A touch of Philly here at the beach

Get it ‘wit’!
September 3, 2020

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. Capriotti’s (in Lewes 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. Feeling frisky? Ask them to add cherry pepper rings to the grill!

Casapulla’s Subs near the Giant Food also puts out an excellent ‘steak, with the main difference being the soft and yeasty Amoroso’s-style roll. Both places offer virtually endless toppings. Which one is best? Get both. Life is short.

It’s hard to choose between the beef and the chicken at Pete’s Steak Shop in Rehoboth Marketplace. Pete’s steaks are thinly sliced from never-frozen ribeye and piled high on baked-fresh-every-day rolls from Touch of Italy. The chicken cheesesteak is unorthodox but dangerously habit forming with chunks of marinated chicken slightly reminiscent of souvlaki. You will not leave hungry.

One of the few places around here that will serve your ‘steak “wit’ Whiz” is The Starboard. If you ask, big boss Steve “Monty” Montgomery will slather your ‘steak with that classic 9th & Passyunk staple, Cheez Whiz. Just across the street at Woody’s Dewey Beach Bar & Grill, Jimmy O’Conor dishes up a no-nonsense ‘steak with onions and cheese. No frills. Pairs perfectly with the fried pickles. Just sayin’.

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.

Can’t write about cheesesteaks without a polite nod northward: 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. A few steps west of Gus’ is Rehoboth Ale House. Kitchen boss Matt Reardon decorates his cheesesteaks with onions, ‘shrooms and the perfectly melty Cooper Sharp American cheese. A dollop of garlic mayo tops it off.

Feeling ethnic, but still lovin’ a cheesesteak? Just around the corner, Semra’s Mediterranean Grill serves up a cheesesteak wrap with a deliciously savory Turkish accent. It’s habit-forming. Try one and you can thank me later. Out on The Highway, new kid in town Atlantic Social offers a chipped ribeye ‘steak decorated with sautéed peppers, onions, mushrooms, provolone, lettuce and a bracing garlic aioli. Wash it down with any of their watermelon cocktails! Another thing you’ll thank me for later.

A Dewey sleeper is actually a popular breakfast joint, the Sunrise Restaurant. The chicken cheesesteak is stuffed to capacity with spiced, sliced and grilled white meat. Yellow peppers and onions top it off. Trek south from Sunrise for about a minute and you can tuck into the tried-and-proven Turkey Cheesesteak at Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill. Many years ago, Gary Cannon made this behemoth one of his signature sandwiches. You can get it stuffed with roasted & chopped turkey breast and cheese on an actual Philly Amoroso roll. Morph it into a wrap if you are so inclined.

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. No sense goin’ ‘round hungry.

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