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Pete’s Steak Shop

/ Updated on March 31, 2017
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After exhaustive studies and fact-finding missions since I first wrote about Pete’s in 2012, I have reached this conclusion: There are two camps of cheesesteak aficionados out there. (1) Those who love their cheesesteaks on the soft, Amoroso’s Bakery-style roll; the mainstay of South Philly, and (2) those who like a slightly firmer Italian sub roll — like what Touch of Italy bakes in Lewes every day for their sandwiches and subs.

When the late Frank Vasilikos teamed up with Petru Cornescu in early summer 2012 (Petru is now running the joint) to bring their popular Wilmington-style cheesesteak concept here to Rehoboth, they wanted freshly baked bread in the Italian tradition, so of course they chose Touch of Italy bakery as their supplier. Since that time, Petru has expanded the menu substantially, including very nice homemade soups (try the chicken noodle!), burgers sandwiches and in-house smoked BBQ.

This chain of events has lead me to make several suggestions: (1) Those of you who like the soft, almost eggy on the inside, slightly crusty on the outside Italian sub rolls at Touch of Italy will love the steaks at Pete’s Steak Shop. (2) The Philly purists out there should be nice and at least give the other roll a try. It’s not like it’s the last time you’re going to eat already. And, (3) for goodness’ sakes, try the pizza too.

Govern yourself accordingly.

The desire for quality does not stop with the rolls. Frank made sure that they bought the very same rib eye beef that you buy in the store for the grill. On an early visit, he brought out the entire 6 through 12 rib section [sans bone, of course] that had not yet been chipped for the sandwiches. So much meat is stuffed into the cheesesteaks that you should ask for a fork to pick up what falls out. (Which begs the question as to why they offer extra meat on the menu.) Choice of cheese includes provolone, American and, with a bright orange nod to the opposing corners of 9th and Passyunk, Cheez Whiz.

Though I do like the traditional cheesesteak, I believe the star of the steak show at Pete’s Steak Shop is the Chicken Cheese Steak. The chicken is marinated in a delicious combination of spices with decidedly Greek overtones. It is pulled/chopped into chunks and then nestled into those rolls. The chicken is reminiscent of any good restaurant’s marinated and oven roasted chicken, except that it’s in a sandwich. I get it with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles and provolone. Don’t tell anybody, but I bring my own cherry pepper spread and slather it on when nobody’s looking. I guess I should explain that: In the true Mediterranean tradition, they grill and marinate whole (“long”) peppers at Pete’s Steak Shop. They are quite good, but I prefer them on the salads or to eat on the side. They are so brightly spiced that they dominate the sandwiches. Toward the end of last summer, Frank caught me emptying my tiny Tupperware onto the sandwich. He rolled his eyes and walked away. I get that a lot.

The gyro sandwiches also bear explanation. In my weekly Beach Paper column, I listed all the local places that sold gyros, dividing them into the sliced-off-the-vertical-loaf group, and the prepared-and-grilled-strips group. At that time, Pete’s Steak Shop did not have a vertical rotisserie. Now they do. But rather than buying the beef/lamb or chicken loaf commercially, they stack and compress their own, alternating between pork shoulder and porchetta. This is a gyros the likes of which you have never had. Hellenic purists will cry heresy, but this gyro is delicious. Again, think — and eat — out of the box. It’s good for you.

So, with all this going on in the cheesesteak department, who would think that pizza would be the sleeper here? Give it a try. On our very first visit, a server was making the rounds offering slices to try. I’m going to turn that down? Right. I was surprised at how good it was. Unlike some sandwich joints, pizza is not an afterthought at Pete’s Steak Shop. The dough is made daily in-house, and you will like the distinctive blend of sauce and cheese. On our second visit, we ordered a small Vegetarian Combo as a side dish with our subs. Yes, this is a rationalization, but after all, I do have to represent all my visitors. Since then, Pete’s Steak Shop has introduced a thin and crispy pizza choice – and it stands up to pretty much any other pizza here in the Cape Region. There. I said it. Go and prove it to yourself. You can get it in any variety with any toppings. I love a crispy crust and that’s all we get now. I get it with Italian sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms. Since then we also tried the Formaggio Pizza, coated with mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan. Yes, another long-time local pizza joint has a cheesesteak pizza, but Pete’s Steak Shop’s is topped not only with the chipped rib eye (which gets nicely charred in the oven) and green peppers, but also mushrooms. When you go, get this pizza. If you have any left over, email me at Contact the Foodie and I will tell you how to properly reheat it so it’s crispy and as close to perfect as possible (hint — a pizza stone, even a cheap one, makes all the difference).

