Local Cheesesteak Blog Gets NYT Love

Local blogger Michaelangelo Ilagan started This is Not a Cheesesteak to chastise the glut of out-of-town Philly Cheesesteaks who just don't get what our sandwich is all about. Whether they use the wrong bread, wrong cut of meat, or, most commonly, throw green peppers on it, Ilagan calls them out for gross negligence during sandwich construction.

While it has given the local Philly set a good chuckle, today, Sam Sifton, the National Editor for The New York Times, gave it the tweet treatment. Ilagan counts himself a huge fan of Sifton, but not because of his stature with the NYT, but that he is passionate about our local sandwich.

"He's a cheesesteak fan, a real cheesesteak fan," said Ilagan. "I admire that even more than the paper he writes for."

Many of Ilagan's posts are submissions by expat Philadelphians who share his rage in regards to the abominations they must endure when they're far from home.

"I can't believe how big this got in such a short amount of time," said Ilagan, who started the blog just nine days ago. "But, I thank Philadelphians all over the country for sending in their photos for us to run."

Ilagan started the blog after national chain Arby's released their new sandwich, "The Black Angus Philly," which has oven-roasted beef, swiss cheese, and green peppers. Ilagan added, "The guy in the commercial calls it a Philly, and said he knows a good Philly. It's a cheesesteak, not a Philly. Whenever I need to get angry about something, I play that video."

When we asked Ilagan what was next for the site and his new found internet fame, he said he would like to meet two of the three Kardashians.

"I don't care which of the two, but two of them," said Ilagan. "And, I want to curate a book about cheesesteaks at some point, or do a recipe set with Gojee.com. But, we're not ready to talk about that yet." [The Feast]

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