City: Philadelphia, PA
Place: 4540 Baltimore Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19143
***** – “Oh mamaaaaa!”
$$ – Cheap enough to double up on dessert!
Philly’s most well-known gastronomical export to the world is probably the Philly cheesesteak. After living three years in Philly, I have a lot of people ask me, “Where can you get the best cheesesteak in Philly? The debate goes on about who is better: Pat’s, Geno’s, or Jim’s. However, my favorite cheesesteak can’t be found in either of these three popular South Philly locales. My favorite is the Ethiopian cheesesteak at Gojjo, a local West-Philly cult choice.
I think all cheesesteaks are pretty similar. They have the same ingredients, same hoagie rolls, same everything. Gojjo’s Ethiopian cheesesteak sets itself apart from all others because of the Ethiopian spices added in. They have some spicy seasoning that has a yumtastic, spine-tingling kick and takes this cheesesteak to another level. That first bite is pure “OHHHHH MAMAAAAA!!!” thrill! In addition, this cheesesteak has a good steak to onion ratio, which is a key factor to any good cheesesteak. The onions are present, but in the backseat, as the steak and the cheese still power through like they should. Furthermore, the steak is cut into perfectly-sized, tiny strips. Some shops cut the steak up too much that it turns into almost ground beef. Other places leave the steak pieces too large so you have to chew more and the consistency and texture is too crazy. Gojjo’s makes it just right. The American cheese is melted and mixed into the steak and onions so you get a nice taste of it in every bite. It’s pretty ironic that the Ethiopian cheesesteak is actually made with American cheese, but I digress. The bread is a fluffy hoagie roll that fits like a glove into your hand, but isn’t too big that it’s overwhelming.
While Gojjo’s does sell other Ethiopian classics like Tibs, Shiro Wot, Kitfo, etc., they are very similar at other Ethiopian restaurants. Only the Ethiopian Cheesesteak is unique. There is quite literally no other cheesesteak like it and you can’t find it anywhere else. As an old waiter once told us, “This Ethiopian cheesesteak is so rare, they don’t even have it in Ethiopia.” That’s right, not even in Ethiopia… not even in Ethiopia. Thus, the Ehtiopian Cheesesteak most definitely earns the ***** – “Oh mamaaaaa!” rating. It costs $7.75, which is cheaper than the popular places like Pat’s or Geno’s, but a bit more expensive than the corner shop where you can get it for $5 or less, so it earns the $$ – Cheap enough to double up on dessert! rating on price. They also have nice patio seating in the back and cheap drinks, so it’s a great hangout spot. So, if you’re in Philly and want to have the best cheesesteak, go to Gojjo. If you ain’t filled with glee, you got a meal on me!
Special thanks to the whole crew and just about every one of our visitors who have accompanied us on many unforgettable nights here!