Cheesesteak Review #76: Steak Master of Philadelphia

June 5th, 2012 1 comment

4.5 out of 5 stars

Steak Master on Urbanspoon

First off I apologize for the lack of updates for the past few months.  For some time I just didn’t feel like eating any  more cheesesteaks, but that has since changed.  I finally gave in to the urge of wanting a cheesesteak and I’m glad I did.  For this review I drove to the Juniata section of Northeast Philly and visited an establishment called Steak Master.  Considering the place was called Steak Master I was expecting a really amazing cheesesteak.  As usual I ordered a cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-The bread they used for this cheesesteak seemed like a Conshy roll on the outside but on the inside it has a slightly different taste than what I was expecting.  I’m not too sure if this difference in flavor came as a result of not having a Conshy Bakery roll for a while or what but either way  it tasted amazing.  The roll was very fresh and had a nice soft texture to it but it wasn’t too chewy which is a good thing.  The roll also had a nice doughy taste to it.  All of the ingredients fit nicely into the roll and because of the quality of the meat there wasn’t much grease that needed to get absorbed by the roll, but what was there was absorbed nicely which lead to a very clean cheesesteak eating experience.

Cheese-There wasn’t anything outstanding about the cheese nor was there anything terrible about it.  The cheese tasted just like any other provolone I have had in the past.  I guess the good thing was that the cheese was melted throughout the entire sandwich which is a huge plus.

Meat-The meat was my favorite part of this cheesesteak.  It seemed like top of the line sirloin.  It was seasoned perfectly and in all it tasted amazing.  The meat was extremely tender and it feel apart in my mouth as I was eating it.  The meat was also cooked evenly throughout.  There were no burnt piece nor any under-cooked pieces.  The meat produced little to no grease which is a good sign of high quality meat.  I don’t really no what else to say about the meat other than it was some of the best tasting meat I have had in the few years I have this blog.  The only minor complaint I have is that the meat wasn’t chopped in to small pieces like I am used too, however I won’t let that impact my overall rating of this cheesesteak.  Don’t get me the wrong, the pieces were small but just not as small as I am used too.

Amount-The size of this cheesesteak was just average.  The roll used was your standard 10 inch roll and it was filled with an average amount of meat.  The amount of cheeses and fried onion included was also pretty average.  If you get an order of fries with this cheesesteak you will be fine and won’t leave hungry, but if you just order a cheesesteak that may be a different story.  The size of this cheesesteak was nothing to write home about, but for most normal people I am sure that it would be enough to fill them.

Fried Onions-Just like the cheese the fried onions were only average.  They were all grilled to a nice soft and crispy texture and they were cut up in to nice small pieces.  The onions were also mixed throughout the entire sandwich which is something that is needed in order for me to give a cheesesteak a high rating.

The cheesesteak from Steak Master was pretty good.  The cheese, onions, and amount of ingredients included were all average but the amazing tasting meat made up for all of that.  This could have been a perfect cheesesteak with a little more meat, cheese and onions.  I’m not really surprised by the high rating I gave this cheesesteak as it did come from a place called Steak Master.  I had high expectations going in to eating this cheesesteak and I was not let down.  I definitely recommend the cheesesteak from Steak Master.  So if you are in the Juniata area of North East Philadelphia I recommend stopping by Steak Master and grabbing a cheesesteak or two.  They have counter seating inside for about 8-10 people and a few tables set up outside that you can eat at.  It’s by no means a large place, but I think most people probably get their orders to go.  T parking around Steak Master is all street parking but I went during lunchtime and I had no issues finding a place to park so I can’t imagine parking ever being an issue.

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Cheesesteak Review #75: Claymont Steak Shop of Claymont (Delaware)

February 12th, 2012 6 comments

4.0 out of 5 stars

Claymont Steak Shop on Urbanspoon

For my 75th review I travelled a little outside of the Philadelphia area.  For this review I visited Claymont Steak Shop located in Claymont, Delaware.  Claymont is still only about 30 minutes or so away from where I live so its located within the 30-45 minute range I am willing to travel to review a cheesesteak.  Claymont Steak Shop is located right on Philadelphia Pike within Claymont.  Claymont Steak Shop also has a second location in Newark, Delaware.  Just like the 74 reviews before this one I ordered a cheesesteak with provolone cheese and fried onions.

Bread-The bread used for this cheesesteak was kind of weird.  I couldn’t tell what brand of roll it was so I did a little research online and found out the roll was probably an Italian roll from Serpes Bakery which is located in Elsmere, Delaware.  I found this information on one of my favorite food review blogs, Philly Food and Beer.  I totally agree with what my fellow blogger said about the bread being too “soft and squishy.”  As I was eating the cheesesteak I was crushing the bread in my hands and all of the ingredients within the cheesesteak were falling out of the sandwich.  The type of roll they use for cheesesteaks is definitely not a great option.  However the bread tasted really good and it was definitely very fresh.  For other menu items from this establishment I am sure the bread works out a lot better, but their roll selection definitely hurt the overall rating of this cheesesteak.

Cheese-The provolone they used was extremely tasty.  I’m not too sure what type of provolone it was but it ranks up there with some of the best provolone I have had over the past few months.  There was a lot of it included with the cheesesteak and it was melted throughout the entire sandwich, which is what I like, and also leads to a much higher overall rating.

Meat-The meat was outstanding.  It was seasoned and cooked to perfection.  I’m not too sure what they seasoned it with, but it was amazing.  Most places just use salt and pepper but there was definitely something else they used on the meat.  The meat was also cooked well.  There were no burnt or under-cooked pieces.  They claim to use rib-eye steak that they slice themselves.  This definitely sounds right because the meat was of very high quality.  There was no fat or gristle, and the meat was tender enough to fall apart in your mouth as you are eating the sandwich.  There also was only a minuscule amount of grease produced from the meat, but the Italian roll they used easily absorbed it.

Amount-The cheesesteak was huge.  The roll they used was 12 inches and it was stuffed from end to end with meat, cheese, and onions.  This cheesesteak was probably big enough to share with another person unless you are a big eater like myself.  You can get a good idea of how large the cheesesteak actually was by clicking on the picture included below.

Fried Onions-The fried onions were only average.  They tasted great and all but some were fried a little long and got soft and chewy.  I like a little crunchiness with my fried onions, but when you cook them too long they get a little soggy.  The fried onions were diced up in to pretty small pieces and were mixed throughout the entire cheesesteak which really helped me overlook the fried onions that were overcooked.  Still, overcooked fried onions are definitely better than under cooked raw onions.

The cheesesteak from Claymont Steak Shop was really good, and I came close to giving them a perfect rating of 5 stars, however the roll they used for this cheesesteak just didn’t work.  If they used an Italian roll that was a little harder they would serve the perfect cheesesteak.  From reading reviews online, Claymont Steak Shop has won multiple awards for their cheesesteaks and I can see why.  Other than cheesesteaks Claymont Steak Shop serves up pizza, other sandwiches, and various types of entrees including everything ranging from ribs to pasta.  You can checkout their entire menu here.  The location I visited had tons of parking available and a medium sized dining room for dining-in.  If you find yourself in the Claymont area be sure to stop by Claymont Steak Shop and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.  You also might as well take advantage of tax free shopping within the state of Delaware while you are at it.

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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.

Mr V's Steak on Urbanspoon

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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