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  • Richard Smith

A Good Philly Cheesesteak At Citizen Bank Park?

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Philadelphia and cheesesteaks go hand in hand. This iconic sandwich is practically synonymous with the city, much like pizza is to New York. The cheesesteak's origins can often be traced back to the 1930s, with the Olivieri brothers often credited for its creation. Their hot dog stand in South Philly saw the birth of this delicious invention: a sandwich with thinly sliced ribeye steak fried with onions on a long Italian roll. The key ingredient, however, arrived a decade later. In the 1940s, a manager at the Olivieri brothers' restaurant is said to have added melted provolone cheese to the mix, solidifying the cheesesteak's place in Philly's culinary history.

For tourists, the Oliveri's stand, Pat's, and their neighbors, Geno's, unfairly steal the cheesesteak spotlight. Their prime location across from each other and their long-standing rivalry make them a popular destination. The truth is, many Philadelphians swear by other cheesesteak joints scattered throughout the city. These shops often boast more unique variations on the classic cheesesteak, with different cheeses, toppings, and roll options.

So, if you're looking for a more authentic Philly cheesesteak experience, it's worth venturing beyond Pat's and Geno's. Ask locals for their recommendations or seek out shops with a strong reputation in different neighborhoods. You might just discover your own favorite cheesesteak hidden gem. This writer prefers Philip's Steaks on Passyunk or Tony and Nick's Steaks on Oregon. Tony and Nick's Steaks is a nice quick trip off of I-95, so quick that it is located almost directly under that major highway. It is also the Original Tony Luke's cheesesteak shop but with some family drama, compounded by an IRS fraud case, caused a name change. You will still find other locations branded as Tony Luke's around the area and at the ballpark. Tony and Nick's is also a good stop if on the way to an event at the nearby 2300 Arena, the former ECW Arena.

With all this food glory, can you find a good sandwich at Citizen Bank Park? We decided to explore this situation at a game we attended recently.

We found three strong cheesesteak options, along with a few more different types of offerings.

Since we talked about Tony Luke's earlier we decided to stop at their stand along the concourse. They offer a very good version of the iconic item for $15.99, which is not much higher than other locations in the area. This stand also offers a fine Roast Pork sandwich, another local favorite.

Located not far away is another legitimate option in Campo's. This is a popular family-run eatery serving up cheesesteaks, hoagies & specialty sandwiches since 1947 in the area. The ballpark location also sells its famous beef or chicken option known as "The Heater". This option is known as the official cheesesteak of the Phillies, as well as the 76ers, and Flyers, and takes it up a notch with jalapeños, buffalo wing hot sauce, and jalapeño cheddar.

Uncle Charlie's Steaks, in a small stand behind Section 109, named after 2008 world champion Charlie Manuel, has a good option served with Herr's potato chips for $17.99.

Those are the three main options but you can get a Cauliflower Cheese Steak, with Roasted Cauliflower, Poblano Peppers, Vegan Cheese Sauce, and Sauteed Onions on a Vegan Roll, at Harry the K's restaurant. This is a good healthy option.

An option for those with gluten issues is the Gluten-Free Dedicated Stand behind section 122. There is a gluten-free cheesesteak, along with other options such as hot dogs, salads, and brownies.

The answer to our question, can you get a good Philly Cheesesteak at Citizen Bank Park, we say the answer is very much a yes. This doesn't mean you couldn't ( and likely should) get another sandwich before or after the game as well. You only live once.

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