March 20, 2018
Now that I've successfully pulled my rolled eyeballs back from the other end of their sockets, allow me to share with you this terrible, very bad, no good opinion about cheesesteaks.
Or, as actor, journalist and television host Maria Menounos recently put it, a "steak and cheese" — the equivalent of referring to pizza as "circular dough with sauce and cheese baked on top."
Menounos gave her bougie assessment of the Philadelphia delicacy while filling in for South Jersey native Kelly Ripa as co-host of "Live With Kelly and Ryan" on Monday.
Menounos is from Connecticut where her aunt and uncle own a pizza shop called Pizza Pizazz. And let her tell you, they apparently know how to make a real steak and cheese, unlike us Philadelphians. Per 6ABC:
"I had a masterpiece of a steak and cheese in this weekend," she stated.
On their menu is Steak & Cheese, described as 'Extra Lean Shaved Steak with American Cheese.'
"They were like 'how do you want your Steak & Cheese?' Well, thank you for asking. Cause when I go to Philly, it doesn't work out," Menounos said. "You got to melt the cheese on every piece of steak. Not too much. Every piece of steak has to have a bite of cheese on there. You got to mix the hot peppers in. I ate the whole thing."
Look, I have been a vocal advocate for variations of the Philly cheesesteak, and without trying the Connecticut "Steak & Cheese," I will not speak to its merits. However, regarding Menounos' pot shot at the entire city's ability to make a good cheesesteak, she's laughably off base.
This idea that a specific amount of cheese needs to be melted on each singular piece of steak is ludicrous. There is certainly something to be said for the amount of cheese and how well it is melted affecting the flavor. But when a cheesesteak is made properly, the ingredients — steak, cheese and onions — should be sandwiched so compactly that the flavors blend well enough that you shouldn't notice whether there’s one piece of cheese-less meat. What's more telling is she makes no mention of the cheesesteak's most important component: the roll.
It's almost as if Menounos hasn't tried many Philly cheesesteaks in her life and she's trolling because a certain regional football team she roots for recently lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Just a coincidence, I suppose.