Monday, August 31, 2015

Culinary mysteries

A few mysteries of the food world plague me from time to time.  Today, three arose in various conversations:

Why can't you get a Philly cheesesteak outside of Pennsylvania that tastes as good as the ones in Philly?

I know the bread is key, but surely someone could duplicate it.  The meat and the cheese (whiz or provolone, pick your poison) can't be that hard to find.  Yet I've never tasted a cheesesteak from anyone outside the Keystone State as good as those I enjoyed while living there.

Why can't you get barbecue beef ribs in most places?

They used to be available at a couple of places around the Triangle, but now I see them on the menu only when I'm in Texas.  Why won't more places sell these delicious hunks of meat on the bone?

Why can't you get great barbecue brisket outside of Texas?

I know I'm throwing down the gauntlet here, but the truth is unavoidable:  if you want great brisket, you have to head to Texas.  Sure, you can get good barbecue brisket in a lot of places (though none of them are around here), but I've yet to taste great brisket outside of Texas.  Heck, the fourth or fifth worst brisket in Austin is better than the best anywhere not in Texas.

If you have examples, particularly ones around the Triangle, that prove me wrong, please do let me know.  I'd love to be wrong about all of these.


Michelle said...

At least you have some barbecue places...nothing within 100 miles serves barbecue in my area. What I wouldn't give for a hush puppy and cornbread!

David Drake said...

Dear Mark,

You left Pennsylvania in your early '20s, didn't you? Maybe you need to go back then to have the desired cheesesteak experience.

About to turn 70

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Philly cheesestake, but I've never been to Pennsylvania so maybe that's the problem.


Mark said...

Thanks for the feedback, folks.

Michelle, we do indeed have great barbecue here in North Carolina--but only great pork barbecue.

Dave, I have been back since then, and the cheesesteak sandwiches were great. I was just wondering why they don't exist elsewhere.

rehcra, it may not be for you--or perhaps you're right and a trip to PA is in order!


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