Philly Cheesesteaks and Webbers (Step by Steps & Short History included)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bearcarver, May 3, 2014.

  1. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Philly Cheesesteaks and Webbers (Step by Steps & Short History included)

    This Step by Step comes with a short History of Cheesesteaks & Webbers:

    The Philadelphia Cheesesteak has it's roots in Philly' starting back in the early 1930s. I believe back then it was called a "Cheesesteak Sandwich". Then during the 50s & 60s, it was called a "Cheesesteak Sandwich", "Cheesesteak Hoagie", Philly Cheesesteak", or just "Cheesesteak". In my area (Quakertown, PA and surrounding communities) it was called a "Cheesesteak" or a "Cheesesteak Hoagie", but anything in a large Italian Roll was called a Hoagie, such as Italian Hoagie, Turkey Hoagie, Tuna Hoagie, Roast Beef Hoagie, Steak Hoagie, Cheesesteak Hoagie, etc, etc.

    Then in my home town (Quakertown) back in the 50s & 60s, the best Cheesesteak Hoagies around came from "Smitty's". Smitty's was a Drive-in Joint, where they had about 12 to 15 parking spots in the lot, with speakers to order your food at each spot. Then a girl would bring your food to you, just like in the TV series "Happy Days". I liked it because you could go there right from work, or Hunting or Fishing, and be dressed all grubby & dirty, and not have to worry about going into a restaurant. I also liked it because in the evenings during the 60s it was a teenage hangout, and I was a teenager at the time. No drugs back then, but a lot of hot cars, hot girls, sneaking of a few beers, smoking cigarettes, and a couple fights each week. Sometimes even what we used to call a "Rumble".

    Back during the early 50s, there was a guy who was originally from Nashville, TN, named Joseph Webber. He had a Truck Repair shop in Quakertown, and often went to Smitty's for lunch. He ate in the small inside dining room they also had there. Joe wasn't crazy about the Cheesesteak Hoagie with sauce & onions, so he always ordered his Hoagie with Mayo instead of sauce, and lettuce & tomatoes, without onions. Waitresses there used to see him driving in, and call to the kitchen, "Better get a Webber ready, Joe's here!!" Before long a lot of people started ordering that same sandwich, so they put it on the menu, and that became the birth of the "Webber".

    After awhile most of the restaurants & sandwich joints around Quakertown started selling Webbers too, but Smitty's remained the best ones ever made & sold. Some of the places added onions to theirs, and some added Steak sauce or marinara sauce to the Mayo, but the only ones who made them like the original Smitty's Webber was Smitty's, the Pub (bar in the same shopping center), and the "Penn Cup" (a little round place) in nearby Pennsburg. Another big difference between a Philly Cheesesteak and a Webber from the places that made them properly was if you wanted Onions on your Webber, you'd have to ask for it, and if you Did Not want Onions on your Philly Cheesesteak, you had to tell then "No Onions".

    It wasn't long before a lot of places started making a similar sandwich, but it really wasn't made the same, and any place more than 10 miles from Quakertown called it a "Cheesesteak Hoagie" which was actually the name of a regular Cheesesteak at the time of the birth of the Webber.

    Fast forward that to 2014, and Smitty's is gone, the Penn Cup is no longer in Pennsburg, and the only place that still makes a Great Webber like Smitty's gave birth to is "The Pub" in Quakertown. All of the other places puts Mayo on the roll, then the Chipped Steak, then Melted Cheese, and then top it off with Lettuce & Tomato Slices. This is just not the same.

    So if you ever want to have a Real Great Tasting "Webber", you'll have to go to The Pub in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, or follow my directions below which is the closest I have ever come to the original "Smitty's Webber".

    Be sure to check out both of my Sammies below. The first one I will do will be the "Philly Cheesesteak" with Mushrooms, but No Onions, and the second will be my rendition of the "Webber".

    BTW: I would have to estimate that I have probably consumed in the neighborhood of 4,000 of these Sammies in the last 50 years.

    Thanks For Looking,


    First on the Menu is the "Philly Cheesesteak" (Born in the early 1930s): 

    One Pack of Chipped Beef:

    Break up by hand & start frying:

    Finished Frying:

    Sautee a mess of Mushrooms:

    Put sauce on your rolls, and a good amount of Chipsteak:

    Add a mess of sautéed Shrooms. You can add more sauce on top, but I don't like it all soggy with sauce:

    Add some cheese & heat it until melted. I prefer Provolone, but this is American Cheese:

    Next on the Menu is the "Webber" (Born in the early 1950s):

    Webber Ingredients----Chip Steak, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Mayo (or Miracle Whip), and Cheese (Provolone, Mozzarella, or American):

    Mix well Heated Chip Steak, Lettuce, Tomato slices, and Mayo (or MW) all together:

    Coat both sides of rolls with Mayo or MW:

    Heat the whole mixture, and fill rolls with it. Then top with Cheese (I used shredded Mozzarella this time):

    Heat until Cheese is melted. Result is "The Webber":

    Time To Eat !!!
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
    disco and smoking b like this.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I will take one of both.

    They look great.

    Thanks for the lesson.
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  3. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice Bear, them look great.... Hold me one of each of them, I'm on my way..... :driving: LOL.
    That's some good lookin eats there ! :drool As per usual, great meal & info ! Thumbs Up
    BTW, awesome story as well ! :biggrin:
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Adam!!

    I only know these things because I lived through most of it.

    I still eat these things, but not near as many as I used to.[​IMG]

  5. paulyetter

    paulyetter Fire Starter

    Those both look like very good eats. I enjoy a good cheesesteak.
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Where do you find your chipped beef? Only things I ever used was thin sliced rib eyes or upon occasion I'll use a pork tenderloin. Chipped beef here is like we had in the service little dryed pieces look like pepperoni and are great to patch wholly shoes.

