NYC Cheese Steaks: 99 Miles to Philly is Far From Great

Date December 1, 2008

Cheese steaks may be native to Philadelphia, but in New York it doesn’t matter where a food originates, we think we’ve got the best.  And if something deserves that title, NYC Food Guy is going to find it.  Back in April, I called Shorty’s cheese steak the best I’ve had in NYC, and other than a few delivery mishaps, they haven’t disappointed.  Several readers, however, said 99 Miles to Philly is NYC’s best cheese steak.  But after dining there last week, Shorty’s still wears NYC Food Guy’s cheese steak crown.


Philly Cheese Steak, Whiz Wit ($6.50), Fries ($2.25) & Can of Soda ($1.50)
  • The bread at 99 Miles to Philly is too flimsy and light for the greasy mass of disappointingly dry chopped steak held within.
  • I ordered my sandwich “whiz wit”, which means cheese whiz and onions on top of my steak. The sauteed onions were ordinary and the dispersal of the liquidy cheese whiz was uneven, waiting at the back of the sandwich to overwhelm my final bites.  I may opt for American cheese next time out.
  • The final verdict is a sandwich that lacks unified flavor and structural cohesiveness.  Cook the steak less, and find a new roll and this cheese steak will improve.
  • The standard spicy waffle fries, piping hot and overflowing from a tiny paper bag, were best when stuffed in the cheese steak.
  • The table is adorned with Frank’s Red Hot, an overly sweet barbecue sauce and a non-Heinz ketchup, none of which enhanced the meal.
99 Miles to Philly 94 3rd Ave b/t 12th & 13th St New York, NY 10003 (212) 253-2700
Open Until: Sunday to Tuesday 12AM, Wed. 1AM, Thurs. 2AM,. Fri. & Sat 3AM

20 Responses to “NYC Cheese Steaks: 99 Miles to Philly is Far From Great”

  1. Before Sunrise said:

    That really does not sound good at all… Flimsy bread with dry meat!!!

    I look forward to trying Shorty’s some time soon. I want to taste a GOOD cheese steak 🙂

  2. Bill said:


    Sorry to hear about your experience at 99 Miles. I’ve been there numerous times and never had a bad cheesesteak. I always get the whiz-wit and have found it to be very well balanced. They way you described this sandwich is exactly the experience I had at Philly Slims uptown. So much so that I threw away the second half.

  3. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Speaking unencumbered by eating at any of these establishments:
    Don’t you all like provolone much better on the cheese steak than the Whiz? Perhaps it’s the though of someone taking a whiz on my sandwich…

  4. kristen said:

    hehehe that is disgusting doc!!!!@@@! im so bombd and ftired right noww i would even it onea of these disgustingg lookig cheesteaks!!

  5. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Poor Kristen. Hope you feel better…

  6. Jack said:

    Hey FG, every Christmas me and my friends do a nice steak dinner, dive bar, and nudes. This year we were going to do Wolfgangs but with the economy we nixed it. Now it is either 5 Napkins Burger or 123 Burger Shot Beer both in Hells Kitchen. Have you done either of these and could you recommend? Also, some bad news on the UWS, the Neptune Room shut their doors yesterday…

  7. Jack said:

    Now im awaiting moderation?? Wow, I thought I was better than that, now I know how YOU felt Kristen……

  8. Howfresh said:

    FG, as the name says 99 miles to Philly is an easy I-95 trip. Next time you get the jones just take a 5 hour trip and satisfy that crave. I’ve hit Carl’s several times- mostly at Yankee Stadium, but cheesesteaks are one of those foods that I rather not mess with in the NYC. I did have one at White Manna however, and aside from the frozen meat and pickles it wasn’t that bad.

  9. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Before Sunrise,
    According to Bill, the cheesesteak is good at Shorty’s but not worth the price. So beware Sunrise. Either way, I still stand behind it.

    Misery loves company. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience but good to know I wasn’t the only one.

    Dr. Dyspepsia,

    To me provolone just isnt flavorful enough to really complement a sandwich filled with greasy steak and onions, I like a cheese with some punch.


