Dueling Cheesesteaks: Jersey Mike's vs. Philly's Best

Categories: Dueling Dishes
jersey_mikes.jpg
Edwin Goei
Jersey Mike's
When I first posted about enjoying Jersey Mike's Philly Cheesesteak on my personal blog, the comments that came afterward were quite unanimous: I needed to try Philly's Best. Passionate opinions surround the sandwich, as is always the case when a foodstuff is named after the city or region that has adopted it as their own. Here's the breakdown.

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Edwin Goei
Philly's Best

The bread: Both purveyors used what seemed like the exact same roll. The outer crust is soft but impermeable to liquids; the inner crumb pillowy. Both function as nothing more than a vessel and insulation for your fingers against the hot griddled meat and lava hot ooze of cheese melting inside. Winner: tie.

The meat: Philly's Best's sandwich seemed to burst beef. There was, what I gather, a 60-40 ratio of meat to bread in every bite I took. Meanwhile, Jersey's Mike's meat stayed encapsulated inside the bread, and the ratio seemed more like 50-50. Philly's protein also had more flavor, just the right amount of salt. There's only an incremental difference in texture between the two contenders. Though both chew with more or less the same degree of tenderness, Jersey Mike's meat slices seem thicker compared to Philly's Best, which exists in curls and ribbons. Winner: Philly's Best.

The cheese: Both use what I guess is white American cheese, applied to the cooking meat to melt and fuse with it. Philly's uses a smaller amount of cheese, or perhaps it is just eclipsed by the quantity of meat. Jersey Mike's uses the cheese like a sauce. Every piece of beef taken from a Jersey Mike's cheesesteak seems coated with a veneer of cheese. Much of the flavor of Jersey Mike's sandwich comes from this cheese as well as the red pepper and onion. Winner: Jersey Mike's.

The cost: Philly's Best 10-inch sub, $5.99. Jersey Mike's 7.5-inch sub, $7.95. Winner: Need I say it?

The winner: Philly's Best.

Jersey Mike's Subs, 16525 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92606-4943, (949) 955-2400
Philly's Best, 4250 Barranca Pkwy. Ste R., Irvine, CA 92604, (949) 857-2448



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16 comments
christoofar
christoofar

omg..went to Philly's Best on Brookhurst on a whim today for lunch , got a prov+ onions cheesesteak sammich, daayyyyyum that was GOOD! The texture of the bun made me weep gratefully. Gotta try wiz next time!!

david
david

Should do a John's Philly Grille vs Phillys Best battle next.  They are both good but different.  For one John's roll has a thin crispy crust vs uniformly soft roll at Philly's Best.  If you like mushrooms with your cheesesteak then John's is the place because they use fresh ones instead of canned like at Philly's Best. 

MikeHu
MikeHu

Well, duh?  Actually, youze can get cheese wiz or provolone at PB, if you don't want white american.  I like all their sandwiches, and Wise potato chips, just like back home.  Hoagies are great.  

fluffatu
fluffatu

Of course Phillys Best wins. Hands down. I lived 20 years in Northeast Philadelphia and Phillys Best is the closest to what is served at home. Yes- over Jersey Mikes, Franks Philadelphia, Johns Philly Grille.....tried them all at Phillys Best is the winner and still champion.

FYI-If you order a cheesesteak in  basically any cheesesteak shop in Philadelphia and do not specify what cheese to put on your sandwich, they will put on white american nine times out of ten.

Amoroso rolls, Tastykakes, Frank's soda, Wise chips....more reason to crown Phillys Best the winner.

Jersey Mikes is fine for cold sandwiches, but fell waaaay short in the authentic and specialized department.

DanGarion
DanGarion

I've tried both, and I don't think Jersey Mike's uses the same type of roll, Philly's Best uses an Amoroso roll which has some specific traits, while Mike's uses the same roll they use for sandwiches.  Philly's is still the best of the two, especially because of the price, but the Mike's isn't a bad version.

ocddot
ocddot

 What about frank's philadelpia? They are the best in OC.

Josh
Josh

Not even close man.  Philly's Best dominates Jersey Mikes.  The rolls are flown in from the East Coast.  The meat and cheese are way better.  And again, the cost isn't even in the same ballpark (JM = ripoff).  Oh, and the best part, Philly Best's onion rings.  So good.  Smash a few of those into your sandwich.  Holy crap!  At least you picked the correct winner but it shouldn't have been close. 

Todd Johnson
Todd Johnson

 I think the key to the Philly's Best cheesesteak is the peppers. 

hungrypoppa
hungrypoppa

 Edwin, you need to try the Philly's cheese stake with Cheese Wiz and onions! I am am just guessing since your picture above lacks it! There my friend is a piece of heaven.

JB
JB

Hey!  Wise chips are 100% NYC!  But Tastykake slaughters NY packaged processed sweets!!

david
david

The meat at Frank's is in chunks like carne asada.  I like sliced meat better personally.  Plus the bread there is too chewy.

MJHirsch
MJHirsch

 ocddot beat me to it.  Franks kicks the crap out of everything in OC.  

christoofar
christoofar

agreed! I PILED them on that bad boy today

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Also known as the "Wiz-wit". I prefer provolone-wit myself.

JB
JB

I agree, Cheese Wiz and fried onions = what I would define as cheesesteak.  Honestly, from the photos, both of these places look like they serve "curls and ribbons" of inferior meat on those tasteless, soft, doughy, "Amoroso's" rolls. 

What your really need to do is plan a weekend trip to Philadelphia and go to GENO'S STEAKS at 9th and Passyunk in South Philly and have one with thinly-sliced (not chopped "curls and ribbons") rib-eye topped with melted 'Wiz on a crispy, crusty Italian roll that absorbs the meat juice and the liquified cheese.  I usually inhale the things and then get right back in line for a second.

Seriously, go, they got the Liberty Bell there too.  You will never eat one of these poser steaks again if you go to Geno's. 

JB
JB

I can remember 20+ years ago when we'd say "Melted with" at the Geno's window..."melted" meaning Cheese Wiz, and "with" of course meaning with fried onions.  I vaguely remember the menu board even calling Wiz "melted."

Don't get me wrong, I love fish tacos and french dip sandwiches and Balboa bars, but my rapture meal would definitely include two Geno's cheesesteaks.....

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