I consider myself something of an expert on Philadelphia cheesesteaks. Yeah, that happened – I took down 3 cheesesteaks (6 cheesesteaks from 6 different places, over the course of about 6 hours, 1/2 each). I’m a huge believer that the best Philly cheesesteaks are found IN Philly – but I’ve long loved one place in NYC for a quick fix, since I can’t always get over to Philly just for a cheesesteak (though I’ve been known to do it, and will be doing it again soon). I’ve never posted about it mostly because I used to order it for delivery from the one downtown, or I’ve eaten it on the go, at a friend’s place, what-have-you. This time, the Daily News ran an excellent deal for 50% off Carl’s and my friend TC picked up a voucher. One Friday afternoon – the one pre-hurricane weekend, actually – feeling a bit unhappy, he offered to take me for cheesesteaks, sure to cheer me up.
There’s only one true cheesesteak in my not-so-humble opinion: Whiz wit’. Cheez Whiz and onions. Any other cheese and it’s just a cheese and steak sandwich, but not a true Philly cheesesteak.
Carl’s serves them up properly: on a soft hoagie roll that is easy to bite into, with chopped meat, onions, and Cheez Whiz smeared on it. Each bite of cheesesteak was the perfect ratio of bread to meat to cheese and onion… just delicious.
It’s too easy to just pick this up and keep eating. Which is what I did, until I had only half left (my appetite was still not back in full force at the time), so I took the other half to go – and one of the women working there packed my half up really nicely for me, which I super appreciated. Normally, I can take down a whole one easily. Oh, the deal came with fries – which were freshly fried and crisp, yum, and a HUGE portion! – and a soda. It was way too much food even if my appetite was normal.
I didn’t take a picture of TC’s sandwich because he got provolone on it, and that’s not a cheesesteak. Hahahaha! I know he liked his though – he’s been to Carl’s before and obviously came again. We both agreed that this is the best cheesesteak we’ve had in NYC. Yum!
Yvo says: I daresay that were Carl’s to open in Philly, it’d quickly become one of the places that people talk about as having fantastic cheesesteaks – not just ‘good enough to satisfy a craving when you’re in NYC instead of Philly’ but honest-to-goodness great in its own right. The cheesesteaks here are totally legit and if you haven’t had them, you should go try them as soon as possible. Even full price, they’re reasonable at $6.75 each cheesesteak (extra for certain add-ons). Go!