Thursday, January 16, 2014

All my idols eventually fall.

So Philly Mag has declared 2014 The Year of the Cheesesteak, and I'm on board and in full homer mode. The gross lack of a decent cheesesteak in all other areas of this country was probably the number two reason I moved back to this particular corner of the BosWash metroplex, right after my realization that a life without Wawa is not a life I want to live.

Philly Mag's climbing of the soapbox in defense of our local specialty was, I think, probably a response to this recipe posted on what has become my favorite food blog (fair warning, though: Deadspin generally and Foodspin particularly tend towards the profane, and not just in their mutilation of a cheesesteak recipe. Just as I stipulate on Facebook whenever I share an article from there so as to warn off any moms/grandmoms, the columns and ESPECIALLY the comment sections are not for the faint of heart).

No really, I really, really like Foodspin and you should check it out regularly, provided you don't mind the occasional (read: remarkably frequent) F-bomb. But the writer's idea of a cheesesteak is...bad. It's bad, it makes a sandwich bad, and he should feel bad. Mayonnaise on the roll?! LETTUCE?!?!?! Bad, bad, bad. And wrong.

We don't have to get into a discussion about how authentic or worthy or dumb ("no, YOU'RE dumb!") all of our various individual preferences for cheesesteaks may or may not be. (Me: whiz with from Pat's YES, PAT'S.) I think we can all agree--actually we should publicly and vehemently excoriate and harangue and shame the writer for suggesting it in the first place--that lettuce has no place on a cheesesteak. You want a cheesesteak sub? Sure, go for it. I mean, you're wrong and that's gross and the guys making your sandwich are quietly judging you and have decided you're probably from Harrisburg and just pretending to be local, but...actually, no. Cheesesteak subs are gross and you shouldn't order them, much less eat them.

Man. Lettuce on a cheesesteak. And this coming from one of my favorite writers, whom I'd thought actually had some credibility regarding ingredients. It's like I can't rely on anything any more.

Anyway yes, I'm totally on board with all of us eating more cheesesteaks in the coming year. Most of the good ones are scattered in odd, relatively hard to reach places in the city though, which is probably good for me in the long run. The number one reason I don't eat more Pat's (YES PAT'S, DAMMIT) is that I'd hop on my bike to get there, and the thought of having to ride anywhere after eating one of their steaks makes me want to gingerly rub my belly and have a lie-down alone while my digestive tract serenades me in a polyphonic, atonal symphony. But now I'm hungry and I might go ahead and do it anyway when I get done with work later today. But then again I'd have to ride all the way uphill into West Philadelphia. But then again again whiz with. Bah. I'm pretty torn.


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