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Taking a Bite Out of Philly

Cillizza in Philly
The Fix enjoying some Philly cuisine. (Photo by Akira Hakuta /

Guided, as always, by the advice of Fixistas all over the country, The Fix (and his two traveling companions) sought out Jim's Steaks on Thursday afternoon for the classic Philly cheesesteak.

We are happy to report Jim's didn't disappoint. The Fix went traditional -- steak with cheese whiz and fried onions with a few hot peppers and pickles thrown in for good measure. Intrepid campaign chronicler Ed O'Keefe did the same; videographer Akira Hakuta shook things up with provolone cheese and raw onions.

The reviews? Let's just say that The Fix had to fight the urge to order a road cheesesteak on the way out the door.

Thanks to everyone who offered their thoughts about where to get the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 18, 2008; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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I miss your beard, Fixxie!

Posted by: michelle | April 22, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse


Even with the grossest sandwich imaginable crammed in his maw, and extremely hirsute arms exposed, THIS is STILL my dream man.

Mrs. Fix is one lucky broad.

Posted by: Steve-O | April 19, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris, you are really cute when your mouth is full..

Posted by: Caringthinkingperson | April 19, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you are really cute when your mouth is full..

Posted by: Caringthinkingperson | April 19, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

The Clinton family accepts $800,000 to support and promote the passage of a Colombian free trade deal that Hillary says she's against? Colombia is a narco-terrorist and anti-union state. Everybody here should be screaming and demanding her to return the $800,000 from her personal finances. Hillary... return the $800,000 NOW! To keep it is hypocrisy and corrupt.

Posted by: james Pa | April 18, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

CC made the right choice... except his compadre topped it off right with the Provolone... next time go with the Provo.

Now just to validate the opinions expressed on your blog, on your next trip to Phulluf-ya you should go to Geno's and experience the gut-wrenching tourist steak served up by the xenophobic Joey Vento, who represents more of the town than you might think.

But you've raised another significant issue: Will or won't Obama eat the cheesesteak, and where? Will it be "Whiz wit," or will he display some audacity and go with Provolone, even at the risk of raising the ire of locals? And will he throw his tie over his shoulder? wear a napkin around his neck? or will he just take it "as is" and risk the dribble-down? If some jester hands him a lobster bib and tells him, "put it on, its a local tradition," will he bite, like he did with the flag pin?

These are the questions that Axelrod must answer in the next conference call.

As for Hillary, will she venture to Geno's and pander to his "speak English" flock? Or will she play it safe and stick with Jim's, already anointed by the MSM's CC as a bloggers' top pick?

Please do some reporting on this and get back to us. And do take one "for the road" next time... along with a chaser of Maalox...

Posted by: scrivener | April 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"after looking at that picture, I'm ready to gnaw my fingers off."

no doubt. I'm starving. I'd kill for one of those right now. Except with provolone, not plastic.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

divalicias - "Obama refused to eat a cheesesteak in Philly. He ordered a fish sandwich rilled swordfish or something la-la like that. Weird."

Unfortunate that there won't be another debate so we can try and get to the bottom of this.

Posted by: Dave! | April 18, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

As luck would have it, I am heading up to Philly tomorrow! I have sworn by Tony Luke's but would be more than willing to try Jim's. Heck, at this point after looking at that picture, I'm ready to gnaw my fingers off. I will say that I recently saw the Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay where he challenges the absolute masters from various specialty type foods (cheesesteaks, grilled cheese, etc) to an unexpected cook-off. He challenged Tony Luke (not Jim). And Luke won.

Posted by: Dave! | April 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Obama refused to eat a cheesesteak in Philly."

Clearly this man is not ready to be President.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama refused to eat a cheesesteak in Philly. He ordered a fish sandwich rilled swordfish or something la-la like that. Weird.

Posted by: divalicias | April 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris, you've finally written about something that didn't lead people to post that So-and-So is a @#%$ or that Whathizname can go %#$@ his &%@#. Mmmm, that cheesesteak does look good.

Posted by: dognabbit | April 18, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the followup, Chris. Cheese Whiz used to be popular with SCUBA divers - as a handy fish food to take to the reef. Then it was found that the plasticized 'cheese' clogged the digestive tracts of fish, often killing them. Apparently human digestive systems are large enough that the stuff just passes through.

Posted by: bsimon | April 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

CC, Glad to hear that it was red peppers in your sandwich; for a second there I thought I saw ketchup in the picture. Aaack!

Regarding Obama's diet, does that mean Marlboros are vegan-approved?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 18, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

pass the swiss cheese. Maybe we can duplicate 1988 and 2004.

Posted by: Shrum Loves Obama | April 18, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to the Fix.

Now, when are Obama and Clinton going to eat a cheesesteak?

Posted by: philly guy | April 18, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Did you also go to the Flyers game, throw some beer at some Caps players, and then try to flip over the ref's car in the parking lot?

If not, you missed a chance to do something truly Philly.

Posted by: Dan | April 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

B.O. will make a great President and with any luck I will be given a campaign role in his general election campaign. I thought the flicking away off his shoulder yesterday was great imagery to show that B.O. is really not arrogant. Hopefully I can give B.O. more input like that on how to win a general election.

Posted by: Shrum Loves Obama | April 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

CC, you should brush up on your Miss Manners.

here, I'll do your job for you... in actuall Indianna political news:

"Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has won an endorsement from Republican and former Nixon Watergate figure William D. Ruckelshaus.

Ruckelshaus was serving as deputy attorney general in 1973 when he made history as part of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre. He and his boss, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, were fired after they refused Nixon's order to dismiss the independent counsel investigating the Watergate break-ins.

The former Nixon FBI director and secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency hopes to help Obama defeat Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in the May 6 primary in Ruckelshaus' homestate of Indiana. The state has been a longtime Republican stronghold in presidential politics.

"Senator Obama's ability to attract not only Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents, makes him uniquely qualified to build the broad coalitions needed to address our nation's challenges," said Ruckelshaus in a statement."

couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: drindl | April 18, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Primary Prediction Time

Who do you predict will win the Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary?


Posted by: Frank, Austin | April 18, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"Obama isn't a vegan."

Look. If Obama is a vegan, he should just own up to it. Inauthenticity is not an attractive quality.

Perhaps his higher life expectancy is why he's so bizarrely willing to bash universal healthcare.

Posted by: Petey | April 18, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Does this remind anyone else of the 'before' scene in one of those ads for antacid tablets?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

wow,This really makes me hungry on a friday morning!

sad to say, no such food here in the dc area.

Everybody should chill, and enjoy the perfct spring weather. Whomever takes the democratic nomination will surely defeat Mccain in november.

Posted by: pvogel88 | April 18, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Obama isn't a vegan.

Not that it should matter...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

"What does this have to do with politics?"

You obviously weren't watching the '04 Presidential campaign.


Worth noting that Obama being a vegan will probably have a negative effect in Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Petey | April 18, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

The Fix: Your source for Clinton campaign spin and local food reviews. Riveting.

Posted by: Blarg | April 18, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What does this have to do with politics?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Two comments:

Chris shaved his ill-considered beard off.

His elbows are on the table, and he appears intent on cramming the entire sandwich into his mouth at once.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

If you're not running for office, provolone beats Wiz.

But Jim's is the king, so you got one out of two correct.

Posted by: Petey | April 18, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

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