Cheesesteaks: The untold story

June 12, 2014

You can’t be this close to the beach and to Philadelphia without bringing up cheesesteaks. Though the regional differences among hoagies, subs, grinders, spuckies, po' boys, wedges and heros could ignite a small revolution, the cheesesteak is still hero around here.

You can’t go wrong with the old standbys. Delaware’s Capriotti’s (next to the Safeway and across the country), does a great job with a firm and fresh roll. The steak is thinly chipped and grilled with the all-important onions. Casapulla’s South (behind Buffalo Wild Wings) also puts out an excellent ‘steak, with the main difference being the slightly softer Amoroso’s-style roll. Both places offer virtually endless toppings for the asking.

Which one is best? Life is short. Get both.

It’s hard to choose between the beef and the chicken at Pete’s Steak Shop in the Food Lion Shopping center. Pete’s steaks are thinly sliced from never-frozen ribeye and piled high on fresh rolls from Touch of Italy. The chicken cheesesteak is unorthodox but dangerously habit-forming with chunks of marinated chicken slightly reminiscent of souvlaki. This one will not leave you hungry!

One of the few places around here that will serve your ‘steak “wit’ Wiz” is The Starboard. The kicker is that classic Philadelphia touch: Cheez Whiz. It’s nobody’s business exactly what it is, but it sure is good on a cheesesteak.

Down by the Rehoboth Boardwalk, Louie’s may be synonymous with pizza, but they don’t call themselves “Home of the Grinder” for nothin’. The grinder is run through the pizza oven that not only melts layers of white cheese, but crisps the roll in the process.

Denizens of New Castle, Delaware know that the ‘steaks are the best-kept secret at The Dog House. But there’s an almost identical version right on the Boardwalk at Gus & Gus’ Place!

The similarity is amazing. By the way, there’s a new kid in town and his name is Otto. Charlie Otto, to be exact, and he, his wife and three sons are taking N. First St. by storm with a never-frozen steak sub of their own. Get the sliced cherry peppers (Pat’s Steaks in Philly started that tradition).

Another Dewey sleeper is, of all places, the Sunrise Restaurant. Get the chicken cheesesteak that’s stuffed to capacity with spiced, sliced and grilled white meat. Yellow peppers and onions top it all off.

Gourmand and epicure James Beard said, “Few people understand a good sandwich.” Stick with the Beach Paper and The Foodie. We’ll steer you right. No sense goin’ ‘round hungry.

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