Cheesesteak Review #74: Mr. V’s Steaks of Philadelphia

February 12th, 2012 2 comments

1.5 out of 5 stars

Mr V's Steak on Urbanspoon

First off I apologize for the lack of reviews.  Over the last two years I have started to lose interest in writing reviews.  I haven’t lost interest in cheesesteaks but I am starting to lose interest in trying new cheesesteaks.

For this review I traveled to Northeast Philly around the Franklin Mills Mall to try a cheesesteak from Mr V’s Steaks.  I had a little trouble finding the place as all of the roads around the mall get kind of confusing, but I ultimately found it tucked away in a little strip mall off of Franklin Mills Boulevard.  The directions I originally had were wrong and that’s the main reason why I had difficulty in finding Mr V’s Steaks.  As usual I ordered a cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-I believe the bread that they used was a Liscio hoagie roll and not the standard steak roll that most restaurants use for cheesesteaks.  The bread was probably the best part of this cheesesteak, which isn’t saying much.  The roll was extremely fresh and it did a good job housing all of the ingredients.  It’s kind of hard to screw up the bread unless it isn’t fresh.  I guess the only issue with the bread was that there way too much.  Let me explain that statement a little further.  There was barely any meat, cheese or fried onions on this cheesesteak that it almost tasted like I was just eating a hoagie roll and nothing else.

Cheese-The cheese was only average.  They only included a few slices of provolone and it was barely melted.  From the picture below you can see how the cheese was just huge pieces.  They also only placed the cheeses on one side of the bun and then just placed the meat on the other side.  I guess they expected the meat to melt the cheese, but it didn’t.  For a good cheesesteak I always look for cheese to be melted throughout the entire sandwich.

Meat-One word: terrible.  It was bland tasting and dry.  Besides that there was fat and gristle on a good  amount of the pieces of the meat included in the cheesesteak.  The pieces of meat they used were huge slabs of meat that were extremely tough to chew.  I guess the only good part about the meat was that it was all evenly cooked and there weren’t any burnt or under-cooked pieces.  I like meat in my cheesesteak to be diced, but I can deal with big pieces of meat as long as it has a good taste to it, and isn’t too tough to chew.

Amount-Probably the worst thing about this cheesesteak was the overall size of the sandwich.  The roll was your typical size of around 10 inches.  The amount of meat included was a joke.  The same goes for the amount of cheese.  The only thing there was plenty of was the fried onions.  More or less what I ate was a 10 inch fried onion sandwich.  This cheesesteak would not fill anyone up.  I’m glad I also ordered a side of fries or else I would have left this place hungrier than I was when I walked in.

Fried Onions-The fried onions in this sandwich were pretty decently cooked and they had a nice taste to them.  However there were too many of them in comparison to the amount of meat and cheese.  Much like the cheese they were not mixed throughout the entire cheesesteak either.  They were just placed on top of the sandwich after they added the meat and cheese to the bread.

In all the cheesesteak from Mr V’s Steaks was pretty terrible.  When the best part of a cheesesteak is the roll produced from a bakery, and fried onions you have issues.  I read plenty of good reviews online for this place but I really don’t understand how anyone could like this cheesesteak.  So for now I can’t recommend a cheesesteak from Mr V’s Steaks.  Mr V’s does have a fairly large menu with pizza and other sandwiches and it would be pretty impossible for them to screw everything up as badly as they did this cheesesteak so if you are around Franklin Mills Mall and come across Mr V’s Steaks try something else off of their menu.  Trust me on this.  The french fries were great and you get a ton of them, so if you aren’t too hungry just order a side of them and you will probably leave the place pretty full.  There is plenty of parking around Mr V’s Steaks as they are located in a strip mall with plenty of vacant storefronts.  They also have a fair amount of indoor seating available.  The inside of Mr V’s is pretty cool because there is lots of sports memorabilia, but unfortunately I do not take the decor  of the establishment I am reviewing into effect when rating a cheesesteak or else they may have gotten a much high rating.

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Cheesesteak Review #73: Tommy Mo’s Steak Shop and Family Restaurant of Collegeville

January 1st, 2012 No comments

3.0 out of 5 stars

Tommy Mo's Steak Shop and Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

For my first review of 2012 I will be covering Tommy Mo’s Steak Shop and Family Restaurant located in Collegeville.  Tommy Mo’s is actually located in Rahn’s which is located between Collegeville and Schwenksville, but they have a Collegeville mailing address.  Tommy’s Mo’s is located right off Route 29 much like my last review of Moccia’s Train Stop.  As usual I am reviewing a plain cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-Not too sure what type of roll they used, but it was really tasty.  It was soft and fresh and it had a nice distinct doughy taste to it.  The meat from this cheesesteak produce quite a bit of grease but this roll did a great job of absorbing it.  Since the roll was originally soft, I was thinking that by the end of the cheesesteak the roll was going to be soggy from all the juices produced from the sandwich however I was wrong.  By the time I finished the cheesesteak the roll was just as soft and dry as it was when I started eating the sandwich.

Cheese-The cheese was only average.  In all honesty this cheesesteak could have used a few more pieces of cheese.  It was hard to get a good taste of the provolone because there was barely any cheese included in the cheesesteak.  One other complaint I have is that the cheese was just melted on the sides of the roll as compared to being melted and mixed throughout the entire sandwich.  It could have been worse and the cheese could have just been melted on the bottom of the roll under all of the meat, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much.

Meat-The meat was extremely tasty.  I’m not too sure what it was seasoned with, but from start to finish the meat tasted amazing.  The meat was also diced up in smaller pieces like I am big fan of.  My only complaint with the meat is that I don’t think it was that great of quality.  The meat produced a ton of grease and there were some pieces of gristle and fat that I had to struggle with.  Overall the meat was cooked pretty evenly throughout and there weren’t any burnt or under cooked pieces.  If the meat was just a tad less greasy this cheesesteak would have received a much higher rating, plus their meat would have been some of the best tasting meat I have had in a cheesesteak since starting this blog.

Amount-The roll used was 10 inches which is pretty standard.  For the most part the cheesesteak was pretty filling and you can see from the picture below that it was stuffed from end to end.  The amount of fried onions they included was proportional to the amount of meat used which is good, but this cheesesteak barely had any cheese.  The cheesesteak could have used a least another 2 pieces of provolone to compare to the amount of cheese used in most other cheesesteaks.

Fried Onions-The fried onions were only average. There was a decent amount of them included with the cheesesteak and they were mixed throughout the entire cheesesteak which is a big plus, but they were cooked a little too long and they were too soft and a little soggy.  In all honesty they were kind of gross.

The cheesesteak from Tommy Mo’s Steak Shop and Family Restaurant was only average.  It was actually close to being below average, but the tasty meat was its saving grace.  Besides cheesesteaks Tommy Mo’s also offers other types of sandwiches, salads, and burgers.  The restaurant is a BYOB which is appealing to most people as well.  The restaurant offers plenty of indoor seating a large parking lot so you should never have any problems getting a table or finding a place to park even at the busiest times of the day.  They also offer take-out, delivery service, and catering.  One of the downsides to Tommy Mo’s is that they only accept cash but there is an ATM on site if you need cash in a pinch.  When visiting Tommy Mo’s you need to make sure you are paying attention driving on Route 29 because it can easy to miss if you haven’t been there before.  The building itself looks like house so except for the sign some people would never know that it is a Steak Shop and Family Restaurant.  So if you are driving on Route 29 outside of College I recommend driving a few miles north and stopping at Moccia’s Train Stop instead as they offered a slightly better cheesesteak.

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Cheesesteak Review #72: Moccia’s Train Stop of Schwenksville

December 28th, 2011 No comments

3.5 out of 5 stars

Moccia's Train Stop on Urbanspoon

For my 72nd cheesesteak review I ended up in the small borough of Schwenksville, PA located in Montgomery County.  Right off of Route 29, which cuts through the town, and right on top of the Perkiomen Trail there is a well known restaurant that has been the go-to place for many people for the past 30 years.  I am referring to Moccia’s Train Stop.  As usual I ordered a cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-The bread was only average.  It was a little tough at first, but it definitely softened up with the help of the grease produced from some of the ingredients.  It was definitely fresh and it had a normal doughy taste to it.  The roll that they used was your typical Italian style roll.  I’m not too sure of the exact brand of roll that was used either as this review is actually being written about 3 weeks after I ate the cheesesteak, and I didn’t jot down any useful information about the bread.  If I had to guess from just looking at the picture I would say that it was a Conshy Bakery roll.

Cheese-This cheesesteak was loaded with provolone cheese that was melted throughout the entire sandwich.  I really enjoyed the cheese as it had a nice and distinct provolone taste to it that most other places don’t have.

Meat-The meat was cooked pretty well and it was diced up in to small pieces like I am used too.  However; the meat was  kind of dry extremely bland tasting.  It had no taste at all.  Most places will at least season the meat with salt and pepper but I don’t think they even did that.  The meat seemed like decent quality as there wasn’t any gristle or fat that I had to fight with, but the bland tasting meat really hurt my overall rating of this cheesesteak.

