Braving The Line At Phil’s Steaks For My Second Cheese Steak Ever

I’m sure you all think I eat things like cheese steaks on a regular basis, but up until Phil’s Steaks launched its truck and started parking down here, our only options in the Financial District for this marriage of meat, cheese and bread was Carl’s Steaks (which isn’t even in the FiDi) or one of the varieties from street meat carts and delis that I’d just rather not chance. The only other time I’ve had one of these was in Philadelphia and it was so unmemorable that I can’t even remember where I got it from.

When the truck first launched, I had no time to stand in the long lines, and instead we got a take from some dedicated lunch’ers who did. One day last week I walked by and saw that the line seemed to be moving quickly, so I jumped in to see what all of the fuss on Twitter about these sandwiches is about.

The first thing I noticed was that since the truck’s launch, they’ve pared the menu down to one meat (they used to also have chicken). That makes sense, because who’s going to get a chicken cheese steak?

My first impression upon unwrapping my half cheese steak wit’ onions and whiz ($6) and the addition of hot peppers (75 cents) was of the amount of grease coating the top of the bread. I can call it nothing but a sheen. Clogged arteries be damned, I took an enthusiastic bite and actually found it tasty! I was happy I got the onions and peppers for some contrast with the soft meat/bread/whiz trifecta happening. Most of the whiz was on the bottom of the bun, so some bites were all meat, some more cheesy so I guess if you have a need for more dairy in your life you might want to pony up the extra 75 cents to get double.

It’s kind of refreshing that a truck has such a singular menu and isn’t trying to do 10 things well. The biggest decisions you have to make while standing in line at Phil’s Steaks are what kind of cheese you want, and how hungry you are.

Phil’s Steaks Truck, on Twitter and the