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Friday, October 16, 2009

Mama's Pizzeria (Bala Cynwyd) - Cheesesteak

Appears a huge, overflowed mass of meat jammed inside a 12" steak roll. A molten glob of cheese is shown hardened on top of the meat and onions. This one looks like it'll eat me! - 4.5

The roll? Take one guess...yup! Conshy! Not a whole lot of need to carry on about the roll, as I've done before. Unfortunately, this time, the Conshy roll's integrity was tested. I think it did a fine job. - 4

The, I guess I'm caught in a conundrum with this. The amount of beef rivals, perhaps even surpasses the legendary amounts that Pudge's gives out in their steak sandwiches. Heck, I've read that Mama's is only 8 ounces in a sandwich. There's no way. When you lift the bag, it feels like a small sack of potatoes in there...but I digress. The steak is a nice cut too. I'm pretty certain it's thinly sliced rib eye that has been cooked nicely, retaining some juiciness. Here's the kicker: while the meat is plentiful, there is virtually zero seasoning found in there. In fact, I usually take out some strips just to taste it alone from the bread and cheese. Tastes like margarine. Lots & lots of margarine. It almost kills me to give this score(based on the size!) but I have no choice. Flavor is probably the biggest factor when making this score. - 3

The cheese: I try to keep the ratings even on the same playing field but sometimes I hit a snag that I just have to accept and chalk it up for what it is. I use American Cheese as my baseline. Mama's uses a "secret blend" of cheeses. If I had to guess...Swiss, Mozzarella/Un-aged Provolone, Mild White Cheddar. These 3-4 together(per my guess)would be ok for a topping on onion soup, or maybe a fondue base. I just don't think it was working for me. Too mild of flavors to cut through anything. It seems to meld together with all the margarine flavored meat & onions, making for a bit of a let down. While they have a nice method of getting this cheese melted throughout the sandwich by throwing it on the hot grill, it's the actual cheese choice that is the downfall here. Would American cheese have made it better? Possibly. I'll never know though. - 3

Overall, this sandwich is a beast. It's giant and I would recommend trying to split it with a friend, rather than trying to tackle it by yourself. It's good if you have the munchies, or just need a quick fix to be filled. If you want the best steak sandwich you've ever had, I'd keep looking. Mama's was one of my go-to steak places when I attended Saint Joe's on City Ave. My taste buds must've graduated since then too. - 3

Total Score: 3.5/5

As a side note, this place has a nice sized following. If you want a steak sandwich, be sure to call your order in because you'll either get stuck waiting for quite some time(my wait was 20 minutes), or they'll run out of fresh rolls.

Mama's Website:

Mama's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's hard to beat the size of this cheesesteak. I have been going there for close to twenty years and Paul does a great job following in his Dad's tradition. I order mine with pizza sauce and onions, so I never really noted the "Margerine" taste. The cheese blend is okay for me as I use blended cheeses in just about every dish I make. I have tried many of the "best of Philly" recommendations and always return to Mama's. Sometimes its tough for their limited days and hours and summer vacations. Always best to call ahead. Great review...I've added your site to my favorites list.