HOME > Chowhound > Austin >

Is there a good philly cheese steak in Austin??

whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 05:05 AM

Looking for the best and most authentic. What makes it real, is it the meat, does it have to be shaved rib eye steak, what about the roll and let's not forget the all important cheese, wiz or provolone???? Do you do the condiments onions, mushrooms and peppers??? Inquiring minds want to know.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. g
    glorpisgod RE: whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 06:09 AM

    theres obviously hog island. theyre from philly! ive had their cheesesteak, its pretty good. not a pcs expert tho, maybe someone with more experience can chime in.

    1. w
      Winehole23 RE: whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 03:04 PM

      My own cheesesteak experience is limited, but I'm very fond of Texadelphia. I like that there's a choice of sauces (try the mustard sauce) besides just marinara ( or ketchup, like Delaware subs -- ick.) Texadelphia has solid burgers, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Winehole23
        amykragan RE: Winehole23 Jan 13, 2010 08:14 AM

        I second the mustard sauce at Texadelphia- love it on the chicken philly

      2. l
        LakeLBJ RE: whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 04:47 PM

        I'm not aware of any places that serve Cheesesteaks in Austin with Cheese Wiz. That being said, my votes would be Hog Island in Austin or Hoodie's Subs in Round Rock.

        Texadelphia isn't great, but there mustard sauce is awesome. I get a regular grilled chicken sandwich and smother it in that stuff.

        1. b
          brentwood RE: whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 06:07 PM

          Hog Island is the place. The original location (Lavaca near 16th) frequently has a cheesesteak with whiz on the specials menu. I'm sure if you asked they could make you one any time.

          I'd avoid Texadelphia, where the bun is mushy and chewy. They'll put queso on your cheesesteak but I don't think it's worth it. Delaware Subs (and it's former franchisees, many of which have reopened under new names) makes a decent version, and they'll hold the ketchup if you ask. They import their rolls from Amoroso's in Philadelphia.

          Jersey Mike's is a chain up in the Arboretum area that makes a passable cheesesteak.

          Hog Island's the clear winner, though.

          4 Replies
          1. re: brentwood
            amykragan RE: brentwood Jan 13, 2010 08:15 AM

            I like Texadelphia better than Jersey Mikes and never had a mushy bun, but I go to the Cedar Park location maybe that makes a difference

            1. re: amykragan
              beercoop RE: amykragan Jan 13, 2010 01:08 PM

              Amy, have you tried Leo's Gyro's? Also, where is the Texadelphia in Cedar Park.?

              1. re: beercoop
                slisle RE: beercoop Jan 28, 2010 06:59 AM

                Leo's and Texadelphia in Cedar Park are both awesome! I would kill for that mustard sauce recipe! And the gyros are HUGE! Fresh tzaziki sauce. Delish! The seafood and Chicago dogs are great too!

                1. re: beercoop
                  slisle RE: beercoop Jan 28, 2010 07:01 AM

                  Oh and Texadelphia I guess is technically Austin: in the shopping center with Barnes and Nobles at the mall.

            2. x
              xalapenocharlie RE: whoalilponie Jan 4, 2010 07:45 PM

              Pat's and Geno's have been duking it out in Philly for years--both hallowed cheese steak purveyors (although I've always had a soft spot for Jim's Steaks as well)--but there are many factors that go into a true Philly cheese steak. The quality of the thinly sliced rib-eye is primo. Pat's chops up its meat; Geno's does not. As for cheese, Geno's made Wiz popular, but provolone is the classic addition. (Make mine provolone.) Slatherings of sauteed white onions (chopped or thinly sliced) are a must, and only a fool would say no to mushrooms and peppers. However, Austin chefs are not gonna be able to duplicate the flavor of the region's Kennett Square mushrooms, or fire-roasted cherry peppers. Hog Island Deli's version is probably the closest you'll find in Austex, but it's really no substitute. Looking for hoagies or cheese steaks in Austin is like looking for enchiladas in Hellertown, PA (where they serve 'em up with Ragu sauce and Old El Paso out of the can tortillas). To me, the deal crusher for any aspiring cheese steak maker in Austin is the quality of the locally available steak/hoagie rolls. They are to South Philly's steak rolls what Tiny Tim's falsetto is to Mario Lanza's tenor. I'm sure there are those who are partial to the bakeries at Central Market, Whole Foods, Upper Crust, blah, blah, blah, but it seems mighty difficult to find anything but cotton tufts around here since the demise of Bread Alone's ovens.

