Tag Archives: Philly cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak – Two Ways


Last week, as part of the Food & Fitness Link-up, I discovered a Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe. Then I discovered another form of the recipe – a Philly Cheesesteak Spinach Salad. I thought I’d share my versions of them here. Please let me know what you think!

After trying an excellent Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich at the The Bulldog – Lowertown and tasting the best Philly Cheesesteak in the Twin Cities at Devil’s Advocate, I thought it was time to try this recipe for a Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe out on my husband. I know it couldn’t measure up, but it might be something he’d be willing to eat at home from time to time.

I changed it up a bit, so it probably is no longer a Sloppy Joe. But I’m using ground beef here, which makes it different from a traditional CheeseSTEAK. So you really can call it whatever you want.


Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe on a Baguette

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe

Makes 4 servings

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (or substitute green bell pepper)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp steak sauce, such as A-1 {Have an A-1 Day!}
  • 1/2 to 1 cup beef broth (save some for the cheese sauce below)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 to  2 baguettes/loaves of French bread (preferably the take-and-bake variety)
  • Cheese sauce (see below)

Let me first preface this with the following:

  1. I have never made a Philly Cheesesteak before
  2. I don’t think I’d even make the meat of Sloppy Joes this way. I mean, where is the tomato sauce?
  3. We don’t normally have steak sauce in the house. It just so happens that one of our friends who makes the best bloody marys ever, uses A-1. There were just under 2 Tbsp left and the bottle was to expire in just about a month. Coincidence? I think not.
  4. Is it really a Sloppy Joe if it’s on a baguette?


  • Preheat the oven for the take-and bake baguette or to toast the baguette lightly. Put in oven and bake according to directions or until lightly browned and toasty.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion (or green pepper) and cook until soft and translucent.
  • Add the ground beef and cook about 5-6 minutes. (Meanwhile, start the cheese sauce.)
  • Stir in the steak sauce and beef broth (a little at a time, so it doesn’t become too runny) and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes.

Cheese Sauce:

I fully admit that my intention was to make the Philly Cheesesteak Cheese Sauce {click and scroll down to the middle of that Pad Thai page for the recipe} that I read about on My Bizzy Kitchen. However, when I got home and was in the midst of cooking, I realized that I didn’t have any milk. But what I did has was about 1/4 to 1/3 of a package left of Boursin Cheese –  Shallot and Chive flavor. I decided to turn what was leftover into my my cheese sauce. Here’s how:

  • Melt Boursin cheese on low heat in a medium sauce pan.
  • As it starts to melt, slowly add beef broth, a little at a time, heating through until desired consistency.

That was it!

I sliced the warm baguette into sandwich sizes and cut them down the middle so I could add the filling. I filled with as much ground beef as possible and topped with the cheese sauce. {But I forgot to line the baguette with a little cheese sauce first, which I swear they do at Devil’s Advocate!}

These were phenomenal. No kidding. I may have liked them even more than my beef-loving husband. Did the warm baguette have something to do with it?



Then, just a couple of days ago, I received an email from Green Lite Bites to make this Philly Cheesesteak Spinach Salad. I had a bag of spinach to use up and had already planned to marinate some cubed round steak. So here we go with my version!

Philly Cheesesteak Spinach Salad


(Inspired by GreenLiteBites.com) – Makes 2 servings

  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or substitute green bell pepper)
  • 12 oz round steak (cubed)
  • 1/2 recipe Best Beef Marinade. Ever.
  • 1- 1.5 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach


  • Marinade cubed beef in Best Beef Marinade. Ever.
  • Allow for the flavors to meld in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Divide two plates with the spinach.
  • Heat skillet to medium-high and add olive oil.
  • Sauté onion until soft and transluscent.
  • Add beef and sauté until browned and cooked to your liking.
  • Reduce heat to low, top with shredded cheese and cover until melted.
  • Slide 1/2 of beef mixture over each plate of spinach.

I really love the spinach with this dish, especially when it starts to wilt after the hot meat is on it for a while. I may try to stir in the spinach when I’m cooking the beef next time instead!

What is your favorite version of a Philly Cheeseteak?


Devil’s Advocate {Closed}


This one is long overdue.

We first heard about Devil’s Advocate via a Groupon about a year ago. We’ve been back probably a half of a dozen times since and we don’t live anywhere near downtown Minneapolis. What impressed us first was their rotating tap selection. It’s one of the best in the Twin Cities. On our first visit, the bartender told us that they only get one keg of each beer. So once it’s gone, they switch it up. It’s constantly changing.

Devil's Advocate is the first place where I've had a lambic (frit beer) on tap.

