I believe it was in the comments beneath one of my recent cheesesteak posts that I addressed how many more steak shops I need to visit before I can put out a list of my favorites in the Philly region. Based on which places routinely get cited as being among the best by the very knowledgeable members of the Facebook Cheesesteak Gurus group, I estimated that I’ve got in the neighborhood of another dozen sandwiches to eat before I’ll feel qualified to give an opinion on which are the area’s best.
To that end, I’ve been focusing lately on trying to knock off another steak from that list about once a week. And in fact, I’ve now had three in the past 11 days. The one I ate today – at Da Vinci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Feasterville – turned out to be my favorite from that group and among my two or three favorites since I started eating a lot more cheesesteaks during the summer of 2021.
In sticking with the naming theme, Da Vinci’s is attached to Leonardo’s Italian Bakery, which provides the rolls for the Pizzeria’s sandwiches.
I was a little disappointed not to find anything in the way of pastries in the bakery after seeing some good-looking photos online. The incoming storm and the likelihood of people hunkering down at home may have had something to do with that. In any event, I did pick up an assortment of their cookies as long as I was there.
Da Vinci’s seems set up more for takeout and delivery than dine-in, but there are a few tables and since the place was empty, I decided to grab a corner booth and eat my sandwich as close to when and where it was made as possible. I’ve had a few over the months where the wrapping – either because it was on too tight or the amount of time the sandwich was in it – made a negative difference. So if I have a chance to eat one right in the shop where it’s made, I’m increasingly likely to take it.
This cheesesteak had a lot of cheese on it; definitely more than I’m used to, and that wasn’t a bad thing. The amount of meat was about average and it was well seasoned. Everything – meat, Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions – was blended very nicely. The overall flavor of the sandwich was fantastic.
But my single favorite part of this cheesesteak was the roll. Its crust was unquestionably harder than any I’ve had on a steak roll. There are cheesesteak-lovers who don’t think a real crusty roll is appropriate for a steak. I disagree. This roll was amazing. It may have been pre-gutted too, which is a thing at a few steak shops. They’ll remove some of the dough inside the crust before assembling the sandwich. There didn’t seem like much dough on this roll. If that was the case, I applaud their judgment. These guys really know what they’re doing.
I didn’t get a look at their pizza, but based on online photos I’ve seen, it looks very good as well. If you’re not that far from Feasterville and didn’t know about Da Vinci’s, I highly recommend giving them a shot.