              17 Replies
              1. re: xalapenocharlie
                rudeboy RE: xalapenocharlie Jan 5, 2010 09:13 AM

                Hmmm - My wife is from Philly . From her persepctive of a lifetime eating steaks, Hog Island's is on par with any. I've had plenty of steaks up there and I agree. The people I was with eschew Pats and Geno's and go to Jim's. There's some other places that PHI chowhounders recommend as well.

                If you use the right ingredients, and prepare it properly, there isn't anything magic about a steak sandwich.

                Hog Island bakes there own bread as of last time I was there. That alone doesn't mean that it is good, but it is.

                Texadelphia is her absolute least favorite anywhere in the world, FYI.

                1. re: rudeboy
                  rudeboy RE: rudeboy Jan 6, 2010 12:13 PM

                  Coincidentially, and a bit off topic, my father-n-law (from Philly) just sent me this link (an article about a TX style BBQ place opening up in Philadelphia). Last time he was here, we went to JM Mueller's and then he went out to Lockhart. He must really feel like he's "in the know" up there. Note the mention of trying to find a steak sandwich in DAL. Also, up there, they don't call it a "Philly Cheesteak" sandwich or even a "cheesesteak" sandwich. The signs all say "STEAK."


                  1. re: rudeboy
                    urbanfabric RE: rudeboy Jan 18, 2010 06:39 AM

                    ha! this post made me laugh! My husband and I are planning a trip to Austin the last weekend in March, so I just started scanning this board to get a sense of the dining scene. We actually live about a block away from the Texas style BBQ place you mentioned, Percy Street BBQ, in Philadelphia and went about a week ago for the first time. They've got some seriously tasty brisket. It motivated us to firm up our travel plans. If the stuff here is only half as good as the real thing, I'm ready to spend 5 days eating actual Texas BBQ.

                    Also, I have to agree with your statement about "there isn't anything magic about a steak sandwich," I feel like so many folks are let down by their cheesesteak experience when really, they should be eating a good italian hoagie or a roast pork w/greens and provolone. I spend a lot of time trying to talk visitors out of a cheesesteak.

                    1. re: urbanfabric
                      scrumptiouschef RE: urbanfabric Jan 18, 2010 08:27 AM

                      Let us know when you're about to head this way and we'll bombard you with barbecue recommendations....and if you were to bring a duffel bag from Steve's Prince of Steaks down this way we wouldn't hold it against you.

                      1. re: urbanfabric
                        rudeboy RE: urbanfabric Jan 18, 2010 08:46 AM


                        Yes, as scrumptious said!

                        Also, what's your take on the use of Amoroso rolls in general?

                        1. re: rudeboy
                          saeyedoc RE: rudeboy Jan 18, 2010 10:42 AM

                          It's all about the bread. Amoroso's are used by Jim's Steaks and others. There's a place here in SA that uses Amaroso's and the owner used to work at Pat's. (Youz Guyz). The also have water ice (chocolate!) and tastycakes.

                          1. re: rudeboy
                            urbanfabric RE: rudeboy Jan 18, 2010 10:54 AM

                            I'm not a Philly native, but I think the Amoroso rolls work for the cheesesteak (we buy them for use at home for sausage and pepper sandwiches)... I personally prefer something with more of a crust, like much of what is used for good hoagies around here... but I also prefer a good hoagie. The cheesesteak would struggle with a really crusty roll.

