I Ordered a Cheesesteak Outside of Philadelphia

Ah, the ever glamorous cheesesteak. While I personally prefer the buffalo chicken option (of basically everything), I finally caved and decided to try the wonderful combo of cheese, steak, onions, and grease on a roll outside of its natural habitat.

And I will never do it again.

From Chicago’s deep dish pizzas to Louisiana’s Po Boys to Philadelphia’s cheesesteaks – restaurants across the nation are paying homage by murdering the classics. Once, a sandwich shop owner told me he made the best cheesesteak I would ever experience in my life. I was in California and promptly set him straight.

Unless you’re Jim or Tony Luke – don’t even try that line. On anyone. Ever.

So before I get into the atrocity that my mouth experienced during this horrible meal, I’m hoping you all picked out the offensive pieces just on the menu itself. First off, it’s “cheesesteak.” This is common knowledge, but some people are just stupid. Or they listen to the little red squiggly line that comes with spell check. Both are synonymous in this instance. Second, the menu clearly states that the cheesesteak is served on a hoagie.

A hoagie.

Listen yous, if you don’t know the lingo – don’t try to implement it. And for all of you that need a vocabulary lesson: a hoagie is a sandwich, or a “sub” if you will. I don’t know why you would want to put a cheesesteak (which is a sandwich in its own right) on top of another sandwich unless you’re ordering a “Fat Samantha” or something of the “fat” nature. It’s called a long roll. Or an artisan roll if you’re really doing it right.*

But as I ate my meal and got over the fact that it was clearly Steakums, I couldn’t help but come across some drastic failures:

– The first noticeable mistake was the red onions. Red onions? Are you high? Strike one.

– Second: the cheese and steak were clearly heated separately. The meat is supposed to melt the cheese, making it all blend together on the roll. Not give me a grilled cheese roll with some meat. Strike two.

– Lastly, it was one long piece of Steakums. Nothing chopped, nada. And I’m not talking Geno’s style of obnoxiously big pieces of steak. I’m talking impossible to chew and possible choking hazard. Strike three.

It might be the Philadelphian in me, but consuming my beloved cheesesteak in this nature both broke my heart and turned me off of cheesesteaks forever. Well, maybe not forever, but easily for the next six months or so.

So before you ever go order a specialty food outside of its original location: think twice. And choose “no way.”

*Note: There are such things as Cheesesteak Hoagie. A hoagie roll is also a thing. But neither of these things phrases were used to describe whatever atrocity this restaurant successfully sold me.

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