Since the Philly cheesesteak has been the topic of much heated discussion on this blog—and frankly in our office—I decided to bring a few back when I returned from the City of Brotherly Love last night. I got them from one of my favorite spots in the world, Talk of the Town in South Philly. This place is a gem well known to Philly sports fans as it’s located right across from the stadiums where the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and 76ers play. Click the link and peruse the menus. If you’re not drooling in five minutes, check your pulse.
I brought back three varieties of classic Philadelphia sandwiches, pictured above.
Make the jump to hear descriptions of these delights…
The first (starting at bottom right and moving clockwise) is the straight-up cheesesteak with fried onions and American cheese, or as it’s known in local parlance, “American, wit.”
The second is a chicken cheesesteak. It’s chicken breast, sliced paper-thin and then chopped on the grill like its beefy cousin. The one that I brought is a very special chicken cheesesteak. It has prosciutto, pepperoni and extra-sharp provolone all served on a roll from Sarcone’s Bakery, one of the best—and oldest—in the city. Eating this bread is a transcendent experience.
The third sandwich is not a cheesesteak at all but it is a classic Philly consumable. It’s breaded chicken breasts topped with sautéed broccoli rabe, marinated hot peppers (“long hots,”) and extra-sharp provolone. This also comes on a sesame roll from Sarcone’s.
While Talk of the Town is my favorite spot, sandwiches like these are readily available all over the city and suburbs of Philadelphia. There are even pushcart vendors with little grill setups downtown that make a pretty mean cheese, or chicken-cheesesteak.
While writing this post, I received word that a new cheesesteak vendor has just opened here in Nashville. Phillyman's Cheesesteak! has set up shop in the downtown arcade. How will it stack up to the sandwiches we just sampled? Mark my words, Bites readers, I’ll have the answer for you by the end of the week.