Not just "eat," but "gorge."
And not just any "food," but CHEESESTEAKS.
As many of you know, I live in a suburb of Philadelphia, a city known for many things. The Phillies (we finally won), the Eagles (always letting us down), home of the liberty bell and, of course, The Capitol of Cheesesteak.
In the city, the hot spots for Cheesesteaks are Geno's (eh) and Pat's (yes). These establishments, just across the street from each other, serve as a Mecca to all heart-attack, indigestion-seeking folks. Some come to Philly JUST TO GET A CHEESESTEAK.
This is no lie.
There is tradition in ordering just so, lest you be sent to the back of the line in a Soup Nazi Seinfeld-esque sequence ("Whiz without," for instance). For some, there is glory in biting into the fatty slabs of cooked steak, smothered in more fat and, if it's an official Philly steak, Cheez Whiz. Could it be the stone picnic tables to eat upon? The ally way to relieve yourself in (well, the wall you are directed to relieve yourself on)? We may never know the draw, but masses flock just the same.
And, while I can enjoy the adventure of going to eat at the infamous, it doesn't reach the standard that a lesser-known suburban has set in my heart. It is here I find, what I would dub, "The King of Steaks:"
Pepper Mill has been around, seemingly, forever. The first cheesesteak I ever sunk my teeth into came from Pepper Mill. I would love coming home from school on a Friday afternoon and hearing the news that we were getting take-out from Pepper Mill for dinner. Unhealthiness never tasted so good.
Pepper Mill is located in West Chester, PA on the corner of a humble, barely noticeable, intersection. Most would not even know it's there, hiding behind the new and shiny Swiss Farms. Luckily, there is an aged light up sign with the letters "Pepper Mill" peeking out from the side of the building.
The inside of Pepper Mill could easily be mistaken for your neighbor's kitchen, with old wallpaper and brown wooden tables to eat at. It's a tiny space, and don't even think about paying with a credit card - they only take cash!
But the taste of their food is worth the sacrifice of charm. And maybe that is charming in itself!
So, if you are craving a good cheesesteak this Spring, and haven't given up unhealthy foods for Lent, take a drive to Pepper Mill.
Let me know what you think!
And if you think the place that makes YOUR favorite Cheesesteak can rival my Pepper Mill cheesesteak, leave a comment and let me know (I'm willing to take one for the team and go try it out. I mean, I owe it to the blog...)