One of the things I love about living in DC is that not only do we live in a great city – which has in recent years become a great food city – but we’re also a quick drive, bus ride or train from other great places to visit and EAT. Case in point: Philadelphia.
I’m a Georgetown grad, and Villanova fans will tell you that we’re rivals. I’m not so sure about that, but I will say this – when Georgetown plays at Villanova, I always try to go up for the weekend. We usually get a group of friends together, pack into a couple cars, and crash on our friends’ (or our friends’ parents’) couches and floors. Side note: I know that I’m rapidly approaching the day when I’ll be too old to do that. Some might say that day has already passed. I’m OK with that.
The game is always a blast. I’ll never forget Jessie Sapp stunning the home crowd with a half-court three as the first half buzzer sounded, and then joining fellow Georgetown fans in singing “You wish you had Jessie Sapp” to the tune of “Jessie’s Girl” as we waited in the beer lines.
After the game is when the real fun begins, because Philly is an awesome place to go out. When you’re used to D.C. bar and taxi prices, you feel like a millionaire in Philly. Everything is so cheap! A Yeungling and a whiskey shot for $3? Yes, please.
But the highlight is always the cheese steak. I’m a Pat’s guy myself. Pat’s is the original and still the best. Thin-sliced steak, gooey melted cheese, and onions on a soft roll. Pat’s doesn’t need the flashy neon signs that you see across the street at Geno’s. They just make great cheese steaks. And, of course, they top them in the classic way – with Cheeze Whiz. Whiz wit (with onions) for me, every time.
If you love this classic Philly dish as much as I do, you have to recreate it at home on the grill. It’s really easy. You just need a few ingredients. And it tastes freakin’ awesome.
Note: I used “London Broil,” which isn’t really a cut of meat but a way of preparing flank steak or skirt steak. But since flank steaks are almost always labeled at the grocery store as “London broil,” I’m calling it that in the ingredient list to keep things simple.
1 London broil
1 ½ cups London broil marinade (recipe here) or any marinade of your choice. I’d recommend something that won’t overpower the flavor of the meat.
1 green bell pepper (optional)
4 Hoagie rolls
1 jar Cheese Whiz
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. Pour marinade over meat and let sit overnight, or at least two hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before you plan to grill so it can reach room temperature.
2. While your coals are getting hot, chop the onion into quarters and place on skewer, like so:
3. If you’re using a bell pepper, cut that into quarters as well.
4. Grill the meat over direct for 5 minutes on each side, then remove from grill and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
5. While the meat is resting, grill the onions and peppers for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they get a little char.
6. Slice the meat diagonally, against the grain, as thinly as possible.
7. Chop the grilled onions and peppers.
8. Place a cast iron pan directly on the grill. Heat the vegetable oil, heat, then add sliced meat and chopped peppers and onions. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until hot.
9. Toast the hoagie rolls for about two minutes on the grill.
10. While the rolls are toasting, microwave the Whiz for about a minute, until it’s piping hot.
11. Serve the meat, onions and peppers onto the toasted rolls, then top with cheese. Enjoy!
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