I know, I know, Steve’s Center City doesn’t give you the REAL Steve’s experience. We all know this. But there’s no need for you to get all riled up just because I didn’t trek all the way out to Steve’s original shitbox on Bustleton Ave.
And I say that with the utmost respect. Steve’s Northeast location has a certain slutbag charm that you won’t find anywhere else – more customers per capita with calf tattoos, stools that don’t even come close to balancing on all four legs, neighborhood teenagers who will egg your car the second you find a spot – but please, shut up, just shut up for five minutes and cut me a break for eating lunch at Steve’s newer, cleaner, more convenient establishment. We all love cheesesteaks. We all love talking about stuff. So just sit back and enjoy a cheesesteak review without arguing for once in your fat, sweaty life.
Now, the main reason people go to Steve’s is for their liquid American cheese. The meat is tasty, the rolls are fresh, but the liquid American is UN-stoppable. Nowhere else will you find a cheesesteak joint that literally drizzles on American cheese. And yes, you’re right, they’re not the ONLY place who has it. I’m sure there’s some other place way out in Dorvsberg, PA where everyone drinks liquid American out of a golden tit, but for goodness sakes would it kill you to shut up for FIVE LITTLE MINUTES and just go with it? It’s 2014. An Algerian plane is MISSING. We’re talking about lunch here, people. LUNCH.
If you are freaking out because there is ketchup on this steak, you need to reevaluate your life.
Just like Pat’s and Geno’s – and its original Northeast locashe – Steve’s Downtown has two windows to order from: one for steaks, and the other for fries and soda. And I get it, I get why these steaks places do this, to streamline their orders faster, but if you’re dining solo like I was Wednesday afternoon, it can lead to a very stressful ordering process.
You see, after ordering your steak, you then have to wait in a separate line for fries and a bevvy (I got a cherry soda, obviously). Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but if your steak is ready before you order fries, you have to make the decision of whether or not to give up your place in line to go grab your freshly-made steak. I also made the mistake of telling the guy at the register that my name was Joe (which is not my name, but is a much more easy-to-understand name than Evan), and at Steve’s, roughly 87% of their clientele are also named Joe, so every time “Joe” was called, I had to shuttle-run back and forth between the two windows. I felt like Vince Coleman leading off first base, shifting my weight constantly, darting over toward the steak line and then diving back to my original spot before the taller, better-looking businessmen behind me ganked my spot. Eventually, it all worked out (because it’s honestly not that big of a deal and most human beings are totally cool if you’re like “yo save my spot”), but it did provide me with approximately two and a half minutes of VERY severe anxiety because I am a crazy person.
literally the shortest line ever
The seating at Steve’s Center City is much more spacious than their other locations. There’s a bunch of hi-top tables and stools, as well as some seats looking out the window onto 16th Street. Obviously those are the best spots for checking out hot Center City business chicks, but it also allows for said hot business chicks to catch you staring at them while strands of saliva stretch from your steak to your warm mouth. I chose to sit facing a wall. This was my view:
Not a bad view if you’re into tiles. I happen to not be that into tiles, but this spot did fine for what I was there for… dying.
The sandwich itself was fantastic. I’ve never felt worse in my life after eating it, but it tasted incredible. The way Steve’s meat, cheese and diabetes blend together is perfect. Plus, with each bite, a little cheese/grease kept dripping out onto my paper, giving me a nice pool of slop for my DIY cheese fries.
The only problem with Steve’s is that if you don’t eat your steak quick enough, the cheese tends to congeal into a pasty white chalk. I fortunately had no problem with this, because, if I may reiterate, I am a pig.
All in all, my Steve’s experience was top notch. The cheesesteak was dope. The cherry soda on point. And my butt waited a little over three hours before it exploded. I give Steve’s the perfect four cheesesteaks out of four – and recommend it to anyone who is hoping to die in the next calendar year.