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ABSOLUTE BLASPHEMY!!! (Seeking Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich)

whiner Oct 30, 2009 01:14 PM

Look, I know, I know... you don't need to tell me... I know. But, I'm from the East Coast and once every... 4 years or so I do get a craving. And I have such a craving. Is there a place in SF that makes a good cheese steak sandwich? TIA

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: whiner Oct 30, 2009 01:16 PM


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      soupnazi RE: whiner Oct 30, 2009 04:14 PM

      check out Yo Philly in alameda,you wont be dissapointed

      1. yimster RE: whiner Oct 30, 2009 08:43 PM

        Not in SF but try Jersey Joe's in San Carlos, decent cheese steak with a added bonus of cheese fries. Load of Cheese whiz.

        Jersey Joe's Hoagies
        21 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070

        1 Reply
        1. re: yimster
          Mr_Happy RE: yimster Oct 31, 2009 11:20 AM

          +1 for Jersey Joe's - get one with whiz!

          In SF proper check out Phat Philly in the mission, they use wagyu beef, amoroso rolls, and also make a pretty good chedder beer sauce (they also have whiz).

          The Cheesesteak Shop is also pretty good but I haven't tried the one in SF.

          Phat Philly
          3388 24th St, San Francisco, CA

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          orezscu RE: whiner Oct 31, 2009 12:44 AM

          I really have to recommend The Refuge in San Carlos. Jersey Joe's is, as Yimster says, a decent cheesesteak. The one at The Refuge is, I honestly think, more than a hint above. Also, all the other dishes at The Refuge (including the fries) are leagues above. Yes, it is a shade more expensive, perhaps to the tune of double? You'll thank me in the morning, though.


          6 Replies
          1. re: orezscu
            Tripeler RE: orezscu Oct 31, 2009 12:53 AM

            The Belgian beer list at The Refuge is spectacularly impressive. Great full selection. Can't think of a better match for cheesesteak.

            1. re: orezscu
              yimster RE: orezscu Oct 31, 2009 06:46 AM

              The cost of a comb at Jersey Joe, soda, fries and cheese steak sandwich is about 10 bucks. so the Refuge is in the 20 bucks area? Well I sure hope is a cut above. I will try at a later date. It is on the same block as my Doctor and he has told it great food but he said it a has a high price tag.

              1. re: yimster
                Mick Ruthven RE: yimster Oct 31, 2009 01:51 PM

                I went to The Refuge earlier this year and can vouch that its justly-famous pastrami is well worth the price. Here's the post I made then (with one by Melanie Wong right after it).


                1. re: Mick Ruthven
                  yimster RE: Mick Ruthven Oct 31, 2009 03:12 PM

                  That is what was recommended to me too. Have not had the chance to try it yet. Saving it for better Doctor report. So much is off my diet right now.

                  1. re: yimster
                    bbulkow RE: yimster Nov 13, 2009 12:29 AM

                    Had the cheesesteak at the refuge last night. It's not quite right. GF, from a philly suburb, agreed. It was ... bland. Not enough of that good grease taste? Simply more salt and pepper required? Everything subcomponent was good, real Amoroso rolls, nice provolone (maybe too much?) but it didn't blend together as a Cheesesteak. We didn't finish it. (which I can't say about Jersey Joe's - at least I'll finish one of those!)

                    OTOH, you can get a cheeseburger topped with *PASTRAMI*. That's so wrong it's right.

                    1. re: bbulkow
                      yimster RE: bbulkow Nov 13, 2009 06:47 AM

                      Thanks, that is what I had been told is that pastrami is out of this world. Next on my list for San Carlos.

            2. bbulkow RE: whiner Nov 1, 2009 08:03 AM

              Grew up near philly, go back a few times a year.

              I don't like Jersey Joe's. It's OK but I think the meat's too high quality.

              I haven't tried The Refuge for cheesesteaks yet.

              I *LOVE* the cheesesteak shop. Listing TCSS as an also-ran is blasphemy - it's really excellent. They make a point of "singing" the grill, they have hot and sweet peppers, the rolls are Amaroso's and have that particular chew, and you can get a tastycake. "whiz" isn't on the menu, but I never got a taste for whiz, so that doesn't bother me.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbulkow
                Mick Ruthven RE: bbulkow Nov 1, 2009 11:19 AM

                >I *LOVE* the cheesesteak shop<

                Do you mean the one on Divisadero in SF? I went there once and never again. I thought the cheesesteak was very skimpy on the meat and didn't taste good. I had to go elsewhere after I left for some good food to get the experience out of my mouth and mind. I'm not from Philadelphia and didn't grow up with cheesesteaks, so I may not really like them. But I do like the ones at Jersey Joe's in San Carlos and at Jake's Steaks in the Marina in SF.

                Jake's Steaks
                3301 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                1. re: Mick Ruthven
                  bbulkow RE: Mick Ruthven Nov 1, 2009 12:49 PM

                  I've been to the cheesesteak shop on Divis a couple of times, the one on Grand in Oakland a few times, the one on University in Berkeley the most, and I started out going to the one in Walnut Creek. The couple I had at the Divis shop were about like the others. I really dislike the service in all the Cheesesteak Shops, typically quite slow.

                  Regarding size, I find the larger steaks about right for my appetite.

                  Any restaurant can have a bad day or make a bad dish - what exactly was "bad" about it? What did you order? I go provolone, onions, hot and sweet peppers.

                  Cheesesteaks I remember from childhood were made with really, really thin beef, which mixes in with the other ingredients. That's what seems wrong to me about Jersey Joe's, the steak is of rather large chunks, so it doesn't scratch my itch. It's a decent steak though.

                  I'm flexible about "authenticity" --- maybe "tasty" and "authentic" are different --- the OP did ask to fill the itch of a east coast regional experience.

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