It’s early spring 2017, and Petru has just introduced Sunday Brunch (from 8 -2). He invited us in and we were pleasantly surprised at how good everything was. We had the cheese omelet, with scrapple on the side (Rapa, no less), the biscuits & sausage gravy (gravy was particularly good) and some pancakes (Well, I had to take photos, you know…). Check out the gallery for the breakfast photos.

The menu is huge, and the Angus burger, Greek salad and Italian Sub are at the top of my list. Desserts are all homemade, with a few Greek specialties thrown in. I’m not promising that they will have them all the time, but be sure to ask.

The cheesecake is also made from scratch, and it’s the New York style: not too cream-cheesy creamy, a little bit cakey with a faint undertone of lemon and vanilla. Topped with cherries, of course. There is a lot of good rice pudding here in Rehoboth Beach, and now there’s one more at Pete’s. This one is particularly creamy.

Frank and Mike Vasilikos named the place after their father, but Frank’s son (and his Pappou’s namesake) used to pretty much run the joint with his gigantic smile and his I’ll-run-over-and-get-you-anything-you-could-possibly-want attitude. The 12 year-old has grown up in restaurants and is a quick learner. Sadly, since dad passed away, I haven’t seen young Pete in the restaurant. I guess I don’t blame him. As an aside (and not meant to bring you down), Frank was the business brains of the outfit and used to include young Pete in all his meetings and in the complicated processes required to convert an 8000 square foot video rental place into a bright and busy restaurant. Young Pete certainly has benefited from his late dad’s attention and love.

The busy restaurant has been left in the capable hands of their very hardworking business partner, Petru Cornescu. Petru has revamped the website and created a high-tech online ordering system. Click here to use it.

Pete’s Steak Shop is open 10-10 Monday through Thursday, 10-11 Friday and Saturday, and 11-9 on Sundays. Take a gander at Pete’s Steak Shop menu by clicking here.

They are located at the far left of the Weis Market Food Lion Shopping Center, behind Sea Shell Shop directly across Coastal Highway from the Giant Food and the Walgreen’s at 19287 Miller Road at Munchy Branch Road.

They are open year-round, but feel free to call 302-226-3000. And yes, they serve beer and wine. (L., D) Price range: Inexpensive +.

Sadly, October 2013 brought misfortune to the owners and employees of Pete’s Steak Shop when the affable co-owner, long-time local and friend, Frank Vasilikos, passed away. He left behind two young kids. Since the unfortunate incident, Frank’s brother, Mike handed ownership and day-to-day operation of the restaurant over to their hardworking partner, Petru Cornescu. And Pete’s continues going strong, with an expanded menu (try Petru’s soups!) and an electronic delivery management system.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

19287 Miller Road
Weis Market Shopping Center
(302) 226-3000

Sunday
Sunday Brunch 8-2
Lunch/Dinner: Choose your panini and a side! $9.99
pulled pork
Pulled turkey
grilled chicken
cheeseburger
smoked beef
Monday
Open 10:30- 9
Turkey Day! Choose your style and a side $8.99
pulled turkey with cranberry sauce
hot turkey and gravy
turkey reuben
avocado turkey burger
mushroom swiss turkey burger
Tuesday
Open 10:30- 9
Chicken Day! Choose your style and a side $8.99
smothered chicken sandwich
BLT chicken
Chicken cordon bleu
Fried buffalo chicken
Avocado Swiss chicken
Wednesday
Open 10:30- 9
Beef Day! Choose a style and a side $8.99
Pit beef sandwich
French dip
roast beef melt
Thursday
Open 10:30- 9
Pork Day! Choose a style and a side $8.99
pulled pork sandwich
cuban sandwich
smoked sausage sub
Friday
Open 10:30- 10
Fish Day! Choose a style and a side $9.99
Grilled salmon sandwich
Crabcake sandwich
tuna salad melt
Blackned Tilapia sandwich
Small Blue cheese salad with salmon
Saturday
Open 10:30- 10
Fish Day! Choose a style and a side $9.99
Grilled salmon sandwich
Crabcake sandwich
tuna salad melt
Blackned Tilapia sandwich
Small Blue cheese salad with salmon
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Phil says:

    Sorry but I have to disagree with the five-star review here. Chicken cheesesteak was good but not great. Turkey sub was likewise. And french dip was actually not good. We did not try the actual cheesesteak. But in any case hard to see how this place gets 5/5.

  2. DMac says:

    Pete’s serves the best cheesesteak sandwiches AND the best pizza in town. I’ve been eating there since the week that they opened, and I’ve never been disappointed once. I’ve also recommended them to friends, and every one of them has thanked me for it. So if you love cheesesteak sandwiches and pizza, Pete’s is the place in Rehoboth Beach.

