I could and very well may go on eating cheesesteaks in perpetuity. But it’s long been my intention to put out a Top 10 list for the Philly region at some point. In order to do that, I have to determine when I’ve sampled all of the steaks that have a realistic chance of making that list. I think I’ve done the best I can to reach that point, while recognizing that there are bound to be other steaks out there that are worthy of consideration, but which haven’t popped onto my radar. I’ll address how I’m going to deal with the eventuality of discovering those in my next post.
In the meantime, as of this morning, there were only two steak shops left to visit on the list that I’ve maintained. With a little help from my longtime friend, John, who has been my periodic dining partner during this project, I was able to knock both of those off Friday at lunchtime.
I started on my own at the last addition to my list. It was just within the past couple weeks that I saw one of the better known members of Facebook’s Cheesesteak Gurus group rave about a new place called High Steaks Ambler, which is in Montgomery County.
I knew they hosted live music at least once a week, but I was slightly shocked when I stepped through the door and saw what has to be the most old-school new steak shop I’ve ever encountered. In addition to having a classic rock wall theme and small stage, there was a counter with stools that looks like it’s straight out of the 1950s. I was extremely impressed.
While waiting for my cheesesteak, which I ordered with Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions on an optional seeded roll, I noticed that they get their rolls from Corropolese Italian Bakery. They supply several of the shops I’ve written about.
There was also a solid soda selection, which included an array of local brand Hank’s. I grabbed a birch beer.
I have to confess that while they aren’t bad by any means and are well-liked by numerous cheesesteak-lovers, I’m not a huge fan of Corropolese rolls, the primary reason being that they are softer than I prefer.
Beyond that, there seemed to be around a half-pound of meat on there, and it was juicy and well-seasoned. There was enough Cooper Sharp to suit me and it, as well as the fried onions, were blended in nicely with the beef.
While I don’t see this steak making my Top 10, it’s very good nonetheless, and is made even more enjoyable by High Steaks’ classic atmosphere. I may return for another at a counter stool.
After leaving Ambler, I picked up John and headed over to my second cheesesteak stop of the day; Goomba’s Pizzaria of Colmar, Pennsylvania.
They have no indoor seating, but there are a few outdoor tables for those who wish to eat their sandwiches on-site, as I generally do.
I visited Goomba’s in February and wrote very positively about their steak here. If my opinion of it changed at all during my return Friday, it was for the better. This is a great all-around steak.
I’m not sure where they get their seeded rolls, which come standard, but they are extremely good. The crust is just slightly crunchy and has a fantastic chewy quality. It was also bigger than most rolls, even those of the same length. That enables Goomba’s grill chefs to shovel 14 ounces of chopped ribeye on there without it seeming as if the roll is overstuffed. It was a well-proportioned sandwich, which isn’t often the case at places that use 14-16 ounces of meat per steak.
There was a lot of Cooper Sharp cheese, but it didn’t cross over to being too much. Added to the moisture of the juicy and extremely flavorful meat, it made for a fairly gooey cheesesteak.
There aren’t many cheesesteaks around that would have topped this one as a closing note for what has been an extremely tasty and enjoyable journey.
My next post will go into how I got started on this cheesesteak project and where the blog is headed from here. It will also include links to all of my cheesesteak posts in alphabetical order by the name of the shop or restaurant.
I expect to post that Monday or Tuesday. It will be followed by my best-of lists in the ensuing days.
As always, thanks for reading.