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Manila’s Philly Cheese Steak scene just got interesting…

The Cheese Steak Shop is the first international franchise of the company known for serving the original Philly Cheese Steak in California. This new shop brings a good mix of options to the already-popular cheese steak offerings of Elbert’s Cheesesteak Sandwiches and Charlie’s Cheese Steak Sandwich.

It would be interesting to see if Manila would prefer the “original”  stateside version over the Filipino version of the Philly Cheese Steak.

I was curious about this newcomer so we tried it…

The ambiance is very American Fast Food. The walls are decorated with photos of various Cheese Steak Shops in the US.

When I saw the  restaurant’s slogan “Caution: May Be Habit Forming!”, a thought bubble popped into my headTalaga ha, masubukan nga…

(click here for a bigger menu: The Cheese Steak Shop Menu)

The Classic Philly Cheese Steak (with Steak or Chicken, using a 7-inch bread) costs P280. A comparable sub at Elbert’s costs only P290, while the one at Charlie’s costs only P220. You have to order the drinks and the sides separately — no combo deals yet.

I love it when menu prices  indicate net prices already (including VAT and service fees).  I hope more restaurants do this. It is just easy to calculate.

Most of the ingredients are imported from the US, among them the steak meat, the white American cheese, and the sweet and chili peppers from Delaware.

The grilled onions and other vegetables are sourced locally. The bread is currently produced here in Manila. The original and famous Hoagie from Amoroso Bakery (which is what they are known for)  is currently being shipped to Manila. They expect it to be here in time for the grand opening a month from now.

I ordered the Classic 7″ Cheese Steak. Sadly, I made some technical missteps in the consumption of this sub:

1. I took pictures of it for far too long. The sandwich cooled down and, somehow, the taste was not there anymore. I believe it is best eaten while it is hot.

2. I requested to have the sweet and chili peppers placed on the side.  I should have asked them to top the cheese steak with the chili peppers along with the onions.

3. The local bread did not do it for me. Part of me is regretting posting this blog at this point in time. I should have tried the restaurant when the Amoroso hoagie is already available. I did not like the bread. It was soft, a bit boring, too thick and not crunchy enough.

My wife ordered the Spinach Cheese Steak while our dazer friend, Tracy, ordered the Deluxe Cheese Steak.

★ SPINACH. Steak Philly Cheese Steak with Spinach and Mushroom (7″ -P320).

I liked the spinach with mushroom version. We regret not including the peppers in the sandwich. I really enjoyed the sweet and spicy peppers on this filling.

★ DELUXE. Steak Philly Cheese Steak with Pizza Sauce and Mushroom (7″ – P320).

I got to taste the Deluxe as well. One thing I liked about it was the pizza sauce! The flavor was just spot-on.

Steak Fries, ★ Garlic Fries, Twister Fries (P99) and Onion Rings (P120)

The owners asked us to try the different sides. I  personally like the garlic fries, which is the same kind of fries available in most American baseball parks.

Side Salad (P150).  

We also love that they serve different kinds of salads. To our surprise, they even have a Vegetarian Cheese Steak on the menu. Good move!

★ The KING of Philly (P699). 10-inch Classic Cheese Steak with over 50% more meat and cheese.

If you want to share, I suggest you order this super-sized 10″ version with more meat and more cheese. Luckily, we were able to take a picture of this from someone who ordered it. 🙂

Classic Philly Cheese Steak  (15″ long – P740)!

The Ultimate Version is this 15″-long Philly Cheese Steak! Order this if you want to share among 3-4 people, but order the King of Philly if you just want more meat and cheese. In my opinion, the 7″ sub is good enough for one person.

We were able to catch Douglas Smith, the US Franchise Operations Manager, in the shop. He has 27 years of experience with the company doing quality supervision. He wants to personally oversee the launch of their  first international franchise.

It was also a pleasure to meet Mai Uy who persistently courted the US company to let her franchise  in Manila. It took her 22 years to do it; read the story here:

Contra Costa Times | Cheese steaks: From Philly to the Philippines

Overall,  I love the steak, the preparation of the chili peppers and the subtle taste of the cheese they use. I don’t like the bread, though (sorry).  I would suggest holding off until the arrival of the  Amoroso hoagies.

It’s great to see Manila getting pampered with original international franchises. I hope there are more entrepreneurs like Mai Uy who would invest in these opportunities.

The Cheese Steak Shop
Original Philadelphia Style Sandwich
G/F The E-Hotel Makati, (near Milky Way)
906 A. Arnaiz St. (Formerly Pasay Road).
Telephone: +632 555-0235
Facebook: Cheese Steak Shop Manila

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Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals and we are not connected in any way with the owners of this establishment.

P.S. Thanks to Lucy for the tip! 🙂 

P.P.S. I do hope, someday, we could see an In-N-Out burger franchise here in Manila. 🙂