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Unlike at Pat’s or Geno’s, the line moves sloooowly at Jim’s

As part of my never-ending quest to find the perfect cheesesteak, I recently stopped by Jim’s Steaks on South Street in Philly, at the request of the friend who swears by the stuff there.

My snap verdict? Love the Art Deco space, can pass on the cheesesteaks. I’ll explain both in pictures after the jump.

Once inside the door at Jim’s, you have a lot of real estate yet to negotiate, as the line serpentines around the narrow front room. It’s not a bad wait, though, particularly for first-timers. I could read all the reviews, autographed photos, and notes on the wall. One mini-review from the late ’70s really caught my attention; it was bemoaning this new trend about putting Cheez Whiz on steaks instead of provolone. Research conducted right there in line!

Best I could tell, part of the delay was caused by this lone, personable grill man, who couldn’t keep up with the demand for chopped top round, which is the beef of choice at Jim’s.

The grilled onions, however, were in ample supply.

The final product looked great: finely chopped beef, big squares of caramelized onion, a nice foundation of Cheez Whiz, all on a genuine Amoroso roll. The problem? The beef. It was practically unseasoned and dry as a cow skull in the desert. I saw several people in the upstairs dining room salting their meat after the first bite. I know I did.