Cheesesteak Experience: Proud Philly Natives Bring Authentic Cheesesteaks to South Florida

Categories: First Look

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All photos taken by Jess Swanson.
This is not a dramatization.
John Strauss stands at the gargantuan grill and throws a mound of shredded red meat down which sizzles when it makes contact with the metal. He sprinkles some grilled onions on too and quickly tosses the blend around with the spatula. The meat and onions begin to brown and white smoke wafts around him. Strauss confidently flips the spatula in the air and catches it without flinching.

"Whiz wit, right?" the young cook asks me anxiously. He's incomprehensible and I stare at him blankly like a tourist from another country. "With cheese whiz and onions right?" Strauss repeats again, but slower and with better enunciation. I feel like an idiot and nod.

Strauss and his family don't mind, they're used to it. They moved to South Florida from Philadelphia six years ago. During that time they have tried to keep their environment from shaping them as they aim to bring the community the most authentic Philly Cheesesteak outside of Pennsylvania at their small eatery, Chessesteak Experience. Besides it's reassuring to hear the staff speaking in their native tongue. It's definitely an experience.

See also: Ten Best Sandwich Shops in South Florida

John's parents, Jeff and Bobbie Strauss, started selling authentic Philly cheesesteaks at the Festival Flea Market. But at the beginning of July, they uprooted from their shop of six years and opened up in the Galt Ocean Mile area.

"It's in a better location," Bobbie Strauss says. "We get a lot of Pennsylvanians that love to come here. No one else in Florida [is] from Philly and does this."

Their tiny outpost is a slice of Philadelphia. The walls are lined with framed photos and drawings of the City of Brotherly Love. In fact, on John's lower left leg there is a tattoo of the famed liberty bell. "We're from Philly and we wear it proud," he tells me lifting up his pant leg.

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The Strauss' are meticulous about making their cheese steaks authentic. They get their bread shipped from Amorosa Bakery in Philadelphia and they serve each sandwich with over a half pound of sirloin beef.

"No one leaves here hungry," owner Jeff Strauss says confidently.


Location Info

Cheesesteak Experience

3341 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
goalie30
goalie30

Keep a bathroom close after you eat this shit then get ready for your 'Cheesesteak Experience'!

I recommend installing handles on the sides of your toilet for stability.

fishteder
fishteder

i read the whole friggen article, think about going to visit it because the last review on a restaurant I read here turned out to be good, and then I read the comments. 

I wouldn't have made my decision to come based on the comments, but the responses to them did it in for me.  I'll find somehwere else to go for lunch.

I'll go to the one of the Greek places by there instead.

goalie30
goalie30

That picture looks like someone had a rough night out then took a dump in a hoagie roll. Gross.

danieltoye101
danieltoye101

If I was Tony Luke, I wouldn't want you as a customer.

danieltoye101
danieltoye101

Nothing more to say! Glad you aren't a customer of Cheesesteak Experience.

mick_harte
mick_harte

Direct from Philly has excellent cheesesteaks! Have not tried the "Experience" yet but looking forward to it. If we could only get WaWa stores in SoFla my life would be content. 

jfreeman420
jfreeman420

all they use is frozen bread and frozen processed meat with fillers like soy and water.

What is good or authentic about that?  you can buy that crap in the freezer section at publix.

Real Philly steaks are made with rib eye and fresh baked bread.  Yeah they put wiz on it but you can put lipstick on a pig but you'll still have a pig.

Tony Lukes in the gardens mall is the only one so far doing it right in SOFL....

Rebecca Forand
Rebecca Forand

Any true Philly native will tell you it's all about the bread. Considering this shop gets their rolls shipped directly from Amoroso's Bakery, I have to think they really are authentic. That's a hard thing to find outside of the Delaware Valley.

jfreeman420
jfreeman420

@danieltoye101

You are an idiot.  Peddling crappy junk food to the unsuspecting. You certainly don't sound like much of a businessman.  A real businessman would take constructive criticism and improve.  You are a joke, your restaurant is a joke and your food is crap.

danieltoye101
danieltoye101

@jfreeman420  You are either jealous or scared by Cheesesteak Experience. Nobody will take you seriously by trashing the competition. Your comments were pretty sad!

danieltoye101
danieltoye101

@Hubscher-Resnick Mary Ellen 

Direct from Philly is in a bar in Deerfield Beach. Cheesesteak Experience has its own brand new sandwich shop near the beach in Fort Lauderdale

jfreeman420
jfreeman420

@danieltoye101 @jfreeman420 

jealous or scared of what?  I don't own or work at a restaurant.  I'm just a guy that likes good, fresh food and I know what is what.  Don't serve me shit and tell me it's steak...

goalie30
goalie30

@danieltoye101 No, that's the sound of people shitting their pants because this food sucks ASS. Cheez Whiz is 'liquid gold'? Uh huh, and shit is delicious fudge! I'm glad you're so happy that anyone with criticism is not your customer. Go back to that shit hole with no sports teams if you like it so much you fucking Mary. 

Ps. Suck my sweaty balls :)

goalie30
goalie30

@jfreeman420 @danieltoye101 Scared of morons that call shiity 'beef' and disgusting processed cheese from the fattest, douchiest city on earth, 'food'. Or scared of shitting their pants after they eat that garbage.

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