Phil’s Steaks Brings A Taste Of Philly To Midtown

Last month, when cheesesteak truck Phil’s Steaks tweeted that their new head chef, Josh Colon, not only hails from South Philly, but also previously worked the grill at world famous Pat’s King of Steaks, I couldn’t wait for them to serve in Midtown. Having lived in Philly, I know enough about cheesesteaks to have an opinion. I prefer Pat’s over Geno’s, but at the end of the day, Jim’s on South Street is my favorite spot. Steak-wit’-provolone is my standard order, and that’s what I got at Phil’s Steaks.

I ordered a half size, which is 6″, for $6. (The full size is 10″, which costs $9.) I unwrapped my lunch, and smiled at the slight sheen from the sandwich. You need a certain amount of grease on a cheesesteak, and — even after washing your hands — you’ll most likely smell that grease on your fingers for hours after lunch. The soft bread (Amoroso’s, which — like the chef — comes from Philly) got the slightest bit soggy in transit, but was stuffed with thinly shaved meat mixed with grilled onions. I prefer provolone over whiz, because of the bite, and it didn’t disappoint here, although there could have been a little more of it. I didn’t get toppings, but they offer hot or sweet peppers, mushrooms and extra cheese for an extra $.75 each. A friend of mine got hot peppers on his sandwich, which he says are, in fact, very hot. But how authentic is it?

Obviously I it doesn’t compare to Pat’s or Geno’s, but it definitely tastes like it’s from Philly. Then again, maybe the romanticized vision I have of a Pat’s steak has skewed my opinion slightly. I do think this steak is very close. There were some complaints in the comments about price, and it’s true that getting a full size sandwich with all the toppings is going to push you over the ML limit.  But I was pretty happy with the amount of meat in mine, although they did tightly roll up my sandwich when packing it up, so maybe it looked more compact than it actually was?  All in all, I still say this is very good cheesesteak.

Have a sweet tooth? Phil’s Steaks offers a bunch of combos as well, ranging from $8-$12.50, some of which include cupcakes from Cupcake Stop.

The + (What someone who likes this place would say)

  • Finally, a cheesesteak truck in NYC.
  • Their South Philly chef is from Pat’s? You can’t get more authentic than that!
  • Even the bread comes from Philly!

The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Pat’s? Pshaw, my loyalties are with Geno’s.
  • Too pricey for what you get.
  • Amount of meat might be inconsistent.

Phil’s Steaks has spent the last couple of days in Midtown, but today it looks like they’re going to be in the Flatiron (on 23rd & 5th).  As always, you should check their Twitter account or the ML Twitter Tracker before heading out.


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    They’re using Amoroso’s rolls? That is legit.

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  • Pat’s and Geno’s are poor cheesesteaks compared to a lot of places in Philly (gristly meat, not very full, expensive). For Phil’s not to measure up to either of them speaks volumes. Granted, I’ve only sampled from maybe 10 or 11 places in Philly, but those two are nowhere near the top of that list.

    I think what you have there looks decent, though, free of bad steak at least, and I’d be willing to give it a shot if he comes nearby.

  • I make no commentary about Philly authenticity, but for me – having had crap cheesesteaks in the past – Shorty’s on 9th is a very, very good cheesesteak place if you can’t make this truck. Just my $0.02.

  • dave is spoit on with his commentary, including the part that in spite of the non-comparison to Pat’s (which does speak volumes), i’d still give it a shot if it comes ’round the way…i mean, what dude can resist a cheesesteak truck in your face?

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    If you didn’t sign this Rachel, I’d swear I wrote this myself. I think I did everything the same way, right down to the past experiences 100 miles south.

  • @RG, thanks including the details about the chef Josh coming from Pat’s and the rolls being from Amoroso.

    These are really great details to someone who spent too many nights at Pat’s, Jim’s and the place that I never learned name of at 10th and Oregon eating steaks with provolone.

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    @El Dubya El, you’re thinking of 10th Avenue Steaks, which I always found odd since it’s on 10th Street.

  • My fav cheesesteak spot in Philly is Jim’s on South St. too. Phil isn’t as good as Geno’s AND Pat’s? That doesn’t make it sound too promising. I didn’t enjoy Pat’s or Geno’s in the past.

    I’ll stick to CARL’S unless I really have the urge when in the vicinity of the truck.

  • What’s a Truck Jawn?

  • Don’t waste your time. I wish I didn’t. Tightly rolled up my ass—that is one skimpy f’ing cheesesteak, and it tasted like lipton soup mix. I hate to say it, well no, I don’t, but mine kick the ever living sh*t out of this joke. And i’m not from philly!

  • Tried the truck today since it was fairly close by. $9 secured my ten-inch whiz wit’.

    First: lose the reggae music. It’s utterly stupid for a steak truck to blast music, let alone reggae.

    The roll is legit, that’s true. The slick of whiz was appropriate (and applied to the roll). The onions were in very short supply, though, and the meat had a sort of crumbly texture. It was sort of juicy, but a little wetter would have done wonders.

    Overall, it’s pretty meh, and for $9, even though it’s decently sized (and mine was wrapped very tightly, too), it’s just not worth it, nor anywhere close to as good as Carl’s — just closer. And Jim’s, Tony Luke’s and Chink’s blow it out of the water, to name three.

    On the plus side, I’d rather eat this than anything Pat’s or Geno’s.

  • I went there yesterday. I got the 10″ wit wiz and onions. It was certainly an authentic Philly cheesesteak. I think it’s the best Philly Cheesesteak I’ve had in my time working in NYC. I love the cheese wiz. My only complaint is that the bread was a bit soggy on the open side. You can see that in the photo posted above as well. Still, this didn’t hurt the cheesesteak. I think this place is definitely visiting.

    • “10-inch wiz wit”. The “wit” means “with onions”. The “wiz” is self-explanatory. I still rank this one in the middle of the eight or so I’ve had the pleasure of eating in the past couple of years in New York.

  • Great bread, bland meat, very few onions and so little cheese that it might as well not have been there. I still kind of enjoyed it. In other words, exactly like Pat’s and Geno’s. Phil’s should’t be mentioned in the same conversation as the great Jim’s, Dellasandros or Dinic’s.

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