April 8, 2008

The Schmitter Sandwich: Philly Goodness on a Roll

I admit it openly, I am not a native Baltimorian. I am instead a Philly Boy. I have been raised on cheesesteaks with sliced steak and processed liquid cheese and pretzels that you buy on the side of the road. Nothing warms my heart more than the site of a Wawa and the blissful thoughts of Rita's Water Ice. There is just something about Philly food. It is food for the people. One of the best examples of this is the Schmitter Sandwich.


The Schmitter, originally created at McNally's Tavern, is one of the specialty concessions served at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The sandwich is considered by some to be one of the best cheesesteaks in the city. While I am a traditionalist who likes my "Cheesesteak, Wiz, Wit" the Schmitter holds a special place in my heart (mostly the clogged Artery part). The sandwich is comprised of some fantastic guilty pleasures, all Philly favorites. Yum. Just take a look at this artists representation of all of the goodness that goes into each one of these handfuls of deliciousness.

As you can see the Schmitter is no kids sandwich. Three slices of cheese, sliced steak, fried onions, grilled salami, and special sauce with stars in it (okay, so the stars are only in this representation, but boy are they delicious). There are tomatoes, clearly there to ensure the nutritional value of this monster. Overall it is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.

The Schmitter is one of those food items that people travel to get. Either at McNally's or the stadiums, people come for the sandwich (the also potentially come for Beer and Baseball/Football). One of the nice things is that the Schmitter has taken a little bit of a tour in recent memory. The Florida debut happened at Superbowl XXXIX and took a trip up I-95 to be enjoyed by those crazy and annoying Mets fans at Shea Stadium (sorry, I couldn't help myself).
If you get the opportunity I highly suggest getting your hands on one of these delectable sandwiches. They are a real unique Philly treat.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

A friend lives in Chestnut Hill and every time I visit, they drag me down to McNally's for The Schmitter. Gotta say that it's pretty good, but I think it's one of those "Locals Only" kind of things.

Meaning it's one of those things that's good because of fond memories and nostalgia for an era in life. While it's tasty and sloppy, I don't find myself pining away for the sandwich.

But here's to good eating!

Robert said...

I am a Mets fan and I have to admit, I think the schmitter is fantastic. I work closer to Philly than to Shea and I go down as often as I can to enjoy one of these beauties! Granted, it's no Mama of Corona sandwhich (available in Italian or Turkey) from Shea, but it's a damn close 2nd.

Anonymous said...

wawa is simply top of the mountain. those touch screen order menus for subs are manna from heaven.

Anonymous said...

The special sauce is russian dressing, that's it. Oh and cooks at McNallys don't wash their hands between touching raw meats and touching the sandwich they're serving. Awesome.

Patrick said...

I am an avid fan of the Schmitter, but I recommend no sauce. The result is a cleaner yet exceptional cheese steak. As for sanitation issues, relax, it will only make you stronger.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know one of my favorite sandwichs was a Schmitter. Actually it isn't, but it's close since I use a sirloin burger in lieu of the steak and a poppy seed kaiser --- this is assuming the special sauce is Russian dressing.

Being a native Philadelphian the Cheese Steak With is of course my favorite sandwhich --- excellent on an italian roll from Sylvio's of Hatboro or a poppy seed kaiser from corropolese of Norristown.

If you are into tuna hoagies, they are so much better with a few slices of hard salami. Of course it can't be a Philly hoagie without the salami.

That's where WaWa's hurting Philly by calling all of their sandwiches hoagies. Their sandwiches pretty much suck and calling them hoagies is like McDonalds calling the burgers, cheese steaks.

earlgrey said...

I have to butt in about sylvio's. I drove all the way from delco to Hatboro to try this "great" hoagie and it was Horrible. The bread might be fine, but the meats we low class. Dietz and Watson maybe. Italian hoagie with Cooked ham, a little genoa and that lousy hot cooked ham. No prosciutto, no hot copa. A decent roll with sub par insides. I don't get it.

I can see why you just buy the rolls and make it yourself.

Anonymous said...

sylvio's makes deep dish pizza that is incredible

Anonymous said...

The sauce isn't just Russian dressing. it looks like it but it's not. My cousin works at Helen's Pure foods, who makes the dressing and it's much more than simple russian dressing.

Max Harrick Shenk said...

My memories of the Schmitter are tarnished, alas, because the last time I had one, I'd come to McNally's to watch a horse named Smarty Jones win the third leg of the Triple Crown. After the last fifteen seconds of that race, the Schmitter, the Guinness draft, even the chicken corn chowder, just lost its flavor.
I've had them at the ballpark a couple times and it was good, but not as good as it was at McNally's... pre-Smarty.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say, this harkens back to the Italian steak at Charlies Waterwheel on Sansom Street. The standard cheese steak, plus pepperoni and sauce. Tomato gravy if your local. Nosh on the meatballs while you wait for the sandwich.

Charlie was a large man in Philly lore, and any other. After the Italian steak your afternoon was shot. Just had to stay low and let your system work through it.

Marc Berner said...

I worked for Charlie at Charlie's Waterwheel in about 1981. I'll never forget how he would ask sandwich and hogie ordering customers, "Would you like peppers with that? We have peppers, hot or sweet or..."
No one has ever figured out the third choice!

May he and his father John rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

The Schmitter and a Boog's BBQ sandwich are the top ballpark foods that I've had.

Anonymous said...

The Schmitter sauce is Remoulade


CEC

lz said...

If somebody knows why it get name Schmitter ?

bricknhymr said...

Contrary to popular believe, the Schmitter was not named for Mike Schmitt. Popular lore says that the sandwich was named for a regular at McNally's Pub, Schmitty. Schmitty would come in and order the sandwich, though I am not sure if it was on the menu or he just asked for it. After a while it was named the Schmitter and a legend was born.

Alex Staff said...

A cartoonish picture, but in the end, it does help you visualize the sandwich itself. It pretty much sums the whole thing up: a fantastic and meaty meal to be enjoyed.