  3. Lynn says:

    Amazing place, service and food. We just tried their on line ordering last night–what a pleasure! LOVE this place. They truly understand customer service and GREAT FOOD!

  4. Robgreeneyes says:

    Everything said here is absolutely true. excellent food. And yes it is true, that the pizza here is the best. Cheesesteaks are wonderful and the salads are huge. thank God this place isn’t on the Avenue or there would probably be a long line outside all the time

  5. Carolyn Servais says:

    My husband and I ate at Pete’s Steak Shop for the first time a few weeks ago and we are eagerly waiting for the time when we can return. It is indeed a great place to eat. The food was absolutely wonderful. We hail from Wisconsin and we are used to great meat, no matter what kind it is, and great pizza. Pete’s fills the bill all the way. After reading your review; can’t wait to get back there and have at the desserts too. The entire staff does a great job there.

  6. Randall says:

    The pizza is really good here.

  7. barbara says:

    This restaurant is huge. If they could dim the lights and get some entertainment in there it has potential for nightlife or sports bar potential. I love the food but not the atmosphere.

  8. Leslie Beall says:

    IMHO – the best pizza in Rehoboth/Lewes/Dewey. The crust is amazing!

  9. Nickole says:

    Simply the best cheese cake ever!

  10. Yummy bear says:

    I originally went to sample a cheesesteak after growing up in Philly burbs to of course test their mettle against the best. Switched to a pizza after seeing one being sliced and prepped on the counter. It looked to much like old favs from college days and smelled great. Took my pie home and enjoyed every last crumb, have had many more since.Love the crust done in what I call ‘greek’ thickness. A bonus was the rice pudding offered on one visit gratis and now I am hooked an treat myself.
    Finally tried the cheesesteak and was equally impressed. Unlike too many Philly area versions, this was not filled with too much fake cheese wiz and wimpy. This was a man sized,filled with meat version with a choice of cheese. Great tasting,filling, and very repeatable once I try the chicken version as well.
    Thank you Pete for offering the beach version of the real things, others can enjoy the “philly style steak and cheese” at IHop or Friendly’s.

  11. k the falc says:

    Food, You are right on praising everything they do at Pete’s. I just finished my leftover bite of Pete’s pepperoni pizza, ordered for deliv two days ago. This is absolutely top of our list among all the pizza joints in town, many are good, but this is the ultimate and reasonably priced, The delivery person even found my little hut. Plus,bonus, on top of the pizza box was the fine little container of their lovely rice pudding. I’m glad I learned about this from The Food.

  12. Mike M says:

    I have been wanting to try Pete’s Steak Shop for awhile and finally did that today. I’m a cheese-steak lover who grew up in Baltimore City, a sub shop on just about every corner, most of which have fairly good subs and steak sandwiches/subs.

    Myself and my daughter both tried the beef cheese-steak, mine with yellow American, my daughter’s with Provolone. We also ordered a side of Steak fries.

    This review is easy. Neither me or my daughter liked the roll, the subs were loaded with meat, the toppings were okay, but all was bland. Not much flavor for a cheese-steak…even the fries were under-cooked and the soda was flat. Overall it wasn’t terrible, but it was nothing to write home about either. I can easily think of a few other places on Rt 1 that I would prefer to order a cheese-steak sub from.

  13. LocoLocal says:

    We absolutely Love this place we eat here at LEAST once a week if not more. The bf always gets a hamburger wrap and I cant seem to not eat the pizza everytime. We introduced some friends who work at another local pizza place and they loved the pizza too. Its reasonably priced and amazing. The fountain soda has the awesome little crushed ice cubes and we always have friendly service when we are there. I love the days where we get free rice pudding as it is amazing and have even paid for it on occassion as well… I am not a fan of the cheesesteaks b/c i prefer a softer roll so i opt for my steaks in a wrap delish. I have nothing bad to say about this place but how about delivery? 😉

  14. E.T. says:

    You really think they gave you rice pudding because it was spoiled? Is that how you interpret every gift you get? Actually, they give it out because they are new and they want people to try it.

  15. Barbara Ruhe says:

    Yes, I am an absolute fan of Pete’s and hate to see any negative comments. The rice pudding is made in-house daily so they don’t worry about a “sell by” date. They gave it to you as a “good will” gesture. Very few places in Rehoboth do this. Can’t comment on the chicken but I am sure if you would have voiced your displeasure the management would have bent over backward to make it right. Hope you give them another chance. The cheesesteak with onions and mushrooms is the best!

