough and keep the quality up unless they expand smartly.

how much is a lot of cheese? and what kind? if american, normal would be 2, extra 3 or more, at least in my eyes. provolone, probably about same.

i would say the cheese is always supposed to go on the steak, for about a minute.

then meat and cheese should be put on the roll, which should have been warming slightly on a stove or something. not too much heat, just the equivalent of leaving it on top of wherever the pilot light would be in a stove.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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i imagine they can't make enough and keep the quality up unless they expand smartly.

how much is a lot of cheese?  and what kind?  if american, normal would be 2, extra 3 or more, at least in my eyes.  provolone, probably about same.

i would say the cheese is always supposed to go on the steak, for about a minute.

then meat and cheese should be put on the roll, which should have been warming slightly on a stove or something.  not too much heat, just the equivalent of leaving it on top of wherever the pilot light would be in a stove.

I think you're probably right about the popularity vs. quality problem. I got the sense that they're just swamped-- maybe more so because of when I was there (12:30 on a Friday)-- and that's why the cheese didn't stay on the meat long enough.

In theory, you can get around this by putting Cheese Whiz on the steak (insta-melty!) but I'm not sure they have it there.

As to the amount of cheese, I'd say there were at least three pieces of provolone on the sandwich.

Edited by Andrew Fenton (log)
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I'd be surprised if John's is letting the volume of business effect their quality. That they were still grilling steaks to order with lines out the door speaks to their commitment to quality.

On my steak John's - way too much cheese for my taste, but it was all melted. JohnsPork-CheeseSteak2.jpg

I made it to Chink's Steaks on Torresdale for the first time last weekend. Expecting a Pat's or a Tony Luke's exterior I drove by it three times before breaking down and looking for the address. Just a storefront in the middle of the block. Went inside and I was again 8 years old, walking into Sodano's, my neighborhood soda fountain in Mountain Lakes NJ. Chink's is impeccable. A living museum celebrating the golden age of soda fountains. And real. Not like Johnny Rocket's playing at being a soda fountain. Just the way it has always been.

No have it your way here. A cheesesteak is a cheesesteak. Sliced tenderloin, american cheese, fried onions. No variations. A good cheesesteak. Not quite as great as Steve's. But a very good cheesesteak.

Chinks-CheeseSteak.jpg

To wash it down a superthick old fashioned milkshake or malted. For another two bits they'll throw in a banana.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I'd be surprised if John's is letting the volume of business effect their quality.  That they were still grilling steaks to order with lines out the door speaks to their commitment to quality.

On my steak John's - way too much cheese for my taste, but it was all melted.  JohnsPork-CheeseSteak2.jpg

I made it to Chink's Steaks on Torresdale for the first time last weekend.  Expecting a Pat's or a Tony Luke's exterior I drove by it three times before breaking down and looking for the address.  Just a storefront in the middle of the block.  Went inside and I was again 8 years old, walking into Sodano's, my neighborhood soda fountain in Mountain Lakes NJ.  Chink's is impeccable.  A living museum celebrating the golden age of soda fountains.  And real.  Not like Johnny Rocket's playing at being a soda fountain.  Just the way it has always been.

No have it your way here.  A cheesesteak is a cheesesteak.  Sliced tenderloin, american cheese, fried onions.  No variations.  A good cheesesteak.  Not quite as great as Steve's.  But a very good cheesesteak. 

Chinks-CheeseSteak.jpg 

To wash it down a superthick old fashioned milkshake or malted.  For another two bits they'll throw in a banana.

is that picture a regular size or large?

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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well there's more detail now.

i feel like this is one of them trade shows where they've blown up a picture really big, and i'm standing right in front of it, trying to look at it on a pixel by pixel level.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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  • 4 weeks later...
That still doesn't look like enough meat for a large.

yea, i gotta agree with T there.

in fact, that's what i wanted to say originally, before

I got distracted.

not enough good stuff in between the bread.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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That still doesn't look like enough meat for a large.

yea, i gotta agree with T there.

in fact, that's what i wanted to say originally, before

I got distracted.

not enough good stuff in between the bread.

Do these giant pics of cheesesteaks remind anyone of the desktops available at chickenhead.com? Because I can't stop laughing every time I open this thread up.

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That still doesn't look like enough meat for a large.

yea, i gotta agree with T there.

in fact, that's what i wanted to say originally, before

I got distracted.

not enough good stuff in between the bread.

That was my impression when I got it, but when I folded it up and started chomping, it was a quite satisfactory meat to bread ratio as we used to say in my McD days. The large refers to length, not girth in this case. :biggrin:

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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