Eating at a city's quintessential resteraunt follows certain patterns: you get to a city that has a place that invented a certain dish or allegedly makes it better than anywhere else in the world; you exponentialize your hunger by reading a few of the dozens of reviews that grace the walls as you wait on line and than espouse what you just learned to the couple behind you; before you even eat your food, perhaps you pull out a key and join the thousands of hyperbolic tags from across the world that document their dedication on the walls. You order "what the locals order" from a justifiably limited menu, take your first bite, and after hours of mounting anxiaty and hunger, you loudly and emphaticly agree with the review you read from the Sterns or Claiborn in the 1970, that this is the best [cheesesteak, enchilada, bbq, hamburger, chicago pizza, wink on a weck, or kung-pow chicken] that you have ever tasted. You only half agree.
Having traveled across the country three times with only Road Food as my guide, I am familiar with disapointment; in a land of increasing Mcimperialization, hopeful exagerations become quite common. That said, my french dipped lamb and roast beef sandwiches from Phillip's i tried for the first time last night were amazing, perhaps inspirational. The tender meat was carved right off the bone, and the crusty french bread yielded perfectly to the au jus. A slice of swiss and it surpassed the best steak sandwich of phillidelphia - a dollop of tangy slaw and it challenged South Caronlina' most ethereal sandwiches. After polishing off a perfect baked apple for two dollars, i found one inch of blank space on a wall crowded by hyporboles and proudly etched my endorsement.