Amount-This cheesesteak was pretty large.  The roll used probably exceeded 10 inches and it was stuffed with meat.  The amount of cheese they included was above average and the amount of fried onions they included was right on par with most other places.  This cheesesteak along with an order of cheese fries filled me up so I have nothing bad to say about the size of the cheesesteak nor the amount of ingredients they included within it.

Fried Onions-The fried onions were only average.  They were mixed throughout the entire cheesesteak which is a huge plus, but like the meat they also tasted kind of bland.  There were cut up in to small pieces unlike my last review where the onions included were long and stringy.  As far as how they were cooked goes, they were cooked pretty evenly to a nice soft and crispy texture and they were also browned to a nice caramel color.

In closing the cheesesteak from Moccia’s Train Stop was only average.  The cheese they included and the size of the cheesesteak were really the only things that stood out about this cheesesteak.  From talking to people I know and from reading reviews online I was expecting a lot more out of Moccia’s.  I’m hoping I just caught them on an off day because I really wanted to like their cheesesteak and I figured I would have because literally everyone I have talked to about Moccia’s Train Stop had nothing but great things to say about their cheesesteaks.  If you are in the Schwenksville area I do recommend stopping by this eatery but I don’t recommend the cheesesteak.  They have an extensive menu that includes pizza, Italian dishes and all types of sandwiches so I recommend giving something else a shot.  After all, this place must serve something good if it has been in business for as long as it has been.  Moccia’s Train Stop offers both indoor and seasonal outdoor dining as well as pickup and delivery service.  They also serve alcohol on site, both beer and wine, which is a huge plus.  The restaurant is really easy to find and it also offers plenty of off street parking in their own private lot.

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Cheesesteak Review #71: Salvi and Friends Pub of Bridgeport

December 3rd, 2011 No comments

3.5 out of 5 stars

Salvi & Friends Pub on Urbanspoon

My 71st cheesesteak review took me to my local watering hole in the borough of Bridgeport.  Located on 4th Street across from Chick’s Tavern (which I’ve reviewed in the past), there is restaurant and bar called Salvi and Friends Pub.  They recently added a cheesesteak to their menu so that’s why it has taken me so long to review a cheesesteak from them even though I have been frequenting them for well over a year at this point.  The locals refer to this place as Salvi’s, and that’s how I will be referencing it through the rest of this review.  As usual I ordered the cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-The roll they used was only average.  I don’t know what brand they used but the roll didn’t have any outstanding qualities worth mentioning.  The only thing to bother me about the bread was that the roll was extremely soggy from all of the grease produced from the meat.  From end to end and from top to bottom the roll was drenched with grease.  I don’t think there are any rolls out there that could have handled the amount of grease that was produced from this cheesesteak, so I can’t talk badly on the ability of the roll to absorb the unwanted grease nor can I let it hurt the overall rating of this cheesesteak.

Cheese-The cheese was probably the best part of this cheesesteak due to its strong and distinct provolone taste and the sheer amount of it included.  The only negative about the cheese was that the cheese was just placed on the bottom of the roll and the meat and fried onions were just thrown on top of it.  A great cheesesteak has melted cheese throughout the entire sandwich, not just on the bottom of the roll.

Meat-The meat was really tasty and it was seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper.  It was diced up in small pieces which is a huge plus as well.  There weren’t any burnt or under-cooked pieces either which is good.  However the meat produced a ton of grease.  This was probably one of the greasiest cheesesteaks I’ve had since starting this blog.  By the time I was done with this cheesesteak my plate was just one giant pool of grease and other juices produced from the sandwich.  I don’t recall having to deal with any fat or gristle while eating the cheesesteak which is good.  The greasy meat really hurt the overall rating of this cheesesteak.

Amount-It’s hard to tell from the picture below, but this cheesesteak was mammoth sized.  The roll used was probably only 10 or 11 inches long but there had to be close to a pound if not more meat used in this cheesesteaks.  Other than the huge amount of meat they used they included a ton of cheese.  The amount of fried onions was a little below average, but I’ll discuss them further next.

Fried Onions-The fried onions they included were kind of weird.  Instead of small cut pieces of onions they used long, shredded stringy onions.  You can tell what I mean from the picture below.  There were fried ok, but their texture was just too weird for my looking.  Lastly the fried onions were only thrown on top of the cheesesteak as compared to being mixed throughout the entire sandwich.  Lastly there were not very many fried onions included, which actually probably helped rating of this cheesesteak in the long run.

