Cheesesteak jaunt

Fr. Pasley and I dashed into south Philly for a cheesesteak at D’Alessandro’s.

These are not production line steaks, I can tell you. 

We ate in, with some of the local color.

We have pronounced these very good steaks.  I had one wit wiz.

The rolls were super fresh, and crisp with nothing of the chewy or tough.  The meat flavorful and moist.  And then there was the cheese whiz… waddya gonna say ’bout wiz?

The denizens designate their parking spots with lawn chairs.

We also had a dash through Camden, which is probably the best way to see Camden, now that I think of it.

A nice view of the Ben Franklin with the minor league barkpark.

I was also anxious to see USS NEW JERSEY, moored on the Camden waterfront.  

We didn’t have time to go aboard, alas. 

I was reminded of my good visit to USS WISCONSIN in Norfolk, VA.

Across the Delaware we could see also a WWI age ship and a whaler.

We also stopped to see the old RCA building, which still has the windows of the little dog hearing "his master’s voice".

An American icon.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. joebebopper says:

    That little dog is Nipper!

  2. Penguins Fan says:

    Those cheesesteaks look delicious!

    As good as a cheesesteak is, it’s not as good as a Primanti Brothers pastrami. You have to come to Pittsburgh, Father. Even though our baseball team is pathetic, Primanti’s, the PLMC and PNC Park would be worth your while.

    I thought Pittsburgh was the only city where people put lawn chairs to mark their parking spots. You see ’em everywhere here.

    Have a great time in Philly/NJ and a safe trip home.

  3. wmeyer says:

    Oh, the humanity! That the name of Nipper could be forgotten!

  4. Mike Morrow says:

    That “WWI age ship” is the cruiser USS Olympia (C-6). It was commissioned in 1895, and served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. It was decommissioned after 27 years of service in 1922. It’s probably one of the most unique ship exhibits anywhere in the world. Virtually nothing else from that era has been preserved.

  5. Dennis Martin says:

    Is that a four-masted ship or are there two ships and the fourth mast belongs to the second one? If all four masts belong to a single ship, then I would not have thought it was a whaler–I was not aware of 4-masted whalers, moreover, the lines of what’s visible in the foreground do not look like whaler lines–too sharp, too long, not bluff-bowed enough for a whaler.

    Is this some other full-rigged, non-whaler, ship? There were four-masted full ships, four-masted barks, and plenty of four-masted schooners, but this is a squarerigged ship, not a schooner. I just was not aware of four-masted whalers. Enlighten me, please.

  6. Fr. A.M. says:


    The pictures of your rolls are making me hungry – thank goodness it is after First Vespers of Sunday ! (though I’ve nothing to eat at hand).

  7. Girgadis says:

    I’m pretty sure the four-masted ship is the Barkentine tall ship The Gazela. If memory serves correctly, it dates back to the 1880’s. Penn’s Landing used to be on my old running route and on Saturdays, I’d always see lots of volunteers working on it. Did you also get a glimpse of the mothballed US United States? Longer than the Titanic, this former luxury liner is docked on the Delaware in South Philly and I think may be visible from the bridge on the way into Camden.

    Penguins Fan, in South Philly, people would put their grandmothers in those chairs if they could to preserve them. Even the mayor recently agreed that if you dig it out, you own it.

  8. kradcliffe says:

    I just looked up the RCA/Nipper logo, which is from a painting titled His Master’s Voice. It has an English history, but is now used by various companies all over the world. In the US, it is now in the public domain. Here, it’s the logo of the HMV company.

  9. wmeyer says:


    Among the four-masted ships that could have been seen is the Eagle, now the property of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where it is used as a training ship. My daughter, in her second year there, has spent some pleasant time on it, this past summer, in Bermuda, Charleston, SC, Boston, and Halifax, and of course, the waters along the way….

  10. TJerome says:

    Father Z, I hope you’re having a great time today. What you’re doing for Father Pasley and his parish is wonderful.

    By the way, I kind of chuckled when I saw where you went for your Philly cheese steak sandwich. It’s probably just a coincidence, but I believe Nancy Pelosi’s maiden name was D’Allesandro.


  11. pyrosapien says:

    My brother served on the USS New Jersey. BB 62 “Firepower For Freedom”
    He pulled the trigger on the “16 guns.

    Living in Puget Sound, I was able to see and pay my respects to her frequently until she was moved to her namesake state.

    a beautiful ship…

  12. kwooding says:

    My home area! Wish I didn’t live 600 miles away so I could attend the blognic.

  13. dcs says:

    It’s probably one of the most unique ship exhibits anywhere in the world.

    Yes, I can confirm that – although I haven’t been there in years and years. What you can’t see in this picture is the USS Becuna, a WWII-era submarine docked right next to the Olympia on the Philadelphia side of the river.

  14. david andrew says:

    Oh, the memories of cheesesteaks at Pete’s Pizza (corner of Appletree and 21st).

