Philadelphia is the birthplace of the cheesesteak. But, the best cheesesteaks may have moved to the suburbs. Delaware County has more very good cheesesteaks per square mile than anywhere in the Universe! Yes, the Universe!
My name is Jim Pappas and I have eaten 873 different cheesesteaks in the last 3 years. I am on the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Adventure, my quest for the ultimate cheesesteak. According to an article by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Jan 15, 2020.I may be Philadelphia’s Cheesesteak Authority.
Drive TO 1,000! I’ll be at a 1,000 different cheesesteaks by the end of the year. I love finding new hidden cheesesteak gems and guest eaters. Please let me know if you have a hidden gem and/or want to be a guest eater.
In no particular order, 5 great cheesesteaks in Delaware County!
Johnny Paisano’s, 226 Baltimore Pike, Springfield
This is the best cheesesteak no one is talking about. I knew it was going to be a special day because I was with special guest eater Michael Opelka. This was Cheesesteak #400. Three Springfield police officers were eating at Johnny’s. This was such a great experience I do not know where to begin. Johnny Paisano’s very unassuming place tucked away between a bunch of other stores on Baltimore Pike. The roll was an amazing sesame seed roll. The meat was chopped, tender, juicy and a pleasure to eat. The fried onions and peppers were nice big chunks and I love nice big chunks, especially when they’re flavorful and they sat on the grill for a little bit so they blended in well with everything else. Very good amount of cheese and it was melted perfectly into the whole cheesesteak. This is one of those times where great ingredients meet a talented caring person that knows how to put them together. ‘Brotherly love’ is the secret ingredient in great cheesesteaks. Thank you Michael Opelka! You were a pleasure to have on the adventure.
DiFabio’s Market & Tap, 1243 N Providence Rd, Media
I got the cheesesteak with fried onions and mushrooms. This Cheesesteak lived up to my expectations. $10.95 wasn’t a shock but paying $0.50 for the fried onions was a little disappointing. Good amount of very good tender juicy meat. A very good amount of cheese. The cheese was melted nicely but I am going to be a little nitpicky and wish the cheese was melted a tiny bit better. Nice thick slices of mushrooms and big chunks of fried onions. They were very good. I nitpicked at the cheese so I’ll leave the fried onions or mushrooms alone. The roll, the roll was the weak link. The roll was standard and this cheesesteak and person making it deserve better.
Delco Steaks, 2567 West Chester Pike, Broomall
This could be the best cheesesteak in all the land. I am perplexed. I had guest eater Pat Murphy with me and we were eating our cheesesteaks under an overpass on 476 because there was a rainstorm and we couldn’t go anywhere due to COVID-19. It was hard to focus but I do remember thinking that the mushrooms and the cheese were getting lost in the cheesesteak. I did get Cooper Sharp and expected a whole lot more taste from the cheese so it could just be high expectations. There will be more trips to Delco Steaks to really put this Cheesesteak to the test. We’ll leave it at a 93 right now but see where it goes. Very good Cheesesteak experience.
The Original Thunderbirds, 2323 West Chester Pike, Broomall
A great place to eat since 1956. The brothers are doing their family proud. This is one of those places that when you walk inside you just feel good. It feels like everyone in there, customers and employees have been together for many years. Very good traditional cheesesteak. I am very happy they made some upgrades to their milkshakes.
Phil & Jim’s Steaks & Hoagies, 2905 Edgmont Ave, Brookhaven
Phil & Jim’s Steaks & Hoagies has new old owners. Costa and Dan, the new owners, worked at Phil & Jim’s well over 30 years ago when they were teenagers. They recently had an opportunity to purchase Phil & Jim’s. We should all be glad they took advantage of that opportunity. Costa and Dan have breathed new life into Phil & Jim’s. The day to day breath comes from Dan’s wife, Gia. This is the cheesesteak I think of when someone says, Cheesesteak. Traditional cheesesteak roll with a crust but the bread is accepting of the cheesesteak contents. Chopped meat with the cheese melted throughout the whole cheesesteak.