Southside Steaks holds down a busy corner on Pittsburgh's south side, but its roots are in Philadelphia. That's where owner Marc Feldstein experienced a moment that would change his life, he says on his website: "falling in love with a sandwich." It was hard enough to sustain that spark back in his hometown that he decided to build a home there for his own adoringly faithful recreation of a classic Philadephia cheesesteak: sliced ribeye steak, grilled onions, and Cheez Whiz, all in the embrace of a 10" roll from Philly's Amoroso's Baking Company.
Although Feldstein's a traditionalist at heart, Southside's customers have dozens of options. Swap out the beef for chicken; slather on mayo; add a wheel of Provolone, a garden's worth of veggies, or tongue-searing ghost-pepper seasoning. In the same spirit, wings come dry-rubbed or in a choice of 10 sauces. But you don't have to look at the menu to sense the restaurant's love of eclectic variety?just check out the display cases, where Feldstein has assembled nostalgic oddities such as early electronic sports games, weirdly cute pharmaceutical giveaways, and teeny handheld TVs.