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Jan 4, 2010 05:05 AM

Is there a good philly cheese steak in Austin??

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.

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  1. 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. 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

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

      2. 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 Reply
        1. 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

            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

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

              1. re: beercoop

                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

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

            2. 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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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


                        Yes, as scrumptious said!

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

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          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

                            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

                              Hog Island also has a really good roast pork sandwich.

                              1. re: brentwood

                                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

                                  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

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

                                    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

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

                                      1. re: urbanfabric

                                        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

                                          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

                        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

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

                          1. re: rusty_s

                            Just saw this post making another reference to Hog Island + Boar's Head: