Then there’s the OTHER steak here at the beach

July 8, 2021

Well, last week’s column about steaks - the kind you grill and (sometimes) serve with A-1 – made some waves in my email inbox. Seems only right; this is the Beach Paper, after all.  Tidal references notwithstanding, there is indeed another kind of steak around here, and enthusiasts are militant in their loyalty. Makes sense: 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 the hero around here.  The old standbys include Delaware’s Capriotti’s with a firm and fresh roll.  The steak is thinly chipped and grilled with the all-important onions. Casapulla’s Subs near the Giant Food in Rehoboth also puts out an excellent ‘steak, with the main difference being the slightly softer Amoroso’s-style roll. Which 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 Rehoboth Marketplace center. Pete’s steaks are thinly sliced from never-frozen ribeye, and the chicken cheesesteak is dangerously habit-forming with marinated chicken slightly reminiscent of souvlaki.

One of the few places around here that will serve your cheesesteak “wit’ Whiz” is The Starboard in Dewey. I’m referring, of course, to that classic Philadelphia touch: Cheez Whiz. It’s nobody’s business exactly what it is, but it sure is good on a ‘steak.  Just a few steps north is the new Fat Vinny’s Sandwich Shop. The list of toppings is endless, and his sandwiches give “overstuffed” an entirely new meaning. One more Dewey destination is Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill with his already famous Original Turkey Cheesesteak. Yup, turkey. American cheese and an actual (toasted!) Amoroso’s roll make it a worthy contender in the cheesesteak debate. Two more Dewey spots for chicken cheesesteaks are Sunrise and Woody’s. 

Sunrise’s is stuffed to capacity with spiced, sliced and grilled white meat crowned with yellow peppers and onions. Jimmy O’Conor’s creation at Woody’s sautés the chicken with the onions, then tops it with cheese. I’ll say it again: Life is short. Get both.

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 the creamy white cheese, but also crisps the roll.

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. It’s fun to squat & gobble at the counter to watch the busy crew do their thing.

Yes, there are others, and I challenge you to search them out. Gourmand and epicure James Beard said, “Few people understand a good sandwich.” Stick with Beach Paper and The Rehoboth Foodie. We’ll steer you right.

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