If you find yourself driving in northeastern Philly, there’s an oasis in the desert of strip malls on East Lincoln Highway near Levittown, the 50’s suburban development dreamtown. It’s one of three locations of Steve’s Prince of Steaks, which was founded in 1980 by Steve Iliescu, who called himself a “Prince” in deference to Pat’s King of Steaks. It took just 12 short years for Steve’s to supplant Pat’s according to Philadelphia Magazine. They voted Steve’s #1 Cheesesteak in 1992, and as recently as 2007.
So how is this cheesesteak different from others? Unlike Pat’s, the Prince slices the steak rather than chopping it. In that regard, Steve’s takes after Geno’s, Pat’s lifelong deadly rival in South Philly. But Steve’s slices the steak thicker than most any other cheesesteak you’ve seen.
The rolls are sourced from an undisclosed bakery that meets Steve’s strict standards. It’s the primary reason that Philly Cheesesteaks cannot be replicated elsewhere. Much the same way that New York’s water is critical to making New York pizza dough.
The cheese includes the mandatory Cheez Whiz and provolone, but also a proprietary White American, which when mixed “wit” the Whiz creates a marriage greater than the pair. Help yourself to pepperoncini, or hot red and green cherry peppers— you too will declare, “The King is dead! Long live the Prince!”