Gorging on Wisconsin
-Philly Style Cheesesteaks
New series of posts people. Word on the block is that an ex-Philly man will be opening what he is calling a "real deal" cheesesteak shop here in Chicago soon. I took this news with much warmth since a recent trip to Sandwich City, USA aka Philadelphia verified my love for the cheesesteak. I get to Philly's Best now and then but it's not near what I was eating over in Philly for a few days. However for whatever reason I've found two places in Wisconsin that are closer to the authentic taste I seek. We visited The Philly Way up in Milwaukee last year and enjoyed their version very much. I also got to visit Ken & Betty's in Fort Atkinson a few times this past summer and loved their menu too. Shout out to the Grub Seeker for the rec.
Philly Style Sandwiches in Fort Atkinson, WI
The owners of Ken & Betty's, you guessed it, Ken and Betty, went to Wisconsin in 1987 and bought a restaurant called 'The Lamp'. So the story goes it was shortly thereafter they realized you couldn't get the authentic Philly cheesesteak they were missing so much from home. Not only couldn't you get a real version of one but it was hard to even make them as the ingredients so they say were hard to come. They'd stock up on rolls and white American cheese when they went home and bring them back to Wisconsin to make cheesesteaks there. Eventually they didn't have to drive home to get the right things needed to make a real version so they opened up shop right there in Ft. Atkinson. I stopped in at K&B's a couple times and enjoyed each visit.
Cheesesteak "wit" from Ken & Betty's
Obviously on my first visit one of the sandwiches (yes I got a few) I had to order was a basic cheese steak which comes with onions and not cheese whiz (The south Philly way) but with white American cheddar. Seen in the picture up above this was a good sandwich but not the best cheesesteak I have had in Wisconsin. I'd say the Philly Way was a little better with their basic version most likely due to the meat. I don't think that K&B's uses thinly sliced ribeye however Amoroso's rolls are used. I'd say they make a very respectable version. In my opinion though the way to go and the sandwich I'll seek when visiting from now on is their cheesesteak hoagie.
Ken & Betty's Cheesesteak Hoagie
In Philly, the cheese steak is not the only sandwich consumed as they also love their hoagies which is just another word for subs. They have hoagies on the menu here and if it's the oil and vinegar you enjoy from a hoagie but also love the combo of steak, onions and melted cheese then by all means order the cheesesteak hoagie. It's a steak dressed with lettuce, tomato, raw onions and oils. I used to really like the offering at the now gone Hoagie Hut. This version is better.
Also hugely popular in Philly is the grinder. This is a sub sandwich that is toasted. On my second visit I tried my much loved cheesesteak hoagie along with the standard Italian grinder. Another winner for me this sandwich was everything potbelly's wants to be and maybe even once was when there was one and only one location on Lincoln ave. I know when I really like a place because as I write about it on here I get really hungry for what I had from there. I look forward to getting back here this summer while on the road. If your driving to Madison or the Wisconsin Dells and taking I-90 from Chicago or vice versa, Fort Atkinson is en route.
Italian Grinder from Ken & Betty's
Ken & Betty's
41 W. Sherman ave
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538