After eating at least one cheesesteak per week for a year, I felt the need to take a break from Philly’s trademark sandwich. But after a few weeks, the craving for one started to build within me until I couldn’t hold out any longer. The question was where to go to satisfy it.
While I made a good faith effort to get to all of the steaks that I had seen raved about online in an effort to determine the region’s top ten, there were a few that periodically pop up in the cheesesteak circles which I travel that slipped through the cracks. It’s been my intention to eventually get around to those to see if any of them are deserving of a spot on that elite list. And if any are, I’ll eventually revise it. I began that process today with a visit to Doc’s Deli of Lansdowne, PA.
Doc’s may not look like much from the outside, but the interior is gloriously old-school. It’s an absolutely classic Philly neighborhood deli – Tastykakes, pickle barrel and all.
I ordered a steak, and as usual, went for the optional seeded roll and Cooper Sharp cheese with fried onions. While waiting, I admired the place.
Soda selection is one of the themes I sometimes hit on in my cheesesteak posts, and Doc’s may have the best of any place I’ve been to since I started blogging. There was a wide array of fruit-flavored sodas, Pennsylvania-Dutch birch beer, multiple root beer options and much more. I grabbed a birch beer.
The sign on their roll bins indicated that their supplier is Liscio’s Bakery, which has come up in a number of my steak reviews.
The grill chef had a nice pile of fried onions going and ribeye spread out – I assume to make my steak. And the smell of the place was like heaven – probably because of what was happening on that same grill.
I had my order after about 10 minutes and was then faced with a decision on where to eat it. There is no parking lot or street parking in front of Doc’s. I settled for a spot on a residential side street when arriving, but I didn’t feel that comfortable sitting in my car and eating there. I considered going to a nearby parking lot, but since I live only 10-15 minutes from the deli, I opted to take the steak home to eat – but not until I unwrapped it to avoid any possibility of the roll getting steamed during the ride.
I snapped these shots before pulling out of my spot and heading home
I’ve gone into my feelings on Liscio’s rolls several times. I am not nuts about their seedless rolls, and the ones with seeds vary from place to place. This one was on the soft side. While I generally prefer a sturdier or chewier crust, the roll was extremely fresh and worked well with the rest of the sandwich’s ingredients.
There was an abundance of finely chopped meat and it was beautifully seasoned. I thought it was a tad dry, but that was conceivably the result of it being exposed to the air during my ride home.
The Cooper Sharp was blended in nicely. There was enough of it for me, but I can see people who love a ton of cheese on their steaks wanting more.
And the onions were nicely fried and added an extra layer of both flavor and texture to the whole.
While this steak would not have made my top ten list, it was extremely pleasing. I’ve written about a couple cheesesteaks that I described as having a sum that was better than its individual parts. And I would put Doc’s steaks into that category.
No one aspect of the sandwich was among the best I’ve had, but when you put them all together, the overall flavor was absolutely fantastic.
I’ve got another lunch outing planned for Friday at a place that specializes in both cheesesteaks and burgers. I’m not sure which I’ll be more in the mood for yet. You’ll have to check back in a few days to find out.