There Is No Cat

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Monday, June 2, 2003

Whiz, with

The New York Times has a lengthy paean to the wonders of Philadelphia street foods, penned by noted food critic (?!?) R. W. "Johnny" Apple (okay, he's really one of their top political reporters). Apple takes on the question of which of the three giants of cheesesteaks is best and concludes that it's Jim's on South Street. I have to say, I love Jim's; the fact that you can buy Vernors Ginger Ale there to wash down your steak is just the icing on the cake that is their wonderful cheesesteak. But then, I haven't tried Geno's or Pat's yet, and my brother, who spent a few months living in Philadelphia, tells me that I really need to. It's been interesting to see in recent years that it's increasingly possible to get a decent cheesesteak outside of the state of Pennsylvania. Around here, most of them until a few years ago were what I always called Camden Cheesesteaks: close, not quite Philadelphia. But I've found a few places here that know how to make a reasonably good cheesesteak. Heck, depending on who's behind the grill, I can sometimes get a decent one in the cafeteria at work. Still, some times it's necessary to get in the car and drive to Philadelphia to get a taste of the real thing.

I can't say I've tried some of the other foods Apple mentions, like pepper pot soup. I've had my fair share of scrapple, though, during my years in college in deepest Pennsylvania (which is also where I gained my jones for cheesesteaks). I don't have much desire for scrapple nowadays, mind you, but it seemed fine at the time.

Posted at 12:12 AM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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