                            1. re: urbanfabric
                              brentwood RE: urbanfabric Jan 19, 2010 06:58 AM

                              Hog Island also has a really good roast pork sandwich.

                              1. re: brentwood
                                rudeboy RE: brentwood Jan 19, 2010 07:50 AM

                                Yeah Brentwood, I almost tried that one the other day, but the price threw me off. I think that is was $12 or something like that.

                                1. re: rudeboy
                                  urbanfabric RE: rudeboy Jan 19, 2010 10:44 AM

                                  And there's our trade off... we pay twice as much for brisket, you pay twice as much for roast pork sandwiches!

                                  1. re: urbanfabric
                                    brentwood RE: urbanfabric Jan 19, 2010 11:21 AM

                                    They call it a "pulled pork" on the online menu, but there they only list it at $7 / $9 depending on the size. http://www.hogislanddeli.com/menu_mid...

                                    Maybe it's higher at the restaurant? We haven't been in a while. I definitely recommend it - the pork is silken; juicy and tender. They add provolone and banana peppers.

                                    1. re: brentwood
                                      urbanfabric RE: brentwood Jan 19, 2010 12:34 PM

                                      In Philly the pulled pork and roast pork are two different sandwiches.

                                      1. re: urbanfabric
                                        rudeboy RE: urbanfabric Jan 19, 2010 02:56 PM

                                        Yeah - I think that the pulled pork is a menu item and the roast pork is a board special or something. The latter was the high priced item. My memory is a bit fuzzy, though.

                                        1. re: rudeboy
                                          jwynne2000 RE: rudeboy Jan 19, 2010 05:32 PM

                                          I've had the roast pork board special at the downtown location (comes with chips and a drink) for $7.95 many times. Really, REALLY good sandwich!

                      2. re: rudeboy
                        rudeboy RE: rudeboy Jan 13, 2010 08:11 AM

                        FYI - I was wrong. Just went to Hog Island on Lavaca. The "import" Amorosa Rolls. I got the italian, not the cheesesteak. The lackadaisical guy behind the counter proclaimed that they were the best on the planet. But he also told me that soprasetta was the same thing as "ham."

                        Of course, I'm picky, and I think that using Amorosa is a cop-out. You can get those rolls at Opal Devine's as well (and other places) and at the ubiquitous Wawa convenience stores in PHI.

                        Anyhow, although this doesn't pertain to cheesesteaks, there's something amiss at Hog Island. The removed their meat credo from the chalkboard as well, and I saw a Boars Head sign for the dogs.

                        1. re: rudeboy
                          rusty_s RE: rudeboy Jan 20, 2010 10:35 AM

                          Boars Head at Hog Island? Say it ain't so, rudeboy!

                          1. re: rusty_s
                            cstrombe RE: rusty_s Jan 20, 2010 12:26 PM

                            Just saw this post making another reference to Hog Island + Boar's Head: http://www.bootsintheoven.com/boots_i...

                    2. MyySharona RE: whoalilponie Jan 5, 2010 11:25 PM

                      The only one I've ever had is from Capitol City Subs off of N. Lamar. It's really REALLY good. My friend refers to it in hushed, reverent tones as "The Sandwich."

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: MyySharona
                        brentwood RE: MyySharona Jan 6, 2010 11:14 AM

                        Yeah, Capitol City is a former Delaware Subs franchise who kept the menu.

                        1. re: brentwood
                          Philly369 RE: brentwood Jan 28, 2010 08:34 AM

                          Does anyone know what, exactly, caused the breakup up the Delaware subs franchises?

                          1. re: Philly369
                            ampeg66 RE: Philly369 Jan 28, 2010 09:01 PM

                            The way it was explained to me, the franchisees didn't feel they were getting proper support from corporate - no advertising to speak of, that sort of thing - so other than the Delaware name, they weren't getting much value for their franchise fees.

