1. If you want onions on your steak, you must say “whiz wit.” But to play it safe, don’t pronounce any “h” in any word while ordering. For example, a “whiz with Philly cheesesteak” would be “wiz wit pilly keesesteak.”
2. Make sure to let everyone know that your family’s from South Philly, even though they moved out sixty years ago and you’ve spent your whole life in New Jersey.
3. Cheesesteak proprietors can smell fear. If one approaches you in the wild, try to make yourself seem large by raising your hands above your head and growling.
4. Getting the terminology right is key. Remember, the cheese is “whiz,” the rolls are “cow caskets,” french fries are “zoppity tate toots,” and the cashier is always referred to as “steak marm.”
5. Only noobs immediately put their cheesesteaks in their mouths. Real Philadelphians aerate their sandwiches with a specially made decanter before eating. If a decanter is not available, try swirling your cheesesteak above your head a few times to infuse it with oxygen.
6. When eating, avoid acknowledging the nagging feeling of existential dread gnawing at your soul.
7. Don’t wait until you get to the order window to unhinge your jaw. If the cashier suspects you aren’t ready to swallow the entire cheesesteak without chewing, you will be sent to the back of the line.
8. Cheesesteaks frequently cost “money,” a medium of exchange that is generally accepted as payment for goods. Be sure to study up on what money is, how to identify money, and the amount needed to acquire a cheesesteak before ordering.
9. While waiting in line, do not remove your blindfold. Simply follow the voice of the mysterious woman in the bird mask as she leads you into a sensuous world of carnal, greased meat delights.
10. Here’s a little hack only locals know: many cheesesteak places have secret menu items. For instance, you can order a free punch in the throat if you say, “Go Cowboys!”
11. Trespass onto a farm and feed an industrial-sized can of Velveeta to beef cattle six months prior to the date you plan on eating the cheesesteak.
12. Many Philadelphia cheesesteak places offer outdoor seating. With that in mind, be sure to avoid eye contact with the people you’re indirectly gentrifying out of the neighborhood.
13. Before eating, be sure to pour out some of your excess beef grease to placate the ever-vengeful cheesesteak gods.
14. Never put ketchup on it. Or wait, is that hot dogs in Chicago? Either way, it’s just food. Order it any way you damn well please.