When one of your co-workers is from Philadelphia and has moved to Wichita in the past couple
years, wouldn’t it be nice to give him a taste of home?
Well now you can!
T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies, located at 2251 E 21st st near 21st and Grove, advertises themselves as a Taste of Philadelphia Style or better yet T.O.P.S. for short.
They are open from 8 am to 8 pm Monday thru Saturday and closed on Sunday. They serve breakfast from 8 am to 11 am. They have a website available at: http://www.topssteaksandhoagies.com/ – I will also post a copy of their menu at the end of this blog.
When you arrive, the place is very small inside. There are four two-seater tables inside and a couple tables outside. It’s not the most ideal place for a big crowd. If you’re not an Philadelphia Eagles fan, you could be turned off by the decor on the building. I didn’t see a Tim Tebow picture up yet, so the owner must still be on the fence about the offseason acquisition.
|Freshness Made to Order|
On my trip, I was joined by four co-workers with one who’s from Philadelphia and was going to give us the lowdown on what a real Philly Cheese steak should taste like.
For lunch, three of us ordered an 8 inch Cheese Steak with sweet peppers. One of us ordered an 8 inch Cheese Steak with no peppers and a side of fries. Then there was me, aka Ms. Piggy, who went with the 12 inch Mushroom Steak with cheese and sweet peppers along with a side of potato salad.
All the food is cooked right in front of everybody, in plain view, for you to see how it’s coming along. The service was pretty quick given the surprisingly unexpected crowd that came in for lunch. Fortunately we got there early enough, we were able to squeeze two of the tables together.
The 8 inch cheese steaks are certainly the way to go and cost about a dollar less which will still fill you up. I don’t know how I was talked in to ordering the 12 inch one AND a full side…..
If anybody reading this is actually from Philadelphia, you will be delighted to know they use Amoroso bread for their cheese steaks. I guess Amoroso Bread Company is based out of Philadelphia and is extremely popular and used often in Philly restaurants for their cheese steaks. They also used American cheese on the cheese steaks but you have the option of using Provolone and Mozzarella if you wish.
Quickly on the sides, I split the potato salad with another colleague and he thought it was quite delicious as did I. The fries were ok; it was an instance where I think the seasoning on them made them much better than they probably were.
Now the most important part: the cheese steaks. Being lactose intolerant, I popped in a couple lactose pills and hoped for the best. The mushroom steak with cheese and peppers were still pretty tasty. Although large, it wasn’t as messy as I thought it would be to eat. The bread held up quite fine for as soft as it was; I was really impressed with the bun. The sweet peppers in the steak were also a fantastic option; great call by my co-worker. The meat quality was also very good and probably a shock by most who came along.
The general consensus by everyone was it was all good to very good and they’d go again. My co-worker from Philadelphia said it’s the best cheese steak he’s had outside of Philadelphia and especially in the state of Kansas. He did notice you could find better options in Philly but as for Wichita, there isn’t a better option. That’s high praise for a native. While my thoughts of the place weren’t as high, I felt it was a good and filling meal.
The service was fast and friendly. The owner popped in during our lunch and made it a point to talk to everybody and thank them for coming which was a nice touch.
We all would certainly consider going again. The fact that they serve breakfast makes it a really intriguing option to try on a morning sometime.
Looking for a good cheese steak in Wichita? Look no further than T.O.P.S.