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U.S. Originals

Philly Cheesesteak History & Places

Philadelphians would always insist on the fact that a Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwich needs always a genuine Philadelphia roll to become a 'genuine' one.
That's the first part of the sandwich, the other is the filling: you need very thin sliced / chopped steak, which must be grilled and you put some onions and the cheese on it as topping. Not any cheese but if available 'KRAFT Cheez Whiz®'. This product exists since 1953 in the USA.

The need for a Philadelphia roll, which is long and relatively thin, implies that you can't eat the 'real' one anywhere else in the United States. Of course, they have to say so. Meanwhile also the nationwide chain Quiznos sells Cheesesteak sandwiches and recently I tried a Philly Cheesesteak soup!

It were the Olivieri brothers Pat and Harry who invented the Cheesesteak accidentally in 1930 when they were just improvised with their left-overs. They substituted the hot dogs they usually sold at their fast food stand at South Philly's Italian Market, with the grilled steak slices and put it together with some onions into a bun, but into an Italian roll.

Many years later Kraft introduced Cheez Whiz, the cheese spread. It was added to the Cheesesteak and made it to what it is today. Pat's King of

Steaks diner is located at the Italian Market in South Philadelphia where 9th Street crosses Wharton & Passyunk Avenues.

Some diners in Philadelphia and elsewhere change the cheese, e.g. use Smoked Provolone or American Cheese.

Being in Philadelphia the Italian Market is a must-see, and Pat's diner of course, too. But if still hungry try also Geno's Steaks (1219 S. 9th St, adjacent of Pat's) or Jim's Steak (400 South Street) - all of them a real Philly Cheesesteak institutions of the city.

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