Since transitioning in January from his popular food cart to a mustard-yellow brick-and-mortar storefront in Brewerytown, Josh Kim's SpOt Gourmet Burgers has, not surprisingly, become a bona-fide destination for some of the best burgers in town.
Creative house-ground beauties such as the Ponderosa (posed inside its bun over a raft of french fries with mushrooms, Swiss, and barbecue sauce) and a lamb-patty special scented with mint over cumin aioli were just two of his recent hits.

But Kim also happens to make what is surely one of the very best cheesesteaks in town. And its excellence comes from the same attention to quality and details of cooking that elevate Kim's burger game. Unlike most cheesesteak places, which use low-grade, processed "chipped beef," then carelessly chop-chop and griddle their meat to dry oblivion, Kim house-butchers a half-pound of choice-grade rib eye for every sandwich and then pays attention to what comes next.

He carefully seasons the meat with kosher salt and a grind of fresh-milled pepper. He gives it a good sear, but doesn't over mince it. The cheeses, which can get crazy considering the eight choices (Goat cheese? Not this time, but the sharp-and-creamy provolone-American blend is recommended), are carefully folded in before they're tucked into a delicately crusty Conshohocken Bakery roll. Some baroque variations - like the "Jawn," elaborated with sloppy Joe meat, grilled onions, Whiz, and fries - are awfully tempting. But what distinguishes SpOt's steak is apparent in its most elemental offering.

It looks pretty much look like every other cheesesteak you've ever had. But when you take a bite, the care and quality simply resonate in a rare fashion that is hard to put down once you start eating.

- Craig LaBan
House-butchered rib-eye cheesesteak, $11, SpOt Gourmet Burgers, 2821 W. Girard Ave., 267-930-7370; on Facebook.