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DINING By Frank Sabatini Jr.

San Diego Uptown News | June 24–July 7, 2011


Enter the City of Brotherly Love via North Park

Formerly an old, dilapidated house, Eddie’s Philadelphia Steaks, Hoagies & Burgers (aka Eddie’s Place) is now a shrine to the Pennsylvania metropolis, thanks to its abun- dant memorabilia and iconic menu choices that

Owner Eddie Lenhart, a

Philadelphia transplant, nurtures homesick brethren in this refur- bished Craftsman-style eatery, of- fering “steaks” and other hoagies encased in soft yet chewy rolls imported from Amoroso’s bak- ery, which has been making them since 1904 and is largely credited for the Philly sandwich’s renown. Lenhart also serves a decent, tomato-glazed meatloaf using a family recipe and served with those Philly-famous Tastykakes, which resemble Twinkies, but with butterscotch frosting instead of neoprene-like filling. “I haven’t seen these since I

moved to San Diego,” said my New Jersey-born companion, recalling how the packaged “krimpets” permeated his home state when he was a kid. “They remind me of beach-club food at the Jersey Shore.” Missing from the list of indig-

enous Philly foods, however, are the city’s famous soft pretzels and molar-clinging Peanut Chews. The void is filled with a host of other American classics such as chili fries, fresh salads, grilled sandwiches and charry pork ribs that are as luscious and smoky as those licked by mesquite flames at Phil’s BBQ on Sports Arena. There are chicken wings on the menu as well, although if you grew up in Buffalo you know that Philadelphia, like San Diego, fails to cook them crisply and sauce them evenly. Eddie’s does a much better job at chili and Caesar salads tossed with tangy dress- ing of the thick-and-creamy sort. The homemade meatballs are pleasing, too. Served as a hoagie, they carry nuances of fennel and come reasonably close to total tenderness.

But it’s the cheese steaks that

ultimately keep me returning. The sandwich upholds its legacy with flash-grilled, freshly chipped rib eye, sautéed onions and a choice of white American, Provo- lone or Cheez Whiz, all of which melt creamily into the meat. The cornmeal-dusted Amoroso rolls are crucial. Without them, you’re really not eating the real deal. The “pepper steak” comes with the addition of fried green peppers. Opt for the “pizza steak” and you get a zesty boost from marinara sauce. Or if your

Eddie’s Philadelphia Steaks, Hoagies & Burgers 3501 30th St., 92104 (North Park) (619) 228-2298

Prices: Appetizers, soups and salads $2.99 to $13.99; hoagies, burgers, sandwiches and entrées, $5.99 to $21.99

include the city’s famous cheese steak.

stomach is industrial-strength, “the works” piles mushrooms and salami into the scheme—maybe I’ll try it next time, since it’s one of the few burgers I’ve yet to try, other than a Cajun-seasoned patty crowned with blue cheese. In past visits, I’ve tried the

fish ’n’ chips, which, to my delight, deliver more fish than batter. The Reuben is also delicious—lean and juicy, and

see Eddie’s, page 12


$5.00 Micro Brews! & KEEP THE GLASS!

Switches every week. $3.00 refills. IN SOUTH OLD TOWN • (619) 501-3337 dessert . drink . dine

2244 San Diego Avenue (Between Bandini St. & Hortensia St.)

Open MTW: 11am to 9 pm, ThF: 11am-11pm, SAT: 8am-11pm, SUN: 8am-6pm

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