Hello, readers! I’m finally moved and settled into my new home for the next 3 years: Philadelphia. So far, I am loving this city: home to Benjamin Franklin, the Phillies, a vibrant art community, and of course, a phenomenal dining scene. Oh, and it really is always sunny (or at least, since I’ve gotten here).
I thought it would be apropo for my first Philly post to be about a quintessential, almost sacred food tradition in the city. Of course, I’m talking about none other than the Philly cheesesteak: that chopped steak and melted cheese stuffed hoagie that Philadelphians are crazy for.
There is still fierce debate over who really invented the cheesesteak, but many sources say it was created in South Philly during the early 1930s. Guidebooks usually recommend Pat’s or Geno’s, which are located across the street from one another and both claim to have invented the cheesesteak first.
My first Philly cheesesteak experience was not at either of those famous spots (though of course, I plan to go to both of them eventually). It was at Mom’s, a tiny, non-descript food cart located near Independence Hall.
Now, I am no cheesesteak expert, and I’m sure fans would say that Mom’s isn’t the best cheesesteak in the city. But, it was really tasty and made fresh to order. I added mushrooms and opted for provolone on mine, and it arrived toasty and full of tender, chopped beef. Plus, at $5, it was a steal for lunch.
I’d like to go back and try Mom’s pizza steak, a cheesesteak topped with spicy marinara sauce and extra cheese, or any of the other dozens of affordable hoagies listed on their menu. Next time you find yourself starving after a tour of Independence Square, head down the street to Mom’s! (Exact loction TBA!)