Amuse Bouche: An Authentic Philly Cheesesteak – “Whiz Wit” – From Tony Luke’s In South Philadelphia

Boom. Amuse Bouche is back for 2012 and we're kicking it off by highlighting some of Philadelphia's most iconic foods. First up, the world famous Philly cheesesteak. (Photo by J. Varney for GPTMC)

[This is the latest installment in our post series “Amuse Bouche Philadelphia,” in which we highlight must-try menu items at restaurants and eateries around the city. We’re calling the post series “Amuse Bouche” because, like a traditional amuse bouche that you might receive before a meal, these posts are intended to tease and excite your taste buds. Only we’ll have to try to do it visually. Hope you enjoy.]

Here in Philadelphia, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia.

Why? Let’s call it “precision sandwich engineering.” Everyone agrees that an authentic Philadelphia cheesesteak, first introduced by Pat Olivieri in 1930, requires thinly sliced ribeye beef and a somewhat soft/somewhat crusty long roll, but the choice between provolone, American and Cheez Whiz is a matter of great debate, as is the best place to eat the famed sandwich.

The good news is that no matter if it’s your first cheesesteak or your 101st, each bite is always worth savoring.

Pictured here is a steak topped with Cheez Whiz and onions — known as a “Whiz Wit” to locals — from one of the most famous cheesesteak shops in town, the incomparable Tony Luke’s in South Philly.

Go ahead and treat yourself to one. You won’t regret it.

Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks [Visit Philly]



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  1. Yo! Aged provolone, broccoli Rabe , succulent roasted pork, a few roasted long hots on a crusty roll!! Beats the crap out of the cheesesteak!! From a Real Philly Gal take my word the best is Paesano’s.

  2. Linda, i love a good pork sandwich as much as the next gut. But, it’s different. You can’t compare it to a cheesesteak. BTW, DeNic’s!

  3. Does anyone know what happened to Rick’s?? He was at the Terminal, then Liberty Place and, now, disappeared.

  4. The question y’all should be answering for us non Philly folks is:

    Pat’s or Gino’s?
    Cuz if I’m ever in Philly I want a real cheesesteak so i’m gonna go to one of those.

  5. Mad Dog,

    Neither Pat’s nor Geno’s.
    1. Johns Roast Beef on Snyder Ave.
    2. Tony Lukes on Oregon Ave.
    3. Jimmy’s on South St.

  6. Drove in from Texas to see family in Md. Va. Del. and had to have a philly cheesesteak and was told Tony Luke’s was the place. Ranked #2 when looking it up but I give it #1 Thanks Tony

  7. Back in the day, Pat’s Steaks cornered the market on Cheese Steaks and set the standard for copy-cats. Nothing wrong to copy…it’s a compliment, but when you dare to pawn off your own recipe as an “authentic” Philly steak, you’re guilty of false advertising. Another place built quite a reputation in my hometown of Folsom. Anna’s (we called it Annies) made then, and still makes the best cheese steak and hoagies in the ‘hood. They respected the pride of Philly and that’s where I go when visiting Del. Co. from WV.

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