A few days ago I reviewed the cheesesteak at Delaware Sub Shop with a theme based on Always Sunny in Philadelphia, both of which I am a big fan of. I thought it was a good cheesesteak, the best I'd had in Texas in fact, which was true as of a few days ago, but which is very, very wrong today after a trip to Way South Philly.
I was naive.
I was blind.
Blinded by a two year absence from the City of Brotherly Love.
So first and foremost, to Charlie, to Mac, to Dennis, and of course to Sweet Dee (not so much you, Frank, you are a dirty, dirty little man), I AM SORRY. You all have my sincerest apology in associating you with a sandwich, that while good, and while a cheesesteak, is not worthy of being a PHILLY cheesesteak.
Way South Philly, now THAT is what a Philly cheesesteak is supposed to taste like. THAT is a Philly cheesesteak.
Delaware, I salute you for trying, and for making a good sandwich, but most of all for stimulating my appetite for a cheesesteak and getting me out there in search of Austin's best. And as of right now, that Belt lies firmly around the bloated waist of a little trailer out on East 6th, Way South Philly.
For starters, the guy who runs the place is a Philadelphia transplant, hailing from just across the river in south Jersey. And he's got a resume. First off, his favorite steak joint in Philadelphia is Jim's, which is legit, less known to tourists, and a favorite of many locals. Two, he's a good family friend of the folks who make arguably the best roast beef sandwich in the city, Tommy DeNic's at the Reading Terminal Market. C.) when I started a conversation about pork roll, not only did he know what I was talking about, but he told me that he had some, having just brought it back with him from a recent trip.
So, enough about the man, let's talk about the sandwiches. Proudly displayed on the side of the trailer is a sign stating that they serve their sandwiches on real Amoroso rolls, straight from Philadelphia, and the only roll that a Philadelphian will accept. And they are every bit of it. Buttery, light, soft, and toasty, these things hold that greasy, cheesy goodness more snuggly than a McPoyle holds his milk.
And the cheese. First thing you see when you peer in the window is this...
Yep. Wiz. The real deal.
So, there are several combinations of cheesesteaks here that all looked incredible, but for comparison's sake, I settled on...
paul•ie |ˈpôlē| - adjective – 1. Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law : Paulie, it’s Thanksgiving, I got a turkey in the oven. 2. a generous portion of seasoned grilled philly steak, sautéed with steamed onions and mushrooms, then topped with Cheez Wiz : Yeah, I’ll have the Paulie, wit wiz.
Two words: incredible
Seriously, this thing was perfect. You know the saying, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? Well, it applies to cheesesteaks. That's for damn sure. When all of those ingredients are put together on the flat top, and their juices and flavors combine, they become something much, much more. The flavors change. They become one. It. Becomes one. It. Becomes a cheesesteak.
I'm going to offer a comparison here for those who may not have had a real cheesesteak, but may have had one of these. White Castle. And I mean no disrespect to Philadelphia, I'm not comparing a White Castle to a great cheesesteak, this is purely illustrative. Try to make a slider at home. Good, right? Now go to White Castle and get the real deal. See the difference? You can't find the lines between bun, onion, meat, cheese and bun, nor can you taste any individual ingredient. It has become one soft, oniony mess, with a flavor all it's own. And that's what you get with a good steak sandwich, and that's what you get at Way South Philly. He nailed it.
Oh, before I finish up. Tots. Wiz.
I think the picture says it all.
Atmosphere: food truck, outdoor seating, smoking section, perfect for lunch, carry out
Food: real deal Philly cheesesteaks
Crowd: not-so-tough guys, guy in a tie, lady smoking a cigarette and drinking a Dr. Pepper, looked a little like Mac's mom
Dog Friendly: yes
What to Order for the First Timer: The Paulie
Best Time to Go: lunch on a nice day, after the bars on a weekend