Devil’s Advocate – the 1st place where I’ve had a lambic fruit beer on tap.

We’ve returned on a few occasions, like when we had company in town and wanted to walk around Nicollet Mall {DA is located just a block off Nicollet on 10th Street} and for a late lunch/early dinner reward after our LOST 15k walk. We love to go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when there aren’t any big events going on downtown, like a Twins game.

The thing is, I didn’t post on this gem before they changed their menu!

It used to be a nearly all-meatball menu, where you’d choose the protein source of your balls and then the sauce:

Balls & SauceThen you’d choose the number of balls. You could opt for a bowl of balls or ball(s) on a bun.

Number of BallsIt’s one of the few restaurants in the Twin Cities that I know of where you can find my beloved pretzel bun!

That is why I always find myself ordering triple balls:

Pork Balls on a Pretzel BunAfter determining the pork balls were my favorite on the first visit, I continued to order them each time. They are well-seasoned with a nice little kick of spice on the finish. However, my in-laws found them a tad spicy. While I didn’t consider them spicy the first time I had them, I see what they mean. A word of caution for those of you who don’t like too much spice: These meatballs may be considered a bit spicy for Minnesotans. I think that it’s the mushroom sauce that I liked best, too. The sandwich is finished with melted mozzarella. I can’t tell you how satisfying this is. And I never order meatball sandwiches. In fact, it’s not something I ever think of ordering and I probably never would have if they wouldn’t have started out as a meatball joint.

And if you couldn’t make up your mind, they also gave some combo suggestions for their balls:

CombosAnd if you weren’t particularly in the mood for meatballs, there were always appetizers and daily specials:


We’ve tried the poutine and mac and cheese

…neither of which were particularly impressive. However, the meat covering the fries is the same meat that is used for their pork balls. That’s a plus.

Rob has also ordered the burger, which he described as “average.”


But then, earlier this month, I received an email in my inbox with a link to an article entitled:

“Devil’s Advocate:

This is the Best Philly Cheesesteak in all the Twin Cities”

I didn’t even remember seeing a Philly Cheesesteak on their menu. Then I read the article and learned that their menu had changed. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I liked those meatballs! I sent the article to Rob. He was excited about the new menu and was determined to be the judge of the Philly Cheesesteak himself.

So we did the research…

On a couple of occasions, we had thought that maybe the beer selection at Devil’s Advocate was going downhill. But on this visit, we realized it was our palates that didn’t match the selection on those occasions. Because on this visit, we fell back in love…

Here's one side of the ever-changing beer mendu

This is just the front side of the ever-changing beer menu…

Beers are listed in alpha order by brewery. Let’s zoom in.

Glass SizeYou’ll find the beer listed this way:

Brewer, Name and type and/or style of beerorigin price

Then you get a nice description, which we’ve found, while subjective, is generally pretty accurate. The % ABV is the percentage of Alcohol By Volume. Then they list the style or size of glass in which the beer is served.

Hint: Higher alcohol beers are often served in smaller glasses.

Tip: If you aren’t sure if you are going to like a beer, ask for a taste before you order.

There were so many beers that suited us this time around!

Here’s Rob’s first choice:


Avery, Old Jubilation (Strong Ale) – Boulder, CO

I started with:

Slop Bucket

McNeill’s, Slop Bucket (Double Brown Ale) – Brattleboro, VT

We ordered those before we had a chance to peruse the entire beer menu. And before we even took our first sips, we spotted something on tap that we completely missed!

Then we PumKing

Southern Tier, Pumking (Imperial Pumpkin Ale) – Lakewood, NY

By now, you should know how much we adore this beer. The funny thing is that we aren’t huge into pumpkin-flavored things normally. In fact, I get a little pumpkin-ed out in the blogosphere by winter.

And while there are still meatballs incorporated into the menu, they are no longer the focus:

DAnew1I was looking at ordering the Meatball Hero, but the descriptions are pretty vague. So I asked about the pork balls I loved and if they still had the pretzel bun.

“Yes!” the bartended exclaimed. “That’s our Holy Grail!” I hadn’t even noticed that on the menu. Somehow, I overlooked it. And there is no way I would have known it was on a pretzel bun by that description.

It was heaven.


HOLY GRAIL – pork meatballs, mushroom, sunday gravy {on a pretzel bun!}

I’m not sure how many meatball sandwiches there are in the Twin Cities, nor do I think I’ve ever ordered one anywhere else. But I’d still have to say this is the best. I was so completely satisfied after this meal. It was near perfection. And that side salad up there? One of the best I’ve had. I subbed it for the fries, which are currently on Rob’s Top 10 Fries List, but I think he may be changing that soon.