  16. Barbara Ruhe says:

    From what I understand Petru makes it fresh daily. He also makes the delicious cheesecake. Yum!

  17. Barbara Ruhe says:

    [quote name=”B&L in Lewes”]Maybe w,e should have tried the cheesesteaks. We had a thin crust pizza and a pizzaboli, neither of which we’d order again or recommend to anyone. The crust needs serious help but yes, it did have a lot of pepperoni on it. We’re not big fans of cheesesteaks so we don’t know if we’d give them a try but we think the Foodie missed the mark on the pizza. Sorry.[/quote]

    Are you sure you were at Pete’s? No “thin” crust pizza there! We have been eating there once a week, at least, since they have been opened. Everything we have had , including desserts, have been terrific. The huge salads are so fresh and crisp. Friendly staff and nice atmosphere. The price is right too! What more can you ask for.

  18. Leslie Beall says:

    Had the chicken gyro for the first time today. The chicken was spiced nicely – but not enough of it – and there was only about a teaspoon of tzatziki. My husband got the gyro platter and the fries were the cheap frozen variety – overcooked. On my way out the cashier handed me and other patrons (not many there on Wednesday at 12:15) some rice pudding. I asked if it was free and she said yes. I didn’t ask why – but maybe this was it’s “sell by” date. Anyway – find the best steak subs at Casapulla’s South, and the best gyros at Semra’s Mediterranean grill. The Long Neck Diner on Rt. 24 also has decent gyros.

  19. Beach Eater says:

    The small pizzas here — get the small individual size, the crust is better — are absolutely up there! Dare I say in a league with Louie’s?

  20. GBG1863 says:

    My wife and I ate here a few weeks back and tried the “famous cheesesteaks” and what a dissapointment! My wife’s cheesesteak and mine also, were full of fat and we could not chew the meat. I forced mine down but I had to buy her another meal that hopefully would have been better, but I asked for a Gyro this time but they told me they did not serve a “beef Gyro” they only had chicken. What real Greek establishement does not serve a beef Gyro? She tried ithe chicken and it was not good . I tasted some of her Gyro and the chicken was tough. I tried the place but dont think I will be back there but I may try them again and see if they have improved.

  21. Rehoboth Foodie Rehoboth Foodie says:

    Gayle…
    I am almost 100% sure that they make the rice pudding in-house. Maybe Frank will sell you some. I know he is proud of it. TKS for your note.

  22. Gayle says:

    We visited Pete’s Steak Shop today on your recommendation. My husband had the chicken cheesesteak and I had the gyro. Wonderful!!! Anyway you can tell me where they get the rice pudding? Would love to buy.

  23. mike a. says:

    Can’t say enough good things about this place.
    On my way out of my first visit I had to ask where they would have put the “extra meat option” had I ordered it!
    I didn’t care for the gyro (I prefer the rotating lamb/beef traditional gyro) but that is just a preference thing as the gyro was beautifully prepared and was generously proportioned like its steak sandwich menu mate.
    Love! Love! Love the place. I gotta try the pizza as I keep hearing it is great.

  24. B&L in Lewes says:

    Maybe w,e should have tried the cheesesteaks. We had a thin crust pizza and a pizzaboli, neither of which we’d order again or recommend to anyone. The crust needs serious help but yes, it did have a lot of pepperoni on it. We’re not big fans of cheesesteaks so we don’t know if we’d give them a try but we think the Foodie missed the mark on the pizza. Sorry.

  25. Ginny Bolin says:

    My son, daughter-in-law and myself got the chicken Blue cheese steak sandwich. They were awful! The roll was good but all that was on the roll was chicken. No cheese like it states and no sauce, nothing. Just chicken and a roll. It was very dry. We were disappointed and I don’t think we will be driving down to Rehoboth to purchase those again. My Husband had a cheese steak and said it was good but wouldn’t drive to Rehoboth just for a cheese steak. We were very disappointed.

  26. Always Hungry says:

    I like different types of cheesesteaks, but Pete’s definitely measures up. Actually, the cheesesteak is fine but the chicken is outstanding. And the pizza is really a pleasant surprise, not just an afterthought. I’m ranking this as some of the best pizza in Rehoboth.

  27. TJR says:

    We live across the street from Pete’s and we/ve been going for the pizza since they opened up.
    We love that they put so much pepperoni on the pizza. We are great fans of Mr. P’s, but they are really chintzy on the pepperoni — and Pete’s pizzas are cheaper too.
    So we go to Pete’s

  28. Rob says:

    I only tried the cheesesteak so far and im already hooked. Can’t wait to try the chicken and the gyro.

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