Getting Their Philly: Guv Welcomes Columnists to Home of Cheesesteaks

By: David Astor Gov. Ed Rendell had humorous advice about cheesesteaks and serious advice about a topic that needs more coverage during a Friday talk at the National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference.

"If I were to leave you with one plaintive plea, write about urban issues" -- including poverty, education, and housing, said Rendell. And he urged columnists to urge presidential candidates, both Democratic and Republican, to discuss those mostly ignored issues.

"It doesn't seem like anybody gives a hoot," said the former Philadelphia mayor. "But no country can survive without thriving, vibrant cities."

As for cheesesteaks, Rendell noted that the signature Philadelphia food is also made in various other parts of the country, but doesn't taste the same. He gave three reasons why non-Philadelphia eateries don't do cheesesteaks right.

"One, they use good meat," Rendell explained with a smile. "You have to use the stringiest, fattiest meat.

"Two, they use real cheese. You have to use a cheese concoction that melts into the nooks and crannies of the awful meat.

"Three, they drain the grease from the sauteed or fried onions."

Rendell did jokingly warn attendees not to eat more than one of the cholesterol-laden snacks per Philadelphia visit.

Earlier on Friday, conference attendees were also addressed by Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, who discussed how columns are usually more interesting and fun to read than newspaper editorials that can be "too stuffy."


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here