Over the weekend, Deadspin “Foodspin” writer Albert Burneko published a piece called: “How to Make a Cheesesteak and Probably Get Crap from Pennsylvanians.” Probably?
Burneko anticipated some of the criticism his terrible recipe (just wait, it’s coming) would inevitably engender. So he wrote this: “It’s a steak sandwich. There’s nothing in it that can’t be found or made damn near anywhere else in the United States, nor any particular culinary discipline or technique unique to Philadelphia that makes its cheesesteaks special.”
Mr. Burneko (can I call you that?) is correct that there is no citywide “discipline” or “technique” that renders the local cheesesteak superior to non-Philadelphia cheesesteaks. (There are, of course, cheesesteak places that make meaner cheesesteaks than others, for the same reasons some restaurants make better burgers than others. But I digress.) What he fails to realize is that there are very specific ingredients that one must use when constructing a proper cheesesteak. Because the ones he chooses would result in a disastrous, disgusting, nuclear leak of a sandwich.
MR. FOODSPIN’S INGREDIENTS
Steak (Ok, we’re with you.)
Italian roll (Sure.)
2 slices of provolone (Great. Except–2 slices? No. More.)
Onions, chopped, sauteed (Awesome.)
Peppers, chopped, sauteed (Hots, maybe. Not regular bell peppers, though. C’mon. Don’t need that watery stuff in there.)
Mayonnaise, slathered on roll (What the hell?)
For those who actually follow Foodspin recipes, read closely: All you need is sliced ribeye, diced, sauteed onions, and provolone. (And even onions are optional if you’re convinced that the rest of your ingredients are of the highest quality.) Copious amounts of all of it, maybe with a hot pepper on the side. You’d think the ghost of A.J. Daulerio would have stepped in to intervene at some point…