OK- I am a vegetarian, well more of a pesce-vegetarian because I do eat fish. However, every now and again I will break my own rule and eat meat. ESPECIALLY when restaurants try to duplicate my old favorite love- the Philly Cheesesteak. I went to school in Philadelphia and lived in South Philly for many years- right up the street from the famous corner of 9th and Passyunk- best known for the rivalry of Pat’s Steaks and Geno’s Steaks. There are many other places in the city to get a great cheesesteak- ask anyone from Philly who has the best steak sandwiches and you will get many different answers.
One thing is consistent among everyone’s opinion – a true Philly Cheesesteak is served on an Amoroso roll – always. Amoroso has been a South Philly tradition since 1904 and is the only way to serve an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak.
Another thing that is consistent, a true Philly Cheesesteak is served with provolone cheese or Cheez Whiz (don’t knock it ‘til you try it my friend).
There are so many fraudulent “authentic” establishments that claim to have the “real” thing, but they don’t use Amoroso rolls or Cheez Whiz. That makes me blow a gasket right there in the middle of their restaurant- “authentic” my #%$. (Philadelphians are very territorial- especially when it comes to our “authentic” Philly cuisine).
Anyway, I stumbled onto this place in the Avalon Park neighborhood of Orlando, a restaurant called Brianto’s Original Hoagies. I was very skeptical as I have been fooled so many times in the past. However- first of all- no one outside of Philly calls a sandwich on a roll a “hoagie” – but Brianto’s does- yay!! Second- their logo is similar to the Phillies baseball logo- and the Phillies are the truest of all Philly institutions……..
Third- I saw Cheez Whiz on the menu…..
The decor is Philly, Philly, Philly. I expected to find an entrance to the Broad Street Subway nearby…(which way to the Reading Terminal Market? Which way to Rittenhouse Square?)
Fourth – I found the ultimate Philly treat that is hard to find anywhere outside the city….
TASTYKAKES……and not just any Tastykakes….Butterscotch Krimpets Tastykakes.
Now, going to Philly and not having a cheesesteak is like coming to Orlando and not going to a theme park. However, one must learn how to properly order a cheesesteak in Philly so you don’t get sent to the back of the line. And trust me, people do get sent to the back of the line (all in good fun) – so Brianto’s has posted a little sign to help you out so you can order like a true Philadelphian…..(this sign is posted at most cheesesteak places in Philly- no joke)….
I, of course, ordered the traditional Philly cheesesteak that I have always loved- the wit and wit Whiz (that is cheesesteak speak for with onions and with Cheez Whiz- see? I am only here to help you out).
I know I know, posting a picture of meat on a vegetarian blog- but really- this is what a true AUTHENTIC Philly cheesesteak looks like. And to top it off? Herr’s potato chips- another Philly tradition-
I have tried many, many places offering what they call the “real” thing since I left Philly and not once has anyone ever come close. Until now. Brianto’s is the first place outside of Philly that has the real thing- from the-roll-to-the-meat-to-the-bread. I finally have found a home for my Philly tastebuds. And if the thought of meat really turns you off, they have a cold veggie hoagie with just veggies and cheese (I bet they would heat it up for you too) so you can experience a real hoagie roll- well worth it!!
Here is a link to their website so you can check out the menu, location, hours and their specials-