My quest for the perfect cheesesteak led me today to Overbrook Pizza on 63rd street (right next to the train station.) Some research had shown that this was Will Smith’s canonical source growing up in the famed ‘hood. He had mentioned them once on 60 minutes, and it seems a favorite of Saint Joe’s students who are willing to venture a LITTLE further than Larry’s (Kobe Bryant’s spot.)
Though not cheesesteak Nirvana, Overbrook makes a VERY solid product. Breaking my rule to never order cheesesteaks from a pizza place, I was happy that they only WARMED the roll in their pizza oven , and didn’t toast all the freshness and moisture out as is often the case. Only the very edges hinted at crispness, and the warmth was actually a plus (on this cold winter’s day.)
As there is NO seating, I consumed this from my lap, in my car, rather than deal with the City Line traffic marring the experience of biting into this freshly-prepared sammy. As it was 11:30, they were not too busy, and the sandwich was made to order. Their menu says “Our Prime Thinly Sliced U.S. Beef Steaks Are Cooked To Perfection And Served On A Hot Oven Toasted Roll.” I’m not sure the beef is actually U.S.D.A. PRIME grade, but the slices were perfectly marbled, and three of them hit the flat-top for my order. Using a highly unorthodox technique, the meat was cooked with the wax paper still on top of each slice until the last moment when it was chopped (coarsely, as I prefer) and blended with the (also coarsely chopped) onions and slightly sweet, but well-seasoned marinara. When this hot mixture hit the roll, the awaiting American cheese slices melted instantaneously. In the 60 seconds it took to walk to my car, it was the sought-after gestalt that marks an excellent steak sandwich.
The meat was very tasty, and had just enough bite to distinguish it as real beef steak. The accompanying fries were hot from the fryer. They were the type dusted in corn or potato starch to give them extra texture, and were a crispy golden hue. Very serviceable for frozen spuds.
I wish they had seating, as I am not a huge fan of eating in my car, but I would absolutely go back. It ranks among the higher steak places in the area.