Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun Playing with Cheesesteak Wit Whiz in Twinsburg OH

My blogger friend Tom (Exploring Food My Way) recently referenced a post he made last year, describing a relative newcomer to the Northeast Ohio food scene - The Original Steak & Hoagies in Twinsburg, which promises to deliver the true Philadelphia Cheesesteak experience. I saw Tom's more recent post, and wondered, "how did this place slip through my radar?" And so, after a trip to the Geuaga Farmers' Market on a recent Saturday, we headed for Twinsburg to see if a true taste of Philly had landed in our proverbial back yard. Please refer to Tom's excellent post for some background on the genre, and the family that owns and runs Original Steak & Hoagies.


Orders are placed at the friendly counter - I ordered a small Cheesesteak Wit Whiz; Bob opted for Wit Provolone. As we sat and waited for our food, I was impressed by how exquisitely clean the place was - both the dining room, and the large portion of the food prep areas we could see from our seats in front of the restaurant.

We had also decided to share an order of fries, which was more than plenty for the two of us. The fries came up first:

The staff told us that they had just switched to this product, and asked how we liked it. The fries were perfectly cooked to crispy goodness and dressed with just the right amount of salt. Most important, they weren't greasy. Though not house-made "from scratch," we loved them.

Bob's Wit Provolone

Mine Wit Whiz

For those of you not conversant in Philly Cheesesteak speak - the "wit" refers to "with grilled onions."

This "sandwich consumption in progress" shot says it better than I can. The combination of an authentic roll sourced from Amoroso Bakery in Philadelphia, which handled the extreme juiciness of the sandwich with perfect aplomb, the creamy meld at the left of the sandwich in this photo of whiz, caramelized onions and tasty rib eye which had been chopped and fried to order on the grill, led to happy sighs. Our last trip to Philly was July 1990, but one bite of this sandwich took me right back.

We were having so much fun playing with our food that proprietor Bill Fromholzer stopped by our table to chat. I mentioned how the sandwich took me back to my last Philadelphia cheesesteak experience, and commented that next time, I'd have to try the Mom Mom's Meatball with Gravy sandwich. But before you could say "on top of spaghetti," Bill brought us each a meatball and a taste of gravy - made from scratch from his grandma's recipe ("gravy" is of course the Philadelphian term for tomato sauce) and piping hot; no microwave needed here.

The meatball tasted like a combination of different meats (probably pork, beef and veal), egg, seasonings, and just enough breadcrumb to hold it together - a great set of ingredients prepared with grandma-like finesse. And the sauce also sang with fresh-made flavor.

Since we were grilling sausage for dinner that night, we decided to grab a side of the house-made coleslaw to go with it.

This cole slaw had the flavors and texture of cole slaw as I enjoyed it growing up on the East Coast - chopped vegetables (not food service pack, and not shredded, but obviously chopped in house) with just the right amount of mayo, vinegar and simple seasonings (including a pinch of sugar, which always seems missing from Midwest coleslaws). Darn tasty.

According to the Steaks & Hoagies website, you can enjoy their products at Canal Park in downtown Akron (home of the Cleveland Indians AA affiliate Akron Aeros), in addition to the Twinsburg location on 10735 Ravenna Road. And free local delivery is available; call to learn if you are in their range. If you are fond of cheesesteak, Philadelphia, meatballs and gravy, or coleslaw - you will have fun playing with food at  The Original Steak &  Hoagies.


  1. This looks delicious!

    I have been following your blog for a while, so I just thought I'd finally say thank you for the great posts -- they've dictated a few of my recent food adventures.

  2. Ok. Now for some reason I've craving a cheesesteak sandwich. I don't know why!?!?

  3. Makes me hungry just looking at the pictures!
    Brings back memories of the "Reading Terminal Market" food court...YUMMM!!!