It’s Good To Have Options

The title of this post is a line my wife and I have used with each other for years when apt circumstances arise. But it could also work to describe the experience of ordering a cheesesteak at Trev’s Philly Steaks of Feasterville, PA. While there has been an unmistakable trend of steak purveyors adding additional options to their sandwiches in recent years, Trev’s takes it further than most. 

The small shop sits on Bustleton Avenue, just outside of Northeast Philly and only a block or two away from Da Vinci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, which serves the cheesesteaks I ranked fourth on my Top 10 list in September. 

I had known of Trev’s for a while, but it didn’t seem to come up very often in the online cheesesteak circles in which I travel. I probably should have given them a shot sooner, but nothing I read gave me a sense of urgency until fairly recently, when they started to get mentioned more frequently and in very positive terms. On top of that, I took a look at their menu and noticed that in addition to the usual options of seeded versus unseeded roll, cheese types and various extras, Trev’s gives customers the choice of chopped or unchopped ribeye. 

That quickly gave rise to a plan to go there with a friend to split a couple cheesesteaks – one on a seedless roll with Cheese Whiz and fried onions and the other on a seeded roll with Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions. That plan came to fruition Tuesday, when I visited Trev’s for an early lunch with my friend Jim.

Trev’s next-door neighbor

I was aware that there was a hot dog shop near Trev’s but didn’t realize it was right next door until I pulled into their small parking lot. Perhaps I’ll check them out at some point. I’m always happy to try a good hot dog. 

The inside of Trev’s is what I should describe as a classic sandwich shop by this point. There were reminders of which pro teams play for Philly all over the small dining room, which customers walk through to get to the narrow back room, where orders are placed and the steaks are prepared.

That’s Trev working the grill. He handed our finished cheesesteaks to us through that rectangular opening.

While I knew what types of steaks I was ordering in advance, I wasn’t sure whether to get the small or large size for each. The roll for the small is probably around 8”-9”, while the larger one is about a foot long and wider. I tried to press Trev, who was the only person working there during our visit, for the amount of meat he uses for each size. But he wouldn’t be any more precise than telling me that there is twice as much on the large. I don’t have a real big appetite, but I was afraid the small steak would be too light on meat, so I erred on the side of caution and ordered two larges. 

It wasn’t a cheap decision, as a basic large cheesesteak at Trev’s runs $18, while a small goes for $10. Unless I’m just not up to date on the latest inflation-driven price increases, the cost of the large seems a little high compared to other places that sell similarly sized steaks. In fact, a regular customer who we chatted with while eating mentioned that the prices have gone up in recent months for that very reason. I confess that the desire to present you with more appealing photos may have played at least a small role in my decision to get large steaks. 

We were there before the lunch rush, so there wasn’t a long wait after we ordered. The first steak to come out was the one with unchopped meat on a seedless roll with Cheese Whiz and fried onions.

Cheesesteak 1: Unchopped meat, seedless roll, Cheese Whiz and fried onions

With the exception of Steve’s Prince of Steaks and my September visit to Pat’s, I don’t normally go to steak shops that do not chop their meat. There are a handful of well-known places – most of them in South Philly – that serve them that way. I’ll probably get around to visiting at least a couple more of them at some point. And when I do, the steaks will likely look similar to the one I had at Trev’s Tuesday – albeit with less meat.

It was fairly messy to eat, as the Whiz oozed out of the above average roll with nearly every bite. The biggest difference between this sandwich and those made with chopped meat is textural. It feels a little more like you’re biting into a tender thin steak than when it is cut up into small pieces. The presence of so much Whiz also made it a richer sandwich. I had to slow down after a few bites to make sure I didn’t start to feel full before digging into the other sandwich.

The other steak was ready shortly after we started eating the first one. It looks a lot more like the cheesesteaks I normally report on here.

Cheesesteak 2: Chopped meat, seeded roll, Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions

The roll was a little on the soft side but had a nice, chewy crust, while the toasted sesame seeds added an extra flavor dimension. There must have been at least close to a pound of meat on there and a proportionate amount of Cooper Sharp was nicely blended throughout. 

While not quite top tier in terms of the overall flavor profile, it was a very good steak. The meat could have used a little more seasoning, but I took care of that by adding additional salt and pepper.

In retrospect, I should have ordered a small steak for the one with Whiz. In addition to being more appropriate for my appetite, doing so would have enabled me to compare the two sizes. I will likely get a small if I return to Trev’s. Perhaps I can then fit in a hot dog from next door.

It’s also likely that any additional steaks I have at Trev’s will be with chopped meat and Cooper Sharp cheese. While I enjoyed the sandwich with Whiz and unchopped meat, I preferred the other one.

Published by BZ Maestro

I live outside of Philadelphia and have been food-obsessed for as long as I can remember. After toying with the idea of starting a blog for a fairly long time, the extinction of a food-themed message board that I frequented for years prompted me to finally take action. Thank you for taking the time to check out what I've been up to - and eating. If you've enjoyed what you have read and seen, please consider clicking the "like" button and signing up as a follower.

3 thoughts on “It’s Good To Have Options

  1. While I’m no expert on cheesesteaks, one made with sliced ribeye would remind me more of a French dip sandwich, especially if it was made with provolone. All that would be missing would be the au jus.

    With Thanksgiving now behind us the Festivus season has begun. And in the spirit, I have a grievance to air:

    It’s not *Cheese* Whiz, it’s *Cheez* Whiz. Where I live, a mistake like that could cost you your life. ;^)

    Liked by 1 person

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