My tour of the cheesesteak purveyors that made my top ten last year continued with a visit to Curly’s Creations in Levittown, PA. They’ve already gained legendary status for their steaks in spite of opening just a few years ago. In fact, when I first joined Facebook’s largest cheesesteak group in 2021, Curly’s was unquestionably the most popular steak shop among its many thousands of members.
It sits in the lower level of a shopping center parking lot in a building that had formerly been a Checkers. Although they only have perhaps a half-dozen small tables inside, my friend, Jim, and I were able to grab one after I picked up my order at the counter. Curly’s popularity is such that they gladly accept orders a day or more in advance. I always place mine the previous day.
Curly describes his menu as comfort food. It doesn’t really fit neatly into a single genre. In my three visits, the only thing I’ve ordered other than cheesesteaks was hush puppies. Crab cakes were listed on the specials board Friday. They appeared to be hefty and Maryland-style in a photo I saw of them online. I’d like to try one at some point.
They carry Kutztown sodas, which I’ve written positively about in several past posts, and I grabbed a white birch beer. I also noticed Aversa Italian Bakery roll boxes in the back. Their seeded rolls aren’t quite up there with my favorites, but they are high quality and sturdy. They would need to be in order to hold the amount of meat and cheese that Curly piles onto his steaks.
Curly’s reputation isn’t entirely based on the massive size of their cheesteaks, but that’s part of it. Their regular sized steak includes a full pound of chopped ribeye and a huge amount of cheese. They take gooeyness to a new level.
I enjoyed the steaks I had during my first two visits enough to rank them number nine in my top ten. That was far too low for a number of people who commented regarding the list on Facebook. But I’ve been clear many times that my ideal steak is more moderately sized and has less cheese in proportion to the meat.
That’s not to say Curly’s is unworthy of its vaunted reputation. It’s more about my personal taste. I could definitely see why it was so popular. There is more to their cheesesteaks than just the size. Yet at the end of the last post I wrote about them, I said I wanted to try their junior steak, which contains a mere ten ounces of meat on the same Aversa roll, the next time I visit. That’s actually closer to my ideal amount than the full pound in their regular-sized cheesesteak.
Rather than going alone and just trying the junior steak, I decided to invite Jim so we could split one of each size and compare them. Both were ordered with Cooper Sharp cheese and fried onions.
It’s tough to tell that there was a significant difference in girth between the two in some of the photos, but it was very pronounced from certain angles.
Both at first glance and taste, the first thing that jumped out at us was the massive amount of cheese relative to the meat on both steaks. My regular readers know how I feel about that. For many cheesesteak-lovers in the Philly region, there is no such thing as too much cheese. I don’t fall into that category. While I want to feel the cheese in every bite, it shouldn’t overwhelm the beef.
If anything, the pair of steaks we had today seemed even cheesier than the two I tried during my previous visits. In fact, I can’t ever remember having a cheesier steak.
It’s hard for me to believe anyone would order extra cheese at Curly’s, but I assume it happens.
To their credit, there were no big clumps of cheese without meat. The two ingredients were blended together very well throughout the steak.
Jim mentioned that the amount of cheese on the small steak would have probably worked well with the amount of meat on the large one, and I agreed with him.
I should mention that Curly’s does a superior job with the onions – both in terms of getting them to the point of near caramelization and mixing them in beautifully with the meat and cheese.
So my obvious recommendation is that those of you who love gooey cheesesteaks with a massive amount of meat and cheese should run over to Curly’s and order a regular steak.
Jim and I agreed that the junior version’s ten ounces of meat is enough for us. I’ll likely stick with that if I return to Curly’s for another steak.
5 thoughts on “Curly’s: Legendary for Ultra-Cheesy Steaks”
There are people who equate a large portion of food with how they value it. In their view, more is better. I don’t understand these types. It’s not the quantity but the quality that counts.
As to the amount of cheese that they want on a cheesesteak, if it’s true that some people can never get enough, someone should create a cheesesteak shop where you get a sliver of meat and about a pint of melted cheese on each sandwich.
Or better yet, serve them a bag of nothing but melted cheese and tell the customer that there is some bread and meat in there somewhere. Maybe that will satisfy them.
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A bag of melted cheese seems perfectly normal to me…
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No wonder they’re so popular. Nothing succeeds like excess
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