And now, what you’ve really been waiting for…


Philly Cheesesteak – “South Street Real Deal”

Rob actually let me have a couple of bites of this Philly Cheesesteak, which he agrees is the Best in All the Twin Cities. I concur myself. The bread is crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside and it seems that some of the cheese sauce is poured down on the bread before the meat is laid upon it. Then the meat is topped with the cheese sauce. Even if that isn’t how it’s done, the cheese is so well-distributed that that’s how it tastes like it’s done.

Rob loved the Cheesesteak at the Bulldog in St. Paul just the week before, but this one is even better. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that it’s perfection.

It was either Groupon or another deal site that introduced us to Devil’s Advocate; but it’s the satisfying food and excellent beer selection that keep us coming back.

What meal do you find comforting and satisfying?


The Bulldog – Lowertown St. Paul


Okay, so it’s not the same as the Bulldog NE. Can I say it’s as good? Hmmm… It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. Well, maybe not that different. Maybe just two kinds of apples that you really like and you can’t choose between the two of them. Okay, so I’d probably choose the Nordeast location most of the time. But the Lowertown location of the Bulldog was actually much better than I expected.

Although you will find no cupcakes here. 😦

My husband suggested we stop by for dinner before another event we had taking place in downtown St. Paul. My friends Sally and Ryan love this place. I really wasn’t too excited about the menu online. And when we arrived, nothing sounded good to me. It was one of those days.

As I mentioned in the post about our beloved Bulldog NE, the Bulldog in the Lowertown area of St. Paul isn’t related. In fact, I didn’t think any of the Bulldog locations were related. But after checking out The Bulldog Lowertown website, it appears that of the four Bulldog Bar/Restaurants throughout the Twin Cities, the Bulldog NE is the only one not affiliated with the others. To make things more confusing, the websites for each location are different from what they actual title each restaurant:

I guess the non-affiliated location in Northeast/Nordeast Minneapolis is a bit confusing, too. The website is www.TheBulldogNortheast.com. But I’ve seen it written and/or called the following:

  • The Bulldog Northeast
  • The Bulldog Nordeast
  • The Bulldog NE
  • The Bulldog N.E.

I digress. Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, back to The Bulldog – St. Paul, which is where this experience occurred…

I was immediately surprised by how big the interior is! For some reason, I wasn’t expecting that. The focus here is on Belgian beers, just like at the Bulldog NE. They also have descriptions of beer styles in their beer menu:

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But they have other rotating taps as well. I’ve been off my usual IPA kick for several months for some reason. On this particular occasion, I chose what I would probably consider more as dessert beers.

BulldogLT Tap

My choices of the day were the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and the Lindemann’s Francoise Lambic

I just love how the new Young’s tap handle looks like a chocolate bar in the midst of being unwrapped. 😉

For dinner, Rob was in the mood for this:

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK Thin-sliced sirloin, sautéed peppers & onions topped with our spicy cheese sauce on a hoagie $9.50 with Cajun Tater Tots

Thin-sliced sirloin, sautéed peppers & onions topped with spicy cheese sauce on a hoagie –  $9.50 {served here with Cajun Tater Tots}

Oh, boy was he in heaven with that Philly Cheesesteak. {The tots were fine. He’s had better; but it didn’t stop him from eating them!} I had a bite and thought it was rather good, too. I’d recommend it. Still, believe it or not, I thought my dish was so much better!

QUESADILLA Shredded cheese, beans & pico de gallo hand-rolled in a tortilla with your choice of tasty goodness. Beef $9 | Chicken $9 | Pulled Pork $9 | Veggie $8

Shredded cheese, beans & pico de gallo hand-rolled in a tortilla with choice of filling. {Options: Beef $9 | Chicken $9 | Pulled Pork $9 | Veggie $8}

I chose pulled pork because I read somewhere else on the menu that it was house-made. Otherwise, I normally order my quesadillas with chicken. I thought Rob could try it, too. But then I realized it had beans. Sometimes, I do win out with his allergies! 😉

This quesadilla was stuffed to the max and oh-so-flavorful. It actually put the cheesesteak to shame on the flavor-meter. I wouldn’t exactly call it a quesadilla though. It was probably more like a grilled burrito. Yes, it was stuffed that much! But I loved it. I did end up giving Rob a taste of just the pulled pork and I think he got a little jealous. I couldn’t even give him a section because the beans were well mixed-in. When we go back to the Bulldog in Lowertown St. Paul, I’m going to have a hard time ordering anything else.

What is your favorite dessert-like beer?

What is your favorite quesadilla filling?