When I met T, I had never had a Tastykake in my life.  I didn’t even know what they were.  I asked if they were like Little Debbie cakes or Hostess Ding Dongs.  T said they were, but they really weren’t.  He started to describe them, but to me it sounded like a Hostess cupcake, where you peel off the “frosting” and then eat the cake.  I dismissed it as some funny East Coast thing and went back to asking why we didn’t have frozen Ding Dongs in the house.  I think my first taste of a Tastykake was actually at Philly Frank’s, in San Marcos.  They make a mean cheesesteak and also sell Tastykakes, Wise chips, and italian water ice.  It’s a cool place with good food.  Not healthy food, but very tasty.  So, we had a cheesesteak (Provolone, wit) and some chips and a Butterscotch Krimpet.  And you know what?  It’s not like a Hostess cake at all.  I mean, it is, but it isn’t.  The cake is different (more dense, like pound cake), the frosting is different (I don’t know, it just tastes less fake), and they have, like, a bazillion different flavors.

When we went to Philadelphia between holidays to see T’s family, I found out that there is a holiday Tastykake that is pepperminty and yummy goodness.  Not only that, I learned that Tastykake is like Hostess – they have so many different products.  Pies, donuts, kakes, krimpets, kandy kakes, coffee kakes, cream-filled kakes… so many goodies!  It blew my mind away.

On this trip east, I brought back a box of chocolate kandy kakes (because it’s seems you only find the peanut butter ones here) and cream-filled krimpets (like Twinkies but so much better).  I ate a kandy kake in Millheim and then a krimpet in the airport while we were re-checking our luggage.  Yum yum yum.  It makes me sad that you can’t really buy them here.  You can order them from the website, but you have to buy a lot and then also deal with shipping.  Plus, I know I don’t need boxes and boxes of Tastykakes in the pantry, but I feel like I should hoard them since they can only be bought on our trips east. 

If you find yourself in a cheesesteak place, check to see if they have krimpets or kandy kakes.  Look to see if they have Herr or Wise chips.  If they do, rest assurred you’ve probably found a good cheesesteak dealer.  If not, well, all bets are off.  They probably make a tasty sandwich with beef bits and cheese, but they aren’t passionate about sharing the Philly love with their customers. 

I’ve heard that there is a new place in Pacific Beach, Olde City Grill, that makes a mean cheesesteak.  Captain Jack reviewed it well on his site.  Believe you me, we are going to check them out ourselves one of these days, whenever we make time to get over to PB.  It certainly looks promising.


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