James Dickinson photo
The City of Brotherly Love is famous for legendary cheesesteak hotspots Pat's and Geno's, but Robin Coyle is hoping to put Midlothian in the discussion with Steak & Cheese — the restaurant she opened on Hull Street Road this past April.
"I've had at least 20 people from the Philadelphia market say, ‘This is so close to Pat's and Geno's,' " Coyle says — droolworthy praise. What distinguishes Steak & Cheese from its rivals is the way in which the steak is prepared: "We chop it here," Coyle says. (Pat's and Geno's slice theirs thin.) The last time Coyle sampled the competition? Labor Day 2008, when she and her Philly friends had dinner at Geno's.
Coyle says she's always worked in the restaurant business — including back in the kitchen — and has wanted a place of her own for just as long. For about a year, she explains, she and her husband, Jerry (who owns a South Side franchise of Ledo Pizza), "threw the idea around," and then it took about nine months to launch Steak & Cheese. She decided to focus on the cheesesteak because it's a niche product. "We're a simple operation with quality food," Coyle says, noting that her customers favor The Cheddar-field, her eatery's take on the original Philly cheesesteak. This sub features 6 ounces of Angus beef topped with Cheez Whiz (of course) and grilled onions. Favorite No. 2 is The Monument: a steak sub with provolone, grilled onions, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms and hot-pepper relish.
Steak & Cheese can seat 30, and takeout is available, too. Coyle decorated with pictures of what she calls "old Richmond," including one photo of Thalhimers, where her great-aunt once worked. For more information, call 675-4400.