    I do love a cheese steak, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, cheese and that fancy dipping gravy stuff. Mmmmmm..........

    That "webber" on the bottom looks mighty tastee~!
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That Webber sounds great. I have had Cheesesteaks all over Eastern PA and they always seem to come with Tomato Sauce...I have no idea why???...The real deal Philly Cheesesteak at Pat's  King of Steaks, est. 1930. Does not come with sauce but is the best I have ever had. If you ever get to Philly it is a must stop but....You better know what you want and how to order!!! I have seen those guys sent more than one customer embarrassed back to the end of the line. First off you tell them With (wit) or Without (wit-out)...Onions that is. Then tell them what Cheese, Provolone was original and along with American made it a " Cheesesteak ". Sometime after 1953, Cheez Whiz gave Provolone and American a run and is now the biggest seller and my personal favorite. Thanks Bear, now I'm hungry for a Cheesesteak!...JJ
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I can't agree with you on that one:

    I've been to Pats & Genos, and I can get better Cheesteaks at probably at least a dozen Steak joints just around here. And nobody in this Cheesesteak belt would ever use That Yellow Grease they call Cheese Whiz. Yuck!! I've worked around the Philly area, and had Steaks & Cheesesteaks from all over, and Pats & Genos are all hype. Provolone is the best way to go---Gotta be a little Stringy---Not greasy Yuck. Don't know how you can compare yellow slime to real stringy Provolone or even Mozzarella. Pats & Genos use it because they can put a stick in it & slop it all over the inside & outside of the roll. Maybe I can't really judge because only about 4 of the approximately 4,000 I've had were dripping with the "Whiz".

    Apparently what you like about theirs is the flood of oil from the griddle. That's why they don't need any sauce----It's already dripping. They do it because so many people love them greasy. So you're not alone----They do a Hell of a business there.

    Any time you come to this area, I'll give you a choice of a dozen better Cheesesteaks than Pats & Genos, but only one place for an Awesome Webber (The Pub).

    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Foamy,

  10. jwcnj4502

    jwcnj4502 Fire Starter

    Hey BearCarver where is the Pub? I have come to Macungie for the" Wheels of Time Car Meet " at the end of August many times and would love to try one next time we are there. Maybe I have already been there if it is in town.
  11. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks great Bear! I would polish off either one of those or both. Haha I can roughly estimate that I had about 4,000 cheesesteaks during my four years of college at St. Joseph's in Philly. Larry's is the best cheesesteak in Philly!
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    LOL... Ya know I had heard of the cheesesteak loyalty up yonder.

    Its one of the things I missed in my travels, my idea of a good cheese steak comes from Steak & Ale.

    I am like a cross between a cheese steak and a French dip! OMG!! Or just a good cheese steak with some fancy dippin sauce!

    Those sure look good Bear. Yep Yep Yep.... with fancy dippin juice!
  13. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Cheesesteak French dip sounds amazing. I have made cheesesteaks by heating leftover pulled beef from a chuckie I smoked. Pan fried the meat with some onions, topped with cheese and the the bun and spatulaed (is that a word?) it all together. I read on here somewhere that a restaurant does something similar using pulled brisket and calls it a hillbilly Philly. If I would have saved the foiling liquid from the smoked chuckie I would have had a French Dipped Hillbilly Philly. Haha
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Justin!!

    These are gone, but it wouldn't take long to make you a couple.

    Thank You Paul !!

    You have to go to Quakertown, near the corner of Rt #309 and Rt #663 to the Right---Rt #313 to the Left.

    From Macungie, take Buckeye Road (from Subway) to the light.

    Turn left, and go through Emmaus, and continue straight to Rt 309.

    Go South on Rt 309, through Coopersburg, and all the way to Quakertown.

    After going by WalMart, get in your left lane, and turn left at the light at "Boston Market".

    Stay straight to the left end of the shopping center. The Pub is near the left end.

    Awesome Webbers! Not big & not cheap-----You'll need 2.

  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great educational post! Get out my hoagie!


  16. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    Delicious looking Sammie's Bear!!
  17. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Two great looking Sandwees Bear!!!
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Bear, I like the Provolone too but most places do not use the best Imported Provolone Picante (Sharp and well aged). Most shops use the El-Cheapo Domestic Provolone that has ZERO flavor...Must be the reason for Tomato Sauce. [​IMG]  We will have to agree to disagree. To me the T Sauce covers the Beef taste and granted, Cheez Whiz is not a taste everybody enjoys. I will keep an open mind and hopefully someday I will be able to take you up on your offer...JJ
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---I can agree to that.[​IMG]

    The good places I go to must use the good Provolone, and if you look closely at my Cheesesteak, you will see that the only sauce is a little on the rolls, and that soaks into the rolls. The places that drown the meat & cheese with sauce we don't return to.

    And you can see the notation I made above the picture:

    Add a mess of sautéed Shrooms. You can add more sauce on top, but I don't like it all soggy with sauce:

    BTW: I believe our Buddy Philly Boy "SQWIB" calls Pats & Genos "Tourist Traps" that don't belong in the top 10.


    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  20. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thank You!!

    Yeah I'd have to say my biggest number consumed was between age 15 and 19yrs old---Darn near every meal. Then 3 years without any (Army).

    Thanks Foamy!!

    And yup, you're right a French Dip or Cheesesteak with French Dip would be Awesome!!!

    If you have trouble finding Chip Steak, just thin slice some Ribeye, and follow either of my methods above, and you'll be in Heaven!!

    That sounds Super too!!! Don't forget the Qview!!


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