February 21, 2014
FROM THE BEGINNING, the Philadelphia cheesesteak has been evolving. The original sandwich that caught on at Pat and Harry Olivieri's South Philly hot-dog stand in the early 1930s had no cheese - much less "Whiz," which only came along in 1952. Provolone - sorry, John Kerry haters - * was the original cheese add-on, followed soon by American. Variants of the basic item flourished around town throughout the 20th century and are still going strong in the 21st. One variant that is showing up in more and more Philly joints is the vegan cheesesteak, a seemingly self-contradictory phrase, like "icy hot" or "nonworking mother.
January 6, 2014 |
Sixty-six days after his father died in bed of a massive heart attack, Geno Vento counted backward from 10 in an operating room in South Jersey. Rattled by his father's death and haunted by a family history of heart disease, Vento had decided to enlist a surgeon's help in his lifelong battle with obesity. Heir to one of South Philadelphia's cheesesteak empires, Vento was 40, 5-foot-8, and 366 pounds. He could not bend over to tie his shoes. He could barely hoist himself off a toilet.
November 10, 2013 |
TEL AVIV - Mayor Nutter says he has learned some lessons. His commerce chief thinks he has some fish on the line. Business owners traveling with Philadelphia officials on this two-nation marketing tour say their expectations have been more than met. That is the synopsis of the self-graded report card for some of the principals in the mayor's 10-day trade trip, which started in London before flying on to this city Thursday. With the trip not to end until Monday, the consensus among participants is two thumbs up. Certainly that is the feeling of Bob Moul, president of the software company Artisan Mobile, who traveled on the London leg of the trip in part as an ambassador for the city and a dealmaker for his own firm.
September 13, 2013 |
ACTOR LIAM NEESON will be in town tonight to introduce a 20th-anniversary screening of "Schindler's List" at the Prince Music Theater. Neeson was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II by employing them in his factories. The 1993 film went on to win seven coveted golden bald men, including one for director Steven Spielberg , who spent some of his formative years in South Jersey. The screening benefits the USC Shoah Foundation, founded by Spielberg after he made "Schindler's List.
July 26, 2013
What to eat : Don't even think of trying anything else before you've had Adriano Redante's signature item, the hamburgão. Ingredients include sirloin steak, corn, ham, bacon, provolone cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and homemade green mayo. It's like the love child of a Schmitter and a cheesesteak that got drunk on caipirinhas in São Paulo and had a one-night stand. So, yeah, it's good. Tip: Eat a light breakfast. Also try: In addition to the hamburgão ($8), there are several other interesting items on Redante's menu, including a Brazilian-style cheesesteak with homemade chimichurri ($6)
May 23, 2013
Chain: Charleys Philly Steaks. Company description: Chicken, provolone cheese, Buffalo sauce & ranch. Calories: 526, with 16 grams fat, 1,703 mgs salt. Location: The Gallery Food Court. Order time: A few minutes. Price: $4.29 (small sandwich). Review: There are more than 500 Charleys Philly Steaks locations, and one of them has finally made it to . . . Philly. The city's cheesesteak royalty doesn't have much to worry about, but that doesn't mean Charleys makes a bad sandwich.
April 12, 2013 |
YOU'VE HAD Pat's. You've had Geno's. You've had Tony Luke's and John's and Jim's and Steve's and D'Alessandro's and Donkey's and Chubby's and Cosmi's and Chick's and dozens more. But have you had a cheesesteak pot pie? Wontons? Spring rolls? Bao buns with spicy pickled shallots, homemade sriracha and micro cilantro? Yeah, probably. Eighty-three years after its invention, Pat and Harry Olivieri's humble creation - originated with butcher's scraps and a hotdog roll - has gone international.
March 8, 2013 |
ONE CAN only imagine what the late Joey Vento of Geno's fame would have thought of a cheesesteak joint where it's expected that customers will order in Spanish. But we assume that even Vento, who notoriously asked that his customers order in English, would have no beef with Rocky's Philly Steaks. After all, it's in Buenos Aires, Argentina. So, how on earth did the cheesesteak migrate 5,266 miles south? "I thought the Argentines would like the cheesesteak," explained Matthew J. McCarthy.
March 7, 2013
LET'S FACE IT, the real question here is: Does Rocky's cheesesteak live up to the high standards we natives set for this most Philadelphian of delicacies? The answer, in short, is no. The combination of machine-processed cheese and mayonnaise glopped onto the steak is distinctly un-Philadelphian. (Argentines have a love affair with mayo, so its presence here is not surprising.) These ingredients create a topping you'd be more likely to get at a bar in Davenport, Iowa, or Omaha, Neb., than on a steak from an authentic joint in the City of Brotherly Love.
November 21, 2012 |
IF SHE didn't know it already, Lisa DeBella will now: her husband of 17 years has been carrying on a 30-year love affair. But she needn't worry: the object of his affection isn't a woman; it's Philadelphia. How else do you explain why John DeBella, the 62-year-old WMGK-FM (102.9) morning-drive host - a native New Yorker, no less - has been in Philadelphia since the days when Ronald Reagan was president and Julius Erving and Moses Malone were the talk of the town? Why else would he have hung around even during the years when he was suffering professional humiliation and personal tragedy?