On a Sunday
About a block south of Betsy Ross's house and a block west of the Delaware River, you'll find Campo's Deli nestled in a lovely brick building in Old City Philadelphia on the well-trodden Market Street.
At least twice as long as it is wide, Campo's interior is dotted with small, round tables and aluminum chairs arranged in sets of two. There are even two small sets along the wall across from the counter where orders are taken, though I'd assume no one over 100lbs would be able to fit there.
While their menu has an extensive range of sandwich options, I was there for just one.
This time I was able to walk to the counter with confidence, make my order, and watch the magic happen.
It took about 10 minutes for my cheesesteak to be prepared but, honestly, I'm rarely ever going to complain about fresh meat being cooked to order.
I sat at a small, round table by the windows to watch the world go by as devoured my beautifully crafted masterpiece.
- Rating -
So how does it rate?
The categories are:
- Team Effort (how it all works together)
- Service (at the establishment)
- Overall Value
A maximum of 5 points can be assigned to each category.
- Roll - 4.5
- This roll was a thing of absolute beauty. In full disclosure, I love carbs more than anything in the world, and consider myself an expert, so when I say this is good bread....This. Is. Good. Bread. I had to take off half a point for it being cold. Like, so cold that it almost immediately chilled my meat
- Meat - 3
- Volume. This cheesesteak was filled to the brim with meat. It was fresh, but was a little chewy and could've benefited greatly from some extra seasoning. All in all, fine
- Cheese - 3
- No major praises or complaints. I'd say the roll could've used a little more all over, but really was just okay in that regard
- Onions - 3
- So, here's the thing: There was a pretty good onion flavor to be had, but honestly, that effect could've been completely synthesized through onion powder. The onions in the sandwich had almost no texture, which made it difficult to rate higher than average
- Team Effort - 4
- Again, a solid effort. This is exactly what I expect from any of the locations listed on the Top 10 Spots for Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks
- Service - 3
- Perfectly adequate
- Value - 4
- Fairly quick service and a $9.72 charge isn't too bad. Hell, I'd almost pay that just for their bread
Other Elements of Note:
THIS IS A CASH ONLY ESTABLISHMENT. I REPEAT, THIS IS A CASH ONLY ESTABLISHMENT. If you don't know that ahead of time I can only imagine that you will be supremely displeased by the time you get to the counter and order. All hope is not lost though, there is an ATM available near the entrance.
A surprise greeted me when I reached the cash register and saw the cooler behind the counter was filled with various gleaming bottles of beer. This could be a game changer. While a cheesesteak itself can be a wonderful meal, it's pretty universally agreed that a cold beer improves almost any dining experience.
Campo's cheesesteaks are also the official cheesesteak of the sports complexes that house the Philadelphia Flyers, Phillies, and 76ers. This comes at no surprise after I almost scarfed down the paper that my cheesesteak was wrapped in.
More information can be found on their website, such as menu, hours, and even shipping information. That's right, Campo's delicious cheesesteaks can actually be delivered to anywhere in the country.
- Recap -
Campo's Deli provides a great Philly cheesesteak experience. Again, I can't stress enough about how much I enjoyed their bread. The location is fairly central, and lends itself to a nighttime stroll along the river or late-night partying in Old City's many bars and clubs. I will definitely be back, or, maybe the next time will be at some sort of Philadelphia sporting event. We'll see.