Philly Slim's on University
UPDATE: As per eater.com on 7.18.07, Philly Slims on University has been shuttered.
RIP Cheez Whiz... RIP.
This branch of the Philly Slim's cheese steak mini-chain opened late last summer in the heart of heavily-trafficked University Place, but it doesn't seem to have ever caught on, and I don't really understand why.
Debbie and I ate here last fall, had a couple of Classic steak sandwiches with fried onions and cheese whiz, side of fries, butterscotch Tastykakes, and enjoyed it quite a bit (OK, Debbie was less convinced... but she did finish everything). Then I went last night because I needed a ten-minute meal before catching a movie at the Regal, and happily wolfed, again, a Classic with Whiz. I mean, it is what it is, but what it is, is good: appropriately greasy and cheesy and gooey, the meat lean and sliced super thin, the bun soft but not soggy, the hot sauce a perfect complement. I have to say I liked it a lot more than my last burger at nearby Stand, and it's about half the price.
So why don't more people—students, hipsters, families, quick-bite lovers and needers of all stripes—go here? Why don't I go here? Is it too visually unappealing? (It's actually pretty clean, though the high stools aren't terribly comfortable...). No customers begets more no customers? New York just not a cheese steak town? Why?
Philly Slim's is located on University Place between 13th and 12th Streets. There are about six places to sit and eat inside, the staff was exceptionally friendly, the food fast, and just about all sandwiches—even if you pile on the extras—are under ten dollars. The other Philly Slims is on Ninth Avenue, between 51st and 52nd... though if you're in that area, I would suggest the excellent Empanada Mama's instead.