Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Cheese Steak Shop: Philly Cheese Steaks in the Phillyppines

The Cheese Steak Shop has been around for a while and we even ventured to the Makati branch just to try it. It didn't really blow us away, and was quite pricey, so we never returned even after they opened their Fort Strip branch. When we learned that they had a promo all day May 15th for half-off cheese steaks, we figured it's high time we give it another shot. I was dreading the type of queue we'd have to put up with for such a deal.

the cheese steak shop
A cheesy festive night.
To my relief, there wasn't much of a line at all and there was no lack of tables. Surprising on payday night for a promo day. That does not bode well for this branch. However, being right in front of Racks and in the vicinity of all the stiff competition around the Fort, it is not too much of a surprise. I think they'll have to step up to survive. Here's what we thought of the food:

The Cheese Steak Shop
7" Classic Philly Cheese Steak, P280.00
There are actually several options to this sandwich, and 4 of us ordered differently. They all looked alike though, which is why I'm posting just one of them above. :)
Meat: You can have it with Steak (Beef) or Chicken. I opted for chicken because I'm not a fan of their super-thin and chopped up slices. I love meat, but I do not like it chopped up and overdone. I like my meat thick and medium-rare at most. My chicken sandwich this time around was unfortunately worse. It was just as chopped up as the beef, and more bland and lifeless. Having tried both, beef is better. The Cheese Steak Shop is a franchise from San Francisco, so I doubt they can do much to improve this.
Cheese: You can choose from American Cheese, Cheese Sauce, and Provolone. I don't think they had these options before because I don't recall making this choice. I chose Provolone, but it wasn't as gooey as Provolone should be, or maybe there just wasn't enough of it. The cheese sauce looked much better.
Chili Peppers: I think they've downgraded this aspect of the sandwich. I remember that the sweet red and green chili peppers were my favourite part of the sandwich. Now, it's just pickled jalapeƱos that are 70% sour and 30% spicy. My order didn't even have the two red peppers like in the picture above. I love jalapeƱos but these are pickled to the point that it just soured up my whole sandwich.
Bread: The Amoroso's bread was firm and chewy delicious. They also have the sandwiches in 10" and 15" but the pricing is a bit weird. 2 7-inchers will cost P560 and one 15-incher will cost P720.
The sandwich was fairly priced at P150, but I don't think I'll be getting this for its full price unless it improves. I realize I'm being quite negative about their main offering, but that's what I honestly think and I hope my constructive criticism could be considered, at the least. :) The name Philly Cheese Steak also raises quite a high bar for the sandwich. I've never tried it in Philadelphia nor anywhere else, but I've seen enough of it on TV to know it should be better than this. A quick google search leads me to an example of what I thought it should look like below. Maybe a franchise from Philadelphia would be more apt than a franchise that originated in San Francisco?

philly cheese steak
Image from whatscookingamerica.net
On to the sides!

the cheese steak shop
Twister Fries & Soda, P110.00 (regular soda not in picture)
The twister fries were okay, but McDonald's twister fries are better, and that's pretty much the baseline twister fries for me.

the cheese steak shop
Garlic Fries & Soda, P110.00 (regular soda not in picture)
Finally, something we really enjoyed. We ate this up without ease! And by 'we' I mean mostly 'me'. We really enjoyed these thick, skin-on soft fries. They were so garlicky good that it was addictive. The price to pay is that your breath is going to smell like garlic hell afterwards. You know what? I wasn't even sorry, because it was totally worth it.

Verdict:
7" Classic Philly Cheese Steak: Okay
Twister Fries & Soda: Okay
Garlic Fries & Soda: Great!

the cheese steak shop
Keep Calm and Stay Cheesy! Taken from The Cheese Steak Shop's Facebook page.
It was a good meal, but the food would have been a bit too pricey if it weren't for the cool promo. I really hope they improve the sandwiches or lower the prices of their food if at all possible. It would be difficult to choose this place over cheaper places in the area, including Quiznos which can sate your sandwich cravings just as easily.



Other Restaurants in The Fort Strip:
Good Earth Roasts (GER)
Kasbah: A Moroccan Lunch
Racks: My Favourite Ribs
Sunshine Kitchen: Get your Sunny Side Up
Tapeo: Spanish Surprise at the Fort Strip

Other Restaurants in The Fort:
IHOP: The Latest Pancake Craze
Jollibee: Ultimate Burger Steak and Flip Float
S&R: My Favourite Pizza
Saint's Alp: Taiwanese Chicken Goodness
SM Aura Premier: Pepper Lunch Express under the Sky Park
Stacy's: The Sweet Kind of Retro
Stella Wood Fired Bistro: Nothing Less Than Stellar
Toast Box: Going Goreng
The Kebab Factory: The TKF Trilogy
Wrong Ramen: The Weirder, The Better

THE CHEESE STEAK SHOP
The Fort Strip, Katipunan Circle cor 7th Ave
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(02) 887-5151
Operating Hours:
Mon - Thu, Sun: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 3:00 am
Website: http://cheesesteakshop.com.ph/
Facebook: The Cheese Steak Shop Manila


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