Papa's Philly Cheesesteak: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 49

Mmmm. One of the best sandwiches in the Twin Cities.

Mmmm. One of the best sandwiches in the Twin Cities.

While Papa's Restaurant and Deli on Minneapolis's north side is known for its friendly atmosphere, tasty pizza, and well-prepared pasta dishes, we often gravitate to an item at the top of the sandwich menu: the Philly Cheesesteak, one of our favorite sandwiches in the Twin Cities, and one that has been often lauded by local magazines and food bloggers.

What makes its special? After all, you can walk into plenty of restaurants around town (heck, even Subway has a similar item) and order one. But those places don't take the same care that Papa's does.


It starts with the steak. Thinly sliced and grilled to order, the meat is juicy and packed with well-seasoned flavors. Onions and green peppers add to the medley of flavors. Here they are just at the right point of cooking, the onions caramelized and the peppers cooked but still crunchy. It ends with the provolone cheese, a tangy binding for all of the above ingredients.

And you can't forget the bun. Papa's offers great Italian loaves and serves them well here. The bread remains chewy even after it has been baked and packing to the gills with all the ingredients, and it retains its shape and flavor to the last bite.

Papa's is as unpretentious as the surrounding Victory neighborhood, and the same goes for its signature dish. It's a hearty meal for someone bringing an appetite, but it also packs enough flavor to satisfy well-developed tastes.

4159 Thomas Ave. N., Minneapolis
Papa's website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll
No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle
No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake
No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's seafood and tofu hotpot
No. 55: The Inn's Polish Delight cocktail
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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