Fo' sizzle: Here are 5 great places for Philly cheesesteaks in KC
Some say you can't get a decent Philly cheesesteak west of the Mississippi.
The owners of Steak'M Take'M are out to prove those people wrong.
The family-owned fast food joint with three locations in Kansas City boasts that it serves "the best cheesesteaks ever" on signs and in a rap video inspired by Yo Gotti's "Rake It Up."
"Steak it up," co-owner Micah Ross raps in the two-minute clip. "Grill it down. Bag it up."
The video, made by a family friend for around $100, shows off Steak'M Take'M's method: Cooks use large spatulas to chop up seasoned steak, onions and peppers on a flattop grill. The sizzling-hot filling is topped with sliced American Swiss cheese before it's wedged into a locally made Roma Bakery roll. You might want to try one on March 24 — National Cheesesteak Day.
"Bustin' out the bun," Ross raps. "That combo's so fulfilling."
Customers choose their own sauce — mayo's the favorite, but A1 and honey mustard are also popular. Steak'M Take'M's sandwiches cost $5.50, or $8.25 as a combo with seasoned fries and a drink.
Philly cheesesteak purists might raise an eyebrow at Steak'M Take'M's liberal use of sauces and American Swiss cheese (provolone or Cheez Whiz are the traditional picks) but regulars are hooked on what Steak'M Take'M calls "Show Me" cheesesteaks.
"We call ours the best because that's what our customers say," says co-owner Shelton Ross, Micah's brother.
Recently I stopped by the Steak'M Take'M at 7702 Troost and ordered a classic cheesesteak combo to go. (The tiny Troost location does have a few stools, but most customers opt for takeout). I expected to try a few bites and save the rest for later, but the seasoning on the steak and fries was irresistible, and the meal was gone in minutes. Whoops.
Steak'M Take'M also has locations at 3120 Stadium Drive and 8729 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Raytown.
Grinders' South Philly cheesesteak ($9.50 for a whole or $6 for a half) is the most popular sandwich on the menu. It comes with ribeye steak or smoked turkey, provolone or Cheez Whiz, and is served on a traditional Amoroso roll from the City of Brotherly Love.
A great cheesesteak is all about the Amoroso roll, according to The Star's lead political reporter Bryan Lowry, who grew up outside Philadelphia.
Confession: I also kind of like the Cheez Whiz, even if it does come from a can. Lowry's more of a provolone guy.
You can also find Amoroso rolls at Philly Time, 4111 N. Mulberry Drive in The Village at Briarcliff. The Star's culture columnist Jeneé Osterheldt turned me onto the place, which serves up a dozen different cheesesteaks.
Our favorite is the steak Supreme ($7.59), with onions, green peppers, mushrooms and white American cheese. The shredded beef is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth, and the bun is as soft as a pillow. That's Amoroso for you.
Those with bigger appetites might like Philly Time's $12.99 Monster cheesesteak: It's like the Supreme, but with triple meat and cream cheese.
Huge cheesesteaks are also on the menu at Jersey Boyz, 315 Armour Road in North Kansas City. Each one is named after a New Jersey native: Think Joe Pesci, Frank Sinatra, Danny DeVito, Bruce Springsteen. The top seller is the Travolta ($8.19), hand-cut steak with hot pepper cheese, green peppers, cream cheese and grilled onions.
The steak on the spicy sandwich is chopped up super-fine and piled high. It's melded together with creamy, spicy cheese. Don't forget a side of fries, which are hand-cut in the kitchen.
Looking for a cheesesteak in the 'burbs? Check out Chartroose Caboose, with locations at 10636 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park and 12976 W. 87th Parkway in Lenexa.
KC native Rob Riggle has been known to chow down on The Zephyr ($7.58), made by searing sliced seasoned steak on a grill with onions and mushrooms. The sandwich is served on a toasted roll with melty provolone. Customers can add pickles and peppers from the condiment bar.
The Zephyr can also be made with turkey, chicken or ham — because when it comes to cheesesteaks in KC, pretty much anything goes.