Category Archives: On the Road

Postcard from the road: Philadelphia


If you have ever been to Philadelphia, you have probably tried the authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich. Although the word “authentic” is kind of in the eye, or should we say on the palate, of the beholder.

The two most famous places, the places everyone who lives here or has been here tells you to go for cheesesteaks, are Geno’s and Pat’s. They are direct competitors in the literal sense, sitting across the street from each other near downtown. And another local favorite is Tony Luke’s, which actually sells its product inside Citizens Bank Park during Phillies games.

But my personal choice is none of those. My personal choice, which you seen pictured here, comes from a place called Jim’s Steaks on South Street (South and 4th, to be exact). It’s a hole in the wall with limited seating, but these sandwiches are worth whatever inconvenience you have to endure in order to eat one. I prefer mind with provolone and (lost of) onions, but you can also get it with mushrooms and other types of cheese, including American and that monstrosity known as Cheese Whiz. Anyway, in order to have one for dinner last night, I braved a South Street street fair, which resulted in the notoriously sparse parking in that neighborhood being reduced to basically non-existent, and I braved a long line at the counter — although it got a lot longer AFTER I got in it, as it soon stretched out onto the sidewalk. And this was at 10:30 at night.

I haven’t actually been to Philly for a couple of years. When I arrived, I found that the walk from the gate area to the baggage claim now includes this little stretch where you walk through a bunch of secure double doors that automatically slide open for you (as opposed to swinging open) as you approach them. You walk through several of these double doors, one right after another. And as I was doing so, for some reason the theme song from Get Smart started playing in my head.

I’m talking the old ’60s TV series starring the late Don Adams. Not that bad movie with Steve Carell in it.

This, by the way, was the Dodgers’ last off-day for two weeks.