The cheesesteak survival guide

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August 31, 2017

Our proximity to Philadelphia and Wilmington requires, at the minimum, a working knowledge of cheesesteak materials and construction. Though the regional differences among hoagies, subs, grinders, spuckies, po' boys, wedges and heros is certainly the stuff of endless discussion, the cheesesteak is still hero around here.

You can't go wrong with the old standbys. Delaware's Capriotti's Sandwich Shop in Lewes does a great job with a firm and fresh roll. The steak is thinly chipped and grilled with the all-important onions. Like spice? They will grill cherry pepper rings right in with the meat! 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? Get both. The knowledge will set you free.

It's hard to choose between the beef and the chicken at Pete's Steak Shop near Michy's Relaxed Dining. 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. Don't expect to leave hungry.

One of the few places around here that will serve your 'steak "wit' Whiz" 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. There are some things we simply do not need to know.

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, not only melting layers of white cheese, but also crisping up the roll in the process.

Back up the road in Lewes, Pat's Family Pizzeria dishes up a tasty cheesesteak with the regulation chopped beef and onions. Possible toppings are almost endless, but if it's anything other than cheese and maybe some 'shrooms and peppers we don't want to know about it.

Denizens of New Castle, Delaware know that '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. A bit south in Dewey, the cheesesteak is a sleeper at Sunrise Restaurant. The chicken cheesesteak is stuffed to capacity with spiced, sliced and grilled white meat. Yellow peppers and onions top it off. No shirt, no shoes ... no problem.

Gourmand, epicure and educator James Beard said (between bites), "Few people understand a good sandwich." Stick with the Beach Paper and The Rehoboth Foodie. We do understand, and we'll steer you right.

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