In February we wrote about the return of Rick’s Steaks at a new location in the food court at the Bellevue. Yesterday, Rick Olivieri fired up the grill for the first time since leaving the Reading Terminal Market, over eight months ago. Loyal fans who at one point were unsure if Rick’s would ever return, lined up as Rick himself manned the register and the grill along with his original staff that’s been with him for years. After all the turmoil of leaving the RTM, Rick is just glad to be back in business, serving the community.
Rick, whose grandfather Pat invented the original steak sandwich, strongly believes the best way to order is whiz wit’, urging cheesesteak virgins to try the sandwich this way. He has always insisted that if they don’t like the gooey cheese sauce, they can exchange the sandwich, but in over 25 years, has never had anyone return unsatisfied. Still, locals favor their cheesesteak with provolone or American, which make up the majority of sandwiches sold each day. Each cheesesteak is made to order, with round, sliced (never chopped) ribeye steak served on a hoagie roll from Liscio’s Bakery.
Unfortunately, Rick wouldn’t divulge his second favorite cheesesteak, but did admit he tries the sandwiches all over, even when on vacation, and also indulges in a good Italian hoagie from South Philly once in awhile. When asked about the rising popularity of the roast pork sandwich, Rick emphasized the fact that although it’s delicious and gaining traction, it will forever be second to the cheesesteak as Philly’s favorite sandwich.
Besides serving up original and chicken cheesesteaks, the new Rick’s Steaks also serves a vegan option, plus an entire breakfast menu including sandwiches and omelettes. On June 25th a grand opening celebration will take place at the store with special guest appearances by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and longtime Rick’s fan Al Roker and more.
We’re glad to see a Philadelphia staple make a triumphant return and are even happier that there is finally a legitimate cheesesteak in Center City/Rittenhouse.