Lee's Hoagie House offers small, medium and large cheesesteaks, with or without sauce and a choice of cheese. (Go provolone.) (Kathleen Purvis/Charlotte Observer/TNS)

Kathleen Purvis

I grew up in the Philly suburbs and was practically raised on cheesesteaks from a very early age.

I also spent a summer working in my uncle’s cheesesteak and hoagie shop near San Francisco. So yo, I know what I’m talking about.

Here are my rules for a good cheesesteak. (Hint, I have a strong preference for the pizza steak):

1. Start with the rolls. They need to be fresh, firm and big enough to hold the sandwich.

2. The meat has to be fresh and chopped up into little pieces, not just cooked and tossed whole on the roll.

3. The cheese (personal preference is provolone, not Cheez Whiz) should be thoroughly melted on top of the meat.

4. Wit or wit’out? Personal preference is wit’out fried onions. But be generous with the portion if they are there.

5. Finally, top it with real marinara sauce. Not ketchup. What is this, Jersey?

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