The Early Years of the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich Where Did it Come From?


Italian brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri invented the world famous Philly cheesesteak sandwich and it all started with a hot dog stand in South Philadelphia. As with most genius inventions, the sandwich was initially an experiment.

A passing by cab driver was offered half a sandwich by Pat Olivieri. The brothers received great feedback from people and were advised to start selling the sandwiches. And so began the journey of the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, originally named Philadelphia Steak Sandwich.

The sandwich gained immediate success. The brothers opened a restaurant and named it Pat’s King of Steak. The sandwich was so popular that soon restaurants around the city added their own touches like varieties of cheese, bell peppers and mushrooms.

Originally the sandwich consisted of chopped steak meat and grilled onions, and the bread used was the traditional Italian Amoroso. The steak has to be thinly shredded, cooked till brown and scrambled into smaller pieces. The sandwich, of course, gets its name from the steak meat used and the city it was invented in.

The brothers incorporated cheese later on. At first it would be added on to the meat while grilling but melting it was time consuming. In 1953, Cheese Whiz, (a ready to use melted cheese became the practical solution to the problem.


Today, Pat and Harry’s restaurant can be found open 24/7 for lovers of the Philly Cheesesteak. And now you know, the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is of Italian origins.


22Philly Cheesesteak Quest in Jeddah

Where do you get your Philly sandwiches here?

23The Local Twist at Steakhouse
Steakhouse is one of the first restaurants in Jeddah to have served the Philly Cheesesteak. They serve the sandwich in soft bread, which is not the usual custom.

The steak used, sirloin steak, is deliciously packed with flavor and complemented by creamy cheese. The grilled onions and bell peppers were a little under cooked but all in all the sandwich is delicious and definitely recommended.

24The Real Deal at South Street
The name of the restaurant was inspired by the street the Philly Cheesesteak was invented in. South Street claims to have created the original Philly Cheesesteak right here in Jeddah.
The steak is juicy and perfectly shredded, but a little less flavored than the Sirloin steak. Bell peppers and mushrooms can be added to the perfectly grilled onions. It is served with a side of homemade fries, sauces and jalapeno.

A special Italian chef bakes the bread, which is like the Amoroso, and apparently it’s better in Jeddah because it’s baked several times a day. South Street also offers Provolone Cheese or Cheese Whiz to be added to the sandwich. They also offer Harisa, which is a North African condiment typically served in the authentic Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia.

DJ-64-79-161The Author:
Ahmad Mesawa, food critic and a member of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ).
Instagram: ahmadmesawa
Twitter: ahmadmesawa
Facebook: ahmad-mesawa 


The Best Taxi Services In Jeddah


By Sahrish Ali

Since getting around town is always an issue (especially for women), we rounded up some of the most used transportation services available.


Uber is an internationally renowned service. However, you need to sign up with your credit card, as it doesn’t accept any other form of payment. It is definitely more expensive than other transportation services around. There’s always a water bottle in your ride. For long trips around and outside the city, they have fixed flat rates. There are two car options: low cost Uber X starts with a base rate of SR 6 and adds 0.50 per minute. Minimum fare is SR 12. Uber black is the original Uber, which starts its base rate at SR 9 with a minimum fare
of SR 20.

Payment: Credit

Mondo Ride

If you don’t mind taking a taxi instead of riding in a private car, Mondo Ride is the service to use. They screen their drivers and cars fairly well; so far we haven’t had to ride a beat up limousine from their fleet. Their GPS drop pin is quite accurate in the city, which means less hassle in needing to call the driver and giving the exact location. The prices can be metered or you can try your hand at negotiating. What makes Mondo Ride a good option is their consistency in getting clean-cut drivers and cars as compared to other similar services. They do have fewer cars compared to the next one on the list, so it’s best to use when you have a few minutes of waiting time to spare.

Payment: Cash


Careem provides easy sign up and bookings with their app, which is available for download on all platforms. It’s very straightforward and easy to use. Once you sign up, they prompt you if you need to be picked up right at the moment or if you would like to book a ride for later. If you have chosen a drop-off location, the app shows you an estimate amount, of course depending on the type of car you have chosen.

