When you think of a taco, you probably think of a tortilla wrapped around some meat, cheese, or veggies. In Philadelphia, the Philly taco is anything but traditional. To put it simply, a Philly taco is a food mashup created by wrapping a cheesesteak in a slice of pizza. This insanely gluttonous creation has been called, "A turducken for drunks and stoners." A Philly cheesesteak is the perfect food for the munchies with its gooey cheese and salty beef. And while all Philadelphians have heard of a cheesesteak, not many have heard of a Philly taco.
History of the Philly Taco
It turns out that the Philly taco is a relatively new invention. It was created in 2003 by Jeff Barg and Adam Gordon. They originally called it The Lorenzo's-Jim's Challenge. Nowadays, it's referred to as the Philly Taco or South Street Sushi. If this sounds like something only a college student could invent, you'd be right. While in college, Jeff and Adam wanted to create a fun food challenge. Jeff was working at an alternative newspaper and wrote about their challenge idea as if it were already happening. Once people read about it, they started completing the challenge.
South street is a bustling party street in South Philly where the boys liked to hang out. Lorenzo and Son's Pizza sells some of the biggest pizza slices in town, and Jim's Cheesesteaks is a well-known cheesesteak and hoagie joint. The combo of both a slice of Lorenzo's pizza inside a Jim's steak will cure any late night ailment.
Ken Silver, president of Jim's Steaks on South Street, said he's seen all different kinds of people come in and get one, from folks who look like they are locals to tourists. It's definitely a once-in-a-lifetime try when you're on South St. in South Philadelphia.
How To Eat a Philly Taco
There are two main ways to eat the Philly taco, with one being deemed correct by the inventor. You can wrap it lengthwise or like pigs in a blanket. Lengthwise is the correct way, as you get more pizza with each bite. Even NPR got in on the action by testing both variations on their Sandwich Monday show. Needless to say, they felt very full by the end.