cheesesteak sandwich accompanied by fries and an ice cold cola
Why Philly Cheesesteaks Are Popular In Lahore, Pakistan
The famous Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich has developed an unlikely following in the Punjabi capital of Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan.
Philly's Steak Sandwich restaurant in Lahore began slinging cheesesteaks in 2021, after a native Philadelphian asked chef Mazhar Hussain for a local rendition of the sandwich.
Hussain made the cheesesteak a regular menu item, and now Lahoris crowd the restaurant every night to get a sandwich packed with meat and cheese for just over $2.
A traditional Philly cheesesteak is made from an Italian roll, thinly-sliced ribeye steak, peppers and onions, and cheese, but these Pakistani cheesesteaks have a unique seasoning.
Chef Hussain marinates the steak for his sandwiches in tikka masala and red chili powder, and offers jalapeño, fajita, and pepper cheesesteak flavors.
"I believe a major factor behind its growing popularity is this merger of the flavors of Philadelphia and Lahore," Hussain says. Lahore is actually no stranger to culinary fusion.
Afghan, Persian, Indian, British, and other global cuisines have influenced Lahore's food scene for centuries, so Philadelphian food isn't as surprising of an addition as it seems.