Blizzard number two this winter season and we had a Greenpointers field day turned mission to check out the new Philly cheesesteak joint called Delilah’s Steaks, literally a narrow triangular outpost on a stretch of McGuinness Blvd deep in Greenpoint.
Technically not on “the other side,” the address is 55 McGuinness Blvd So. at Engert Ave – out there. It had us thinking up ridiculous neighborhood hybrid names, like SoMc? Or NoBQE?
Being from New York, my homemade version of cheesesteak goes like this: caramelized onions, sautéed roast beef and american cheese on a hero. Shop owner, Tommy Ferrick, who YES was born and raised in Philadelphia, called my version homemade Steak-ummms. There is a reason why there are three Ms! But I was about to be enlightened.
When I asked Tommy if there are any good cheesesteak spots in NY, he said, “There is now,” (I like this guy) and went on to say “it’s not being done right in Brooklyn.”
For him cheesesteak is a fast food science and he has learned from the best, literally. He apprenticed at Best Pizza, where he was schooled in “the fast service game” and has been coached on sourcing from Brian Leth, former chef at Vinegar Hill House and Jersey shore buddy.
Don’t forget the cheese. You can order your Delilah’s Cheesesteak with either American or Cheese Whiz and both are “liquefied” and kept warm in a steam bath and poured over your sandwich just before serving. He was very specific in his explanation about how a slice of unmelted American cheese will lower the temperature of the sandwich – not a good thing.
There are additional topping options of sautéed onions and/or tomato sauce plus a self-serve side board with peppers, pickles and condiments.
Gina and I split the Cheesesteak with onions and American plus a side of cheese fries. We didn’t talk, we just inhaled while watching the snow fall heavily on yellow school buses. After we finished we sadly agreed we wished we didn’t split it.
The steak was juicy. It was sliced thin with a nice real meat flavor (as compared to the cold cut salty nitrate flavor I am accustomed to.) The onions – just translucent, not caramelized – gave it a satisfying crunch and yes the liquefied cheese held it all together on a not too doughy crusty hero.
The crinkle cut cheese fries were just like Shake Shack‘s, maybe even better, which means they were perfect.
I asked Tommy why he chose Greenpoint for Delilah’s. Conveniently he lives right around the corner. But he knew the place was perfect when he happened upon it after other spots fell through because of it’s triangular shape.
“Tons of cheesesteak shops in Philly are all triangular buildings,” he said.
The brightly colored and intricately assembled mosaic tile mural that runs the length of the wall would be claustrophobic if not for the huge windows looking out onto one of Greenpoint’s least favorite streets. But sitting there enjoying a cheesesteak is a hell of a lot better than dodging speeding garbage trucks.
For Tommy, McGuinness Blvd reminds him of home.
“It’s similar to lot of intermediate highways in Philly, like Delaware Ave,” he said.
The story behind the well known mural artist Isaiah Zagar is special too. Brooklyn born and Philly raised, he has completed over 50,000+ square feet of murals in Philly. His mural in Delilah’s, which only took him 2.5 days to finish, is his first piece in NY.
There is also a documentary about Zagar that Gina raved about called In A Dream.
I know you are all wondering, who is this Delilah, anyway? It’s a strip club in Philly.
If you’re not feeling like cheesesteak, Delilah’s serves other meaty and vegetarian sandwiches, too, like a meatball hero, eggplant parmesan, roast pork with broccoli rabe and healthier sides of caesar salad and Pringles. And if you come in on Sundays, Tommy’s Mom Janice comes all the way from Philly to make “the gravy” for the meatballs.
Did we mention that they serve breakfast sandwiches, too?
Soon they will have Tastykake for dessert and ice cream shakes in the summer, all which can conveniently be purchased through a serving window, which I can really appreciate now that I am a dog owner.
Delilah’s is open Tuesday through Sunday and open late on the weekends until 2am. I heard there was an impromptu dance party there this past weekend. They also deliver from noon until one hour before close.
Try Delilah’s Steaks and let us know what you think.