                            Also, if you've been to the Mesa Delaware shop, that renovation apparently cost multiple tens of thousands of dollars, and the franchisees were being asked to pay for those same types renovations to their shops.

                            So, for better or worse, it was pretty much a franchisee revolt.

                            Like I said, that's just what I heard from...well, someone that would know. But they might also have their own agenda, so make of it what you will.

                            1. re: ampeg66
                              Philly369 RE: ampeg66 Jan 29, 2010 01:35 AM

                              Thank you, I miss that option for a lunch spot......

                              1. re: Philly369
                                ampeg66 RE: Philly369 Jan 30, 2010 10:18 AM

                                I've been eating Delaware for a long time, and I still go to the Mesa location for my fix. Even though it's not as unique as it was when it opened, and there are way more options for high-quality sandwiches now, I still just like the flavors there.

                                Unfortunately, the past 3 or 4 times I've been there over the last couple months - usually on Sundays - they've been out of multiple items. People in line have to ask for two or three different things before they finally hit on something that's actually available.

                                My favorite story: Customer orders a roast beef, and the sub guy says they're out. Customer says, “Really? You were out last week too.” Tries to order a Gourmet, but they’re out of capicolla. Tries to order a turkey, but they only have one of the three kinds they offer. She settles for that one.

                                As they're waiting for the order, she and her companion wonder out loud "is this place even in business?" Then they notice a whole roast beef sitting right there in the deli case, and ask "Couldn't you just use that one?" In the end, they just get the brush-off.

                                The best part: Once the customers leave, staff - in order to avoid any more inconvenient questions - actually HIDES THE ROAST BEEF IN THE FRIDGE instead of slicing it!


                                You know, unless you value your business and your customers...I mean, seriously, you sell sandwiches, how hard is it to slice and wrap some sandwich meat? Isn't that a daily part of running a sandwich shop for 25 years? I understand OCCASIONALLY running out of something, but it seems to be an ongoing problem.

                                So between undergoing megabucks renovations while being unable to maintain prep levels, and having a sub shop open at 7 a.m. to sell breakfast cheesesteaks - oh, and that for the first time in 20+ years, my cheesesteak had slices of yellow Kraft American instead of the usual white American (which I assume they were out of) - you have to wonder where management’s head is.

                                And, of course, now I'm hungry for Delaware.

                      2. tim irvine RE: whoalilponie Jan 9, 2010 10:25 AM

                        I am glad to hear good things about the Cap City cheese steaks. The regular (Italian, cap, etc.) subs at the one on Bee Caves that used to be a Delaware sub IMHO dropped about 5 points on a 1-10 scale when they changed over. As a Yankee transplanted to Texas, I have to say that any cheese steak is enhanced by jalapenos. Also, the introduction of BBQ to a cheese steak can be good. I like the one at Green Mesquite.

                        Anyway, since the thread started out on the issue of autherticity, the ones I grew up with in the NE had chewy rolls, meat, onions, provolone, and a small amount of mushrooms and/or Italian peppers cooked in with the onions. Never even THOUGHT of ketdhup on one.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tim irvine
                          High_Boost RE: tim irvine Jan 20, 2010 09:25 AM

                          I go to the capital city subs one 34th a lot (I work near there) and when they first changed the quality went way down hill. They had switched to cheaper vendors and the food just wasnt up to par. After loosing a lot of buisiness and getting complaints, they went back to the original vendors (they use boars head for meat now) and I cant tell the differance from when they were deleware. So if it has been a while since you have been, it may be worth a re-visit.

                          1. re: High_Boost
                            High_Boost RE: High_Boost Jan 28, 2010 07:26 AM

                            well, capital city subs is closing their doors tomarow, apparently due to a rent increase

                        2. amysuehere RE: whoalilponie Jan 18, 2010 08:08 AM

                          The most disappointing one I've had in Austin was at Spec's this weekend. Blech.

                          Show Hidden Posts