In all the cheesesteak from Salvi’s was only average.  Their cheesesteak could of received a much higher rating if the meat they used wasn’t so greasy.  For those of you who have been avid readers of my blog you know that I am on a quest to find Bridgeport’s Best Cheesesteak.  I still haven’t found an excellent cheesesteak, but to date the cheesesteak from Salvi’s was probably the best I’ve had since moving to Bridgeport, which isn’t saying much for the rest of the Bridgeport eateries I have reviewed.  So if you are in the Bridgeport area and craving a cheesesteak you can stop by Salvi and Friends Pub.  However; their menu includes lots of other much tastier items.  They also offer daily specials where you can get great deals on burgers, wings, and other things.  Salvi’s offers plenty of bar seating but they also have a decent sized dining room if high-top tables, and bar stools aren’t you thing.

I apologize for the blurry picture. I take all of my pictures with my cell phone, and I recently got a new phone and I haven’t worked out all of the kinks with it yet. Sorry.

Salvi & Friends Pub on Urbanspoon

Cheesesteak Review #70: Ardmore Pizza of Ardmore

December 3rd, 2011 No comments

5.0 out of 5 stars

Ardmore Pizza on Urbanspoon

My 70th review took me to the community of Ardmore located on the Main Line, west of Philadelphia.  For this review I ordered a cheesesteak from Ardmore Pizza located within the historic Shopping and Arts district of Ardmore located right off of Lancaster Avenue a few blocks away from Haverford College.  Ardmore Pizza claims to have been around for over 35 years, and I definitely believe them because it seems like they really have their act together as you will be able to tell by continuing to read this review.  As usual I ordered a regular cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-The bread used was a standard 12 inch Italian roll.  If I had to guess it was of the Amoroso variety.  The outside of the bread was a little crispy which was a little weird because it’s not like the cheesesteak was toasted or anything.  Other than that the roll was very fresh and it had a nice doughy taste to it.  The roll was also able to soak up most of the grease produced from meat, which wasn’t much, but it still did a great job.

Cheese-The cheese was pretty outstanding.  They used a really tasty provolone whose brand that I can’t quite put my finger on at the moment.  Anyhow, they melted it throughout the entire cheesesteak which is a huge plus.  They included a lot of it as well which is also a huge plus because who doesn’t like a lot of cheese?

Meat-By far the best part of this cheesesteak was the meat.  It ranks near the top of  some of the best tasting meat I have had recently.  It was seasoned pretty well, but the pepper definitely overwhelmed everything else.  The cheesesteak wasn’t too peppery, it was more of me being surprised by it that threw me off more than anything else.  I’ve had a few other cheesesteaks in the past that were a little heavy on the pepper and surprisingly they all received high ratings.  Anyhow, the meat was diced up in too small pieces like I am used too so, which is a big plus.  All of the meat was cooked evenly as I wasn’t grossed out by any under-cooked or burnt pieces.  In all the meat seemed like it was pretty high quality.  There was very little grease produced from it and there wasn’t any excess fat or gristle that I struggled to down.

Amount-This cheesesteak was pretty large.  As I mentioned earlier the roll was 12 inches.  The entire cheesesteak was stuffed with meat from end to end.  By the time I was done with the cheesesteak there was enough meat left over that fell out of the cheesesteak on to my plate to satisfy the hunger of a normal person.  There was also a ton of cheese included as well.  The amount of fried onions included was pretty much on par with most other places.

Fried Onions-The fried onions were only average.  They were mixed throughout the entire cheesesteak which is the primary thing that I look for when rating the fried onions.  Other than that the onions were diced into  tiny pieces and they were all evenly fried, so there weren’t any raw pieces nor any onions that were too soft and soggy.

In closing this was one really outstanding cheesesteak.  I typically don’t give out perfect ratings but there wasn’t anything bad about this cheesesteak.  So kudos, to Ardmore Pizza, the cheesesteak you created/served me is one of only 4 other cheesesteaks that I given 5 stars to out of 70 cheesesteak reviews that I have written over the past year and a half or so.  Keep up the good work!  I’m not too sure how anything else ranks on their menu as I only ordered a cheesesteak, but I’d imagine everything is probably pretty amazing from this place.  Their menu includes most of the same stuff that all other pizza places around this part of the state provides.  Ardmore Pizza only offers take-out and delivery services, so just a heads up if you are in the area and want to give them a try.

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