What Makes a Good Cheesesteak?

If there’s one thing that the city of Philadelphia is known for, it’s their cheesesteaks! No trip to Philly — one of the city’s nicknames — is complete without one. The locals even take sides with their favorite places to get the delicious sandwiches.

But do you know what exactly makes a good cheesesteak? 

There are a handful of factors that influence whether or not a cheesesteak is tasty and authentic. Keep reading on to learn all about them! 

1. The Roll It Comes In

It’s indeed what’s on the inside that counts. But when it comes to a good cheesesteak, the outside matters, too. That’s why you have to pay attention to the roll it gets served in!

A Philly cheesesteak always comes served in a hoagie roll. (Hoagie is the local name for a sub sandwich.) It has to be just right because if it’s too soft or hard, it won’t taste the same! 

2. The Amount of Steak Inside

Obviously, the cheesesteak gets its name from the meat that gets put inside: steak. Cheesesteak restaurants often use sirloin or ribeye in thinly sliced or shredded pieces. 

Every authentic sandwich has the meat piled high, too. Some room is left for cheese and toppings, but that’s it. There shouldn’t be any wasted space! 

Some places serve chicken in them, but a beef cheesesteak is the original. The steak is sautéed with some oil and cooks fast because it’s cut thin. 

3. The Cheese and (Optional) Toppings

There are three types of cheese found at Philly cheesesteak shops: American, Provolone, and Cheez Whiz. Don’t ask for any other kind, or else you might get laughed at! 

Sometimes, the cheese goes on the roll before any meat. Other times, it gets added on top. Either way, the warmth of the steak helps to melt the cheese.

When it comes to an authentic cheesesteak, toppings are optional. You might follow the locals and order a “cheesesteak wit” or “witout” sautéed onions. Hot or sweet peppers are a delicious addition, too. 

Most people don’t order any condiments on their sandwiches. But if they do, ketchup, Sriracha, or pizza sauce are the usual picks. 

4. The Restaurant It Comes From

Does a cheesesteak have to be from Philly to be authentic? No – but it sure helps! But if you’re outside of the city, you just have to do some digging to find a good spot.

In Philly, among locals and tourists alike, there are some fierce rivalries between some cheesesteak restaurants. That’s because they’re so good, and they make them well! You can even rep your favorites with some great merch!

Now You Can Find the Best Cheesesteak

A cheesesteak is insanely mouthwatering when it’s done right! And now, you know how to tell if your next one is worthy of being called authentic. So, it’s time to get out there to different cheesesteak restaurants to discover the best one!

Looking for more foodie reads to satisfy your cravings? Check out some of our other articles to find what you need.

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