If the IPA characters aren't visible to you in the title of this post, assume that what you see in the brackets is a phonetic representation of a phrase that's pretty darn similar to how English-speaking folk would pronounce "cheese steak". When I see a blog post called "Chinese Philadelphia Food
", I just have
to read it. I'm from Pennsylvania, and we're a strange but slightly creative lot. This slightly-off sense of creativity extends to a particular Chinese food establishment called Evergreen (4726 Spruce Street, Philly). According to the blog entry, at Evergreen you can find something on the menu called 芝士士的. In Cantonese, according to the blog "The first character means 'grass, lawn'. The second and third mean 'scholar, gentleman'. And the fourth means 'clear' or 'a little'."
Obviously, the restaurant was not offering small, grassy-flavored gentlemen for lunch, but what they were offering, when the characters were pronounced phonetically, was [ʧisisitik]....cheese steak, a Philly tradition. Head over to the blog if you are so inclined, to read more about how this fella (a linguist) happened to figure out what was up with their menu...and even for a picture of 芝士士的巻, or "cheese steak roll". Heck, I might have to go to Philly the next time I visit my family, for this $1.20 delicacy.