Blackbird Pizzeria’s take on the cheesesteak gets its hearty, meaty flavor from seared seitan, which is cooked down with a splattering of garlic sauce and rosemary. Once grilled, hunks of seitan are loaded into a crusty hoagie, then finished off with a hefty pouring of house-made cheese whiz and griddled onions. If you didn’t know better, you could easily mistake Blackbird’s version for one from Geno’s Steaks.
For Mebus, the inclusion of the Philly cheesesteak was obvious, even during the original conception for the restaurant. “It’s something that many people growing up in Philadelphia eat very regularly,” he explains. “It was really the No. 1 item. If we were going to do sandwiches at all, then a cheesesteak was the first one that was going to go on the menu.”