Serious phood for the serious Phillies phan


Nothing’s sweeter than not having to retire your $150 Burrell or tattered vintage Schmidt jersey to the closet in October, because that means playoff time, baby! Phils fans have a gastronomical advantage (if nothing else) over other teams because of the sheer variety of foodstuffs that seem to just pour out of north and eastern Pennsylvania.

Phillies fans food tables should be groaning with good-luck regional fare like cheesesteaks, pierogies, shoo-fly pie, Frank’s and A-Treat sodas, Tastykakes, and the endless conga line of crispy snacks: pretzels, potato chips, cheese curls and caramel corn. Adults are allowed to quaff exorbitant amounts of Yuengling and Straub beers (the former which has a brewery in Tampa; the latter impossible to find outside the PA-NY-NJ area).

Get your baseball party started with this recipe for the classic Philly steak (“wit”) kindly shared by Frank Olivieri of Pat’s Steaks, Phila.

24oz thin-sliced rib eye or eye roll steak
6 tablespoons of Soya bean oil
Cheese (Frank recommends Cheez Whiz); American or Provolone works fine
4 crusty Italian Rolls
1 large Spanish onion
Optional: sweet green and red peppers sauted in oil
Mushrooms sauteed in oil

Heat an iron skillet or a non-stick pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and saute the onions to desired doneness. Remove the onions, add the remaining oil and saut the slices of meat quickly on both sides. Melt the Cheez Whiz in a double boiler or in the microwave. Place 6 oz. of the meat into the rolls; add onions, and pour the Cheez Whiz over top.
Garnish with hot or fried sweet peppers, mushrooms, ketchup.
Cue up Elton’s “Philadelphia Freedom,” sit back, and enjoy.

Are you a PA ex-pat in Florida having a hard time finding the comfort foods of home? Head over to the Amish Country Store in Largo, where you won’t be disappointed by the selection of chips (Martin’s are my favorite: cooked in lard!), lunchmeats, cheese, condiments, cookies, candy, sauces, and on and on. There’s still time to grab some good-luck food, so hurry over!

Tips for enhancing your game-watching experience at home: Grab red plastic cups and tablecloths from the dollar store. Find an old Phillies helmet, line it with napkins, and dump about 5 boxes of Mike & Ikes into for a table-topping treat. Freeze Kandy-Kakes, but not cupcakes or Koffee Kakes. Keep it simple on yourself, and offer only provolone for your party cheesesteaks. Chat amongst yourselves which Harry Kalas homerun call is the best ever.

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