99 Miles to Philly is Full of Greasy Goodness

We’ve covered the arrival (both times) of 99 Miles to Philly’s miniature storefront on 45th St. (at 2nd Ave.), but surprisingly we haven’t yet reviewed their food. Also surprising is that I hadn’t tried one of their cheesesteaks, especially since I work only blocks away. So when my lunch plans fell through recently, I headed over to try them out.

Now, I make no claim of being a cheesesteak aficionado. I’ve only been to Philadelphia once on an overnight trip, and was unable to try one of its namesake sandwiches. My experience is pretty much limited to what I was served in the college cafeteria and making my own at home using Steak-umms. 99 Miles offers both steak and chicken cheesesteak, a choice of cheese whiz, American, or Provolone, and an array of toppings. I chose to keep it relatively traditional, ordering a cheesesteak with provolone and green peppers.

For the price ($7.35 for the cheesesteak plus 50 cents for the peppers), this was a pretty monster-sized sandwich, as you can see from the Metrocard comparison. It’s chock full of steak. It’s also something of a grease bomb, its paper wrapping nearly translucent in some places. Of course, this is what we want and expect from a cheesesteak.

The steak itself is good, if nothing special. Some pieces were a bit dry, but for the most part it was moist and flavorful. The green peppers, cooked till soft, added a nice contrast to the rich meat, while the roll did its job keeping it all together, acting as a sponge for the fatty goodness and meat juices. It’s the kind of roll you expect with a cheesesteak, soft but with the tiniest bit of barely-there crispness on the outside – the sort that cracks and flakes.

My only real complaint is that there could have been more cheese. It’s one half of the name, after all. Overall, though, it was a quality sandwich that left me satisfied for the rest of the workday.

99 Miles to Philly’s menu boasts some non-cheesesteak items like french fries. They also have a snack menu with chicken fingers and jalapeno poppers. But the price for those items, which alone a lunch do not make, is a bit high. I would, however, like to try the fried mozzarella moons, which a coworker of mine swears by as a post-1am treat.

I’ve walked by 99 Miles many times but have never seen much of a line. I hope the rent for their smaller-than-small location (basically just a window) allows them to stay open in Midtown, because they make a good sandwich, and you can never have enough of those.

99 Miles to Philly, 212-297-9500/0550, 300 East 45th St. (at 2nd Ave.)


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