As a food lover, there’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a delicious and authentic Philly cheesesteak. But what do you do when you’re craving this iconic sandwich and you’re nowhere near Philadelphia? Fear not, because the capital city of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. From the classic cheesesteak to unique variations with toppings like hot peppers and mushrooms, Harrisburg has a variety of restaurants that serve up this beloved sandwich. So, if you’re in the mood for some mouthwatering meat, gooey cheese, and a soft roll, join us as we explore the best places to indulge in a cheesesteak in the capital city. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, you won’t want to miss out on these delicious and satisfying eats.
The Origin of Philly Cheesesteak
The Philly cheesesteak is a staple of Philadelphia cuisine, and its origins can be traced back to the 1930s. According to legend, the sandwich was invented by Pat Olivieri, a hot dog vendor who decided to put some beef from a nearby butcher on his grill in 1930. A taxi driver who smelled the aroma of the cooking meat asked for a steak sandwich, and the Philly cheesesteak was born.
The original cheesesteak consisted of thinly sliced beefsteak, grilled onions, and cheese, all piled high on a long, crusty roll. Today, the sandwich has evolved to include a variety of toppings, such as peppers, mushrooms, and even bacon. But no matter how you like your cheesesteak, one thing is certain: it’s a delicious and satisfying meal.
What Makes a Good Cheesesteak
So, what makes a good cheesesteak? It’s all in the details. The meat should be thinly sliced and cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of seasoning. The cheese should be melted and gooey, with just enough to add flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
The roll is also an important factor in a good cheesesteak. It should be soft and fresh, with a slight chewiness that holds up to the filling. And don’t forget the toppings! Whether you prefer onions, peppers, or mushrooms, they should be fresh and flavorful, adding to the overall taste of the sandwich.
Cheesesteak Culture in Harrisburg
While Harrisburg may not be Philadelphia, it still has a strong cheesesteak culture. Many of the city’s restaurants offer their own take on the classic sandwich, with unique toppings and flavors that reflect the local cuisine.
One popular variation is the “Harrisburger,” which adds lettuce, tomato, and mayo to the classic cheesesteak. Another local favorite is the “Pilgrim,” which features turkey instead of beef, along with cranberry sauce and stuffing.
But no matter how you like your cheesesteak, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes in Harrisburg. From classic to creative, there’s a cheesesteak for everyone in this capital city.
Best Cheesesteak Places in Harrisburg
Now that we’ve covered the basics of cheesesteak culture in Harrisburg, it’s time to dive into the best places to find this delicious sandwich. Here are some of our top recommended restaurants:
1. Neato Burrito
Neato Burrito may be known for its burritos, but it also serves up a mean cheesesteak. The sandwich features thinly sliced beef, grilled onions, and a generous helping of melted cheese, all piled high on a freshly baked roll. For an extra kick, try adding some jalapenos or hot sauce.
2. The Sandwich Man
The Sandwich Man has been a Harrisburg institution for over 30 years, and for good reason. Its cheesesteak is a classic rendition of the sandwich, with thinly sliced beef, grilled onions, and melted cheese on a soft roll. The Sandwich Man also offers a variety of toppings, including peppers, mushrooms, and bacon.
3. Greystone Public House
For a more upscale take on the cheesesteak, head to Greystone Public House. Its version of the sandwich features ribeye steak, caramelized onions, and a blend of provolone and cheddar cheese, all served on a freshly baked roll. It’s a bit pricier than your average cheesesteak, but the quality of the ingredients is worth it.
4. The Jackson House
The Jackson House is a historic restaurant that has been serving up classic American fare since 1945. Its cheesesteak is no exception, with thinly sliced beef, grilled onions, and melted cheese served on a soft roll. The restaurant also offers a variety of toppings, including mushrooms and hot peppers.
Top Recommended Cheesesteak Restaurants
In addition to the restaurants listed above, here are some other highly recommended places to get a cheesesteak in Harrisburg:
- Philly Pretzel Factory
- Uncle Jerry’s
- The Progress Grill
- JoBoy’s Brew Pub
- Pita Pit
Cheesesteak Recipe for Home Cooking
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to try making your own cheesesteak at home, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 1 lb. thinly sliced beefsteak
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 slices of provolone cheese
- 4-6 soft rolls
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the sliced beef and onions to the skillet and cook until the meat is browned and the onions are caramelized.
3. Slice the rolls in half and place a slice of provolone cheese on each half.
4. Place the beef and onion mixture on top of the cheese, and top with another slice of cheese.
5. Broil the sandwiches in the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
6. Serve hot and enjoy!
Tips for Ordering a Cheesesteak like a Pro
Ordering a cheesesteak may seem simple, but there are a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the best possible sandwich. Here are some recommendations:
– Specify how you want your meat cooked. Some people prefer their steak well-done, while others like it more rare.
– Ask for extra cheese if you’re a cheese lover.
– Don’t be afraid to add toppings like peppers, mushrooms, or bacon.
– If you’re ordering from a new restaurant, ask for recommendations from the staff.
Cheesesteak Eating Challenge in Harrisburg
For the ultimate cheesesteak experience, why not take on a cheesesteak-eating challenge? At the Sandwich Man in Harrisburg, you can attempt to eat a 3-foot-long cheesesteak in under an hour. If you succeed, you’ll get your picture on the wall of fame and a free t-shirt. But be warned: this challenge is not for the faint of heart (or stomach)!
Whether you’re a die-hard cheesesteak fan or just looking to try something new, Harrisburg has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. From classic renditions of the sandwich to unique variations with local flair, there’s a cheesesteak for everyone in this capital city. So, the next time you’re in Harrisburg, be sure to check out one (or more!) of our recommended restaurants and indulge in this delicious and iconic sandwich.