    You know I never even got a chance to eat at Neptune. Heard they have a good burger. It’s the same burger at Jane, which is a sister restaurant. I know a lot of people who did like Neptune though. I don’t know about the burgers at 123, but a lot of people have said nice things about Five Napkins burger with comte cheese and caramelized onions. I haven’t had it yet but I will try to get over there soon to let you know. If you beat me to it though, I look forward to hearing your review. If you take some pics and write something up, I’d love to post it. About the moderation, it wasn’t intentional, wordpress has been acting strangely.

    You’re a bolder man than I. I’m not making moves to Philly for a cheesteak. I still have to try Wogie’s, which might be the answer to our NYC cheesesteak needs (based on some reviews I’ve read). Interesting you don’t like the burger at Manna but you do like the cheesesteak.

  10. Sandwich Man said:

    Hey NYC Food Guy,

    I agree, 99 miles to philly isn’t very good. You must give Wogies a try, it’s absolutely delicious. I think it’s the best philly cheesesteak I’ve had in the city and I’ve covered 4 so far: BB’s Cheesesteaks, 99 miles to philly, Carl’s steaks and Wogies. Wogies wins, hands down.

    Check them out:

  11. naum said:

    i have to disagree with Sandwich Man, although Wogies is really good, i wouldnt say they are the best hands down. I personally have tried all of the above mentioned and i prefer Carls’s (the one on 34th and 3rd). For a good combination of wings, cheese steaks, fries and beer Wogies does win the battle, but in my opinion Carls has the best steaks ( and you HAVE to get it “wit wiz”).

  12. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Sandwich man,
    your love for wogie’s is apparent and a little scary. just kidding. but I will still get over there to try it, it looks pretty good in your photos. Going to have to try some wings too.

    I’ve had carl’s only once and it was after a night of drinking in murray hill so i can’t really speak to the validity of carl’s as the best in the city. Only one was to find out though, going to have to check it out again.

  13. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Sandwich man-

    I only feel the need to say this because i had one yesterday, but if you truly consider yourself a sandwich man you HAVE to go to Kensington Deli in Great Neck, NY and get the Brisket/Fried Onions/Gravy on a toasted club roll (with some russian added of course). It melts in your mouth it is that damn good. Everytime I come home from school upstate, it is the first thing I get. Its an easy ride on the LIRR and right by the station if you’re up for it. Easy drive from the city too. Do it.

    Big bro reviewed it here:

  14. Sandwich Man said:

    NYC Food Guy, I tend to get overly excited by good sandwiches, Wogies is one of the proud!

    Lil NYC Food Guy, I’ll put it on the ‘wich list and try to head out there, thanks for the recommendation!

  15. Dr. Dyspepsia said:

    Hey Lil,

    I repeat (see prior post): real men who go to Kensington get the Dr. D Special (ask Bruce, Phil and Simon, they’ll know): Corned beef and pastrami on rye, mustard and cole slaw. Russian optional. And they have new kick-ass potato pancakes, almost too big for one real man to devour. The brisket is fine, too, but it ain’t no combo.

    Dr. D

  16. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Dr. D,

    Sad to say I’ve never been a fan of cole slaw or mustard, but I’ll have to give the new potato pancakes a try…although the well done fries are tough to pass on, maybe i’ll have to get both

  17. lovey said:

    Fetch on 3rd Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets has an outstanding Philly Cheesesteak! OUTSTANDING!!

  18. johnnutah said:

    shorty’s sucks

  19. ORyan said:

    So i tried the 99 miles to Philly cheesesteak whit wiz. I enjoyed it alot, but this was my first time having a cheesesteak in years so i have nothing to compare it against.

    The only thing that annoys me is how greasy cheesesteaks are. Grease helps the flavor but when i can almost have grease dripping down my finger it a bit much.

  20. The NYC Food Guy said:

    99 Miles to Philly is a good starting point because it only gets better from there. I really didn’t enjoy their cheese steak mainly because it was so greasy. A good cheese steak shouldn’t be as greasy as 99 miles version.

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