    When I was still Anglo-Catholic and attending Mass there, we would go to Pete’s after Mass for cheesesteaks. (I lived in Philly during the summer of 1991, attending a summer course at a now-defunct post-grad institute for paralegal training).

    I wish I could be with you all for the blognic! Maybe sometime in the future.

  15. david andrew says:

    (I meant to say, attending Mass at St. Clement’s).

  16. JillOfTheAmazingWolverineTribe says:

    You let them RUIN that cheesesteak with “WIZ?”

    Sorry, but “Wiz” is an abomination unto the Lord. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, such a thing was NEVER (as in NEVER, EVER, EVVVVVVER) put on a cheesesteak. Provolone, or American, yes…but WIZ? WIZ is a cheap abomination put on by people trying to cut corners some 25 or so years ago. You NEVER saw it before then.



    Mere CHILDREN, and IGNORANT children at that….

    Such a person would have tasteless ketchup on a BOILED hot dog.

    “Wiz” is OBSCENE!

  17. JPG says:

    The cheesesteaks bring back memories. however NEVER cheesewhiz, ALWAYS provolone maybe American in a pinch. Always ask for sauce( marinara) NOT KETCHUP, and of course always fried onions. I still say Conshohocken rolls were to die for but a hoagie roll (Not zep , not sub) will do nicely.
    Gotta have tasteycakes afterwords.
    Fairfield, CT

  18. asperges says:

    Re “His Master’s Voice” icon, see for the history and background.

  19. jfk03 says:

    Watch your cholesterol & triglicerides. Eat vegan. After all, it’s Lent.

  20. TJerome says:


    Wow eating vegan isn’t penatential – that’s martydom!


  21. wanda says:

    Hi JillofTheAmazing.. Hey, I ate Cheeze Whiz sandwiches as a kid of the 50’s and 60’s! Yet, the Lord has seen fit for me to remain here a while longer.

    AND..My favorite way to eat a hot dog is..boiled..with Ketchup! AND sometimes I butter the roll, too!

    Respectfully yours,

  22. pfhawkins says:

    So… if that is an American icon… does that make the RCA building an iconostasis?

  23. The first time I had a steak it was with peppers, etc. The second time I had provolone. This time whiz.

    I am methodical.

    Whiz? Been there, done that.

    I think I will be going back to the provolone, etc.

    Maybe after the blognic I’ll go for another with another variation.

    Practice makes perfect.

  24. What on earth are “tastycakes”?

  25. Girgadis says:

    “Tastykakes” are a Philadelphia institution. They’re individually packaged single-serving sized pies, cakes and cupcakes. Everyone has their personal favorite, with many people favoring Butterscotch Krimpets, little sponge cakes smothered in a butterscoth-flavored icing, and others prefer Tandycakes, little chocolate covered peatnut butter cakes. Mothers have been tucking these treats into lunch boxes for decades. You can buy them individually or by the box in just about any Philadelphia supermarket or corner store. My personal favorites are the cream-filled chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing. Good, but not good for you, just like the cheesesteaks.

  26. Richard says:

    I believe that RCA “stole” the icon from HMV in London. The later did not have it registered as a trade mark so it wasn’t actually stolen but an Unethical move on the part of RCA. As a result, no HMV records could be sold in American with their icon on the label. HMV records were very quiet surfaces and a freid and I used to order them in the late 50’s because some of the recorded artists on the label could not be had in America.

  27. dcs says:

    What on earth are “tastycakes”?

    If you come back to Mater Ecclesiae after Lent, Fr. Z, I will bring you a box of butterscotch krimpets.

  28. Penguins Fan says:

    The late great Harry Kalas (Phillies radio play by play announcer) had the greatest lead-in to any commercial.

    “And now, it’s time for a Tasty-break from Tastykake!” Nobody could say it like Harry.

  29. joecct77 says:

    If I am not mistaken, it was from the bridge of the USS Olympia that Adm. Dewey uttered the famous line, “You may fire when ready, Gridley.”

  30. MikieC says:

    I had a great time tonight. It was great meeting everyone. Thanks again Father for registering me and having the meeting in Philly. I will try to post my photos too.

  31. seminarian87 says:

    Glad to see you took my some of my advice for the steaks Father. Hope you enjoyed your stay in the Tri-state area.

  32. SophiaGrace says:

    Father Z: Thank you for posting the photos, especially of the RCA building. My grandfather worked at RCA for many years. And as you mentioned, taking a dash through Camden now *is* the best way to see it- but it hasn’t always been like that. Unfortunately, the bustling city of Camden that my grandparents knew is now only a wistful, third-generation “remember when…” while the Camden of today has sadly earned its current reputation.

    But on to happier topics: Tastykakes! Somehow, someway, a box or two of those delicious delights must make their way to you. Not knowing what a Tastykake is -is tantamount to not hearing the sound of ocean waves; to not feeling the delicate snowflakes; to not seeing the majestic mountains! Well, okay, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away…. nevertheless…

    Again, thank you for sharing the wonderful photos… and thank you for all that you do for us.

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