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Jimmy G’s Steaks – Philadelphia, PA

Jimmy G’s Steaks – Philadelphia, PA

Probably the first thing that comes to mind from anyone who is not from Philadelphia is our beloved cheesesteaks. We have become the international hub for where to get the real deal. I personally think we should make anywhere else that sells them outside of Philadelphia become certified just like chefs who have to fly to Rome to become certified in pizza making these days. Well sitting in the shadows of the Divine Lorraine Hotel is a new contender Jimmy G’s Steaks (JGS). It is not in the nicest of neighborhoods, but if the gentrification of the area happens as it has been rumored for years that could change. They have a very nice courtyard at JGS for you to sit and enjoy your meal so I hope the neighborhood does get some things spruced up to have a nice view while having a meal. On the food front, JGS has tried to differentiate themselves and avoid the argument of what is better, sliced or chopped steaks by offering both options. I would try the sliced version.

jimmy g

The meal consisted of sliced rib-eye, whiz, ketchup and fried onions on a roll with a side order of old bay fries. JGS has a HUGE sign on the front of their building proclaiming “Best Fries in Philly”. The fries were seasoned well, cooked nicely, and a jumbo version of a French fry which I have not seen around much, but they were no where near the best fries in Philly. I could tell they were frozen and can name a dozen places with better fries. Now to talk about the cheesesteak. The sliced steak gave it a little more of a luxurious feel not having to worry about the steak falling out between bites, was a bit chewy though, but they did provide a decent amount of meat. The wiz and fried onions were of your standard variety, roll was fresh, but ketchup was a little heavy handed. For being fresh on the cheesesteak radar of Philly, JGS handled themselves well. The cashier seemed new so the order took a little longer than should have, but with time JGS may have a well trained staff and sights to enjoy around them. You may want to get there before the tourists or hipsters do.

Overall

Three out of Five Stars

North Broad Street Revitalization

Owl Breakfast & Lunch – Philadelphia, PA

The landscape around North Philadelphia and Temple in particular is mind boggling how much it has changed during the last five years. Higher end projects and gentrification is being pushed further up North Broad Street and are working their way up to areas that were previously plagued with only crime and blight. If the rumors are true about the Divine Lorraine Hotel finally going to be renovated, and with Bart Blatstein’s Tower Place at Spring Garden getting finished and the possibility of his Provence Casino being built, I think this trend will continue and the revitalization may be for real this time.

With an increasing population hitting the area, those people are going to need someplace to eat a nice breakfast. Could Owl Breakfast & Lunch (OBL) be North Philly’s answer to South Philly having the Melrose Diner?

OBL sits nondescriptly in the middle of the block between a Dunkin Donuts and City View Pizza on the 1400 Block of Cecil B Moore Avenue. The interior is bright, bland, slightly tiny and clean, with friendly service, and the usual suspects on the breakfast menu at reasonable prices. I chose a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel with salt, pepper and ketchup.

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The order was prepared quickly, with the bagel nicely toasted on the grill, bacon plentiful and crispy, with the egg perfectly cooked with just the right amount of condiments added. The Melrose Diner is not going to have to worry about losing their customer base to OBL anytime soon, but for North Philadelphia it is a nice change of scenery in a setting that makes you feel comfortable to enjoy a nice breakfast. I am sure if the transformation of North Broad Street continues, that OBL will transform with it to keep up with its clienteles needs.

Will I go back? If I am in the area, without a doubt. Until then, a visit to OBL is only necessary and warranted if you have early morning business around Temple to take care of and did not eat breakfast beforehand. They were good, but not something to go out of your way for with nothing else around to do just yet.