Most of their cars are on time and the chauffeurs are very well mannered.

Payment: Cash or credit

optimized-taxi-pixiTaxi Pixi

Taxi Pixi uses the same concept as Careem. However, the app interface is a bit cluttered. They have two kinds of trips: one way or car rentals. Each kind of trip offers four different types of cars. Cars can also be rented for 4 hours, 8 hours or for a full day. Prices depend on your location but often start at above SR 18. They give you a receipt either by email or on your app itself after completing a trip. Cars are always clean and the drivers courteous.

Payment: Cash

optimized-easy-taxiEasy Taxi

If you don’t mind taking a taxi instead of riding in a private car, Easy Taxi is the service to use. We haven’t come across any other taxi services with such fast arriving cars. There’s always a 100 percent guarantee that a cab will reach you within minutes of requesting one. The taxis are mostly clean, however, not always.
At first they didn’t really have a dedicated system for fares: you could either negotiate the prices or go along with the meter system. Fare rate is around 5-10 riyals more than what you would pay a normal cab.

Payment: Cash or credit


Become An Active Citizen Do Something!


By Zeyad Haj Bakry

There’s a growing social awareness movement going on about major issues in today’s age. Consequently, there is a need to take a stance on becoming an active citizen in your immediate and extended social environment.

As members of our communities, we see a lot of problems around us, yet only few do something to fix them. Funnily enough, we keep complaining and blaming others. Becoming an active citizen means that each one of us gets out of our comfort-zones to tackle social issues, which results in a solution that benefits the overall society. So how does one become an active citizen? Social responsibility is at the core of this concept.

Any act that fixes a society-level issue is active citizenship.

Why don’t we get a little out of our way for the poor and less fortunate people in our community? These are just little examples of how a person can become an active citizen. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s gradual and in small steps.

Instead of complaining about dirty roads, take a stand and involve the community in cleaning them up. If potholes in neighborhood streets annoy you, call Riyadh Municipality (940); tell them about these conditions and follow-up with them.

The other aspect to becoming an active citizen is communication and it is also vital for problem solving.

Let others know about problems the society is facing, create groups to educate public about the negative impact of these social problems and encourage people to take initiatives.

Saudi Arabia is one of the top countries in the world in social networks use, and it would work wonders if people would use these networks creatively to inform people on how to contribute to their society.

2The ALS “ice-bucket challenge” was a perfect example of how active citizens have used social networks to communicate about an issue and let others participate.

Active citizens should also take responsibilities for their actions. We can’t tell people about the dangers of reckless driving and then do the complete opposite. We can’t expect everyone to become active citizens overnight, but here’s a thought:

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. — Lao Tzu


Fitness Centers to Visit on Your Travels


By Rob Seagreen, Fitness Director at Arena MMA and Fitness Center

f2That doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s a list of health clubs and gyms worldwide to help you stay in shape while you’re away.

Chobe Health Club and Spa Uganda

Chobe Safari Lodge is located in Murchison Falls National Park, North-Western Uganda, overlooking the Victoria Nile. The Chobe Health Club and Spa promises to be the ideal world of relaxation and revitalization.


Download this app and get active abroad!

Crossfit 5th Ave New York City, USA

Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave is a world-class CrossFit box located between Bryant Park and the Empire State Building. They offer a broad training program suitable for any level of fitness.

f4Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Training Camp Phuket, Thailand

World-renowned Tiger Muay Thai and MMA training camp is the globe’s biggest and most recognized Muay Thai training facility, professional fighters and fitness enthusiasts from across the world travel here to develop their skills and to change their lives.

Ultimate Performance Marbella, Spain

Ultimate Performance (UP) is a 20,000 square feet exercise paradise! The 5,000 square foot first floor interior gym is dedicated to resistance training in the manner that you’d expect of anything UP related. That’s in addition to a roof terrace with a 360 degree panoramic view of Marbella’s famous La Concha mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

f6Virgin Active Barbican  London, UK

With many to choose from in London, I have to highlight the Barbican. It boasts a large gym floor complimented by a 160-meter running track around it with
a 20-meter swimming pool at the center of it all.