SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
- Joined Sep 12, 2009
Philly Cheesesteaks and Webbers
This Step by Step comes with a short History of Cheesesteaks & Webbers: (aka “Webers”)
The Philadelphia Cheesesteak has it's roots in Philly' starting back in the early 1930s. I believe back then it was called a "Cheesesteak Sandwich". Then during the 50s & 60s, it was called a "Cheesesteak Sandwich", "Cheesesteak Hoagie", Philly Cheesesteak", or just "Cheesesteak". In my area (Quakertown, PA and surrounding communities) it was called a "Cheesesteak" or a "Cheesesteak Hoagie", but anything in a large Italian Roll was called a Hoagie, such as Italian Hoagie, Turkey Hoagie, Tuna Hoagie, Roast Beef Hoagie, Steak Hoagie, Cheesesteak Hoagie, etc, etc.
Then in my home town (Quakertown) back in the 50s & 60s, the best Cheesesteak Hoagies around came from "Smitty's". Smitty's was a Drive-in Joint, where they had about 12 to 15 parking spots in the lot, with speakers to order your food at each spot. Then a girl would bring your food to you, just like in the TV series "Happy Days". I liked it because you could go there right from work, or Hunting or Fishing, and be dressed all grubby & dirty, and not have to worry about going into a restaurant. I also liked it because in the evenings during the 60s it was a teenage hangout, and I was a teenager at the time. No drugs back then, but a lot of hot cars, hot girls, sneaking of a few beers, smoking cigarettes, and a couple fights each week. Sometimes even what we used to call a "Rumble". Sometimes carloads of guys would invade Quakertown, from neighboring towns (Perkasie, Sellersville, Souderton, Pennsburg, etc, etc), and act tough, so we’d have to have us a real old fashion “Rumble”. No knives or Guns—Just a lot of Hooking & Jabbing!!
All just ended up with some mild Black Eyes, cut Lips, Bloody noses, and a bunch of bruises. Kinda good training for Vietnam, I guess.
Then Back during the early 50s, there was a guy who was originally from Nashville, TN, named Joseph Webber. He had a Truck Repair shop in Quakertown, and often went to Smitty's for lunch. He ate in the small inside dining room they also had there. Joe wasn't crazy about the Cheesesteak Hoagie with sauce & onions, so he always ordered his Hoagie with Mayo instead of sauce, and lettuce & tomatoes, without onions. Waitresses there used to see him driving in, and call to the kitchen, "Better get a Webber ready, Joe's here!!" Before long a lot of people started ordering that same sandwich, so they put it on the menu, and that became the birth of the "Webber".
After awhile most of the restaurants & sandwich joints around Quakertown started selling Webbers too, but Smitty's remained the best ones ever made & sold. Some of the places added onions to theirs, and some added Steak sauce or marinara sauce to the Mayo, but the only ones who made them like the original Smitty's Webber was Smitty's, the Pub (bar in the same shopping center), and the "Penn Cup" (a little round place) in nearby Pennsburg. Another big difference between a Philly Cheesesteak and a Webber from the places that made them properly was if you wanted Onions on your Webber, you'd have to ask for it, and if you Did Not want Onions on your Philly Cheesesteak, you had to tell then "No Onions".
It wasn't long before a lot of places started making a similar sandwich, but it really wasn't made the same, and any place more than 10 miles from Quakertown called it a "Cheesesteak Hoagie" which was actually the name of a regular Cheesesteak at the time of the birth of the Webber.
Fast forward that to 2020, and Smitty's is gone, the Penn Cup is no longer in Pennsburg, and the only place that still makes a Great Webber like Smitty's gave birth to is "The Pub" in Quakertown. All of the other places puts Mayo on the roll, then the Chipped Steak, then Melted Cheese, and then top it off with Lettuce & Tomato Slices. This is just not the same.
So if you ever want to have a Real Great Tasting "Weber", you'll have to go to The Pub in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, or follow my directions below.
BTW: I would have to estimate that I have probably consumed at least 4,000 of these Sammies during the last 50 years.
Thanks For Looking,
This is the best Shaved Beef Steak (Chip-Steak) we have found at the Markets:
My Roll, with "Tallarico's Steak Sandwich Sauce" & "No Salt" in the back:
Tearing the steak up is always Mrs Bear's job, because of her Patience:
Bear's Roll ready:
Loading it up, with melted Cheese on top---No Onions in stock:
Ready for the "Bear Attack"!
Next Night----Now for a Weber:
A roll with Miracle Whip, then a mixture of Steak, tomato pieces, and more MW: (Lettuce was out of stock too)
Topped with a layer of Cheese---I prefer Provolone, bu we usually only stock American:
Melt that cheese---Plus I added some Deviled Eggs: