It’s not hard to screw up a cheesesteak. Anyone remotely familiar with Philadelphia knows what makes a good cheesesteak. Unfortunately, we believe the Larry’s Cheesesteaks does not always meet the narrow criteria for the ideal Philadelphia cheesesteak.
Larry’s is by far not the worst cheesesteak around, but there are definitely places that make a better steak. There are also a few glaring flaws that stop this Saint Joe’s favorite from being our preferred cheesesteak
1) The bread. The bread is arguably the most important part of a true cheesesteak. Bread that isn’t quality or fresh can ruin an otherwise great sandwich. Larry’s bread is alright, but not anything to write home about. All too often it’s soggy, soft, and chewy, lacking the Italian flavor that the cheesesteak was built on.
2) The taste. The meat on a cheesesteak needs to be seasoned and flavorful. Unfortunately with Larry’s, it’s often bland, boring, and dry. The cheese and whatever toppings you order are going to be all you taste on their sandwich. You might as well replace the steak with just more bread, because either way it’s going to be just as dry.
3) Quantity does not equal quality. Larry’s is quite famous for its “Belly Filler”. The Belly Filler is an absurd, foot and ½ to two foot long cheesesteak meant to feed an entire family. While this may be Larry’s claim to fame, it’s no saving grace. Cheesesteaks already aren’t cheap, so the Belly Filler will set you back quite a bit, and it’s certainly not worth the price. Larry’s cheesesteak is. already mediocre at best, so adding more cheesesteak to your meal won’t magically make it great.The “Belly Filler” (photo credit: Billy Kyle)
Larry’s is great at 2 AM on a Saturday while coming home from a party, and not much else. A good cheesesteak is worth whatever train, bus, uber, or carpool you end up taking to get there. If you want a taste of a real Philadelphia cheesesteak, check out Jim’s on South Street or Dalessandro’s on Wendover Street. Larry’s may be convenient, but it’s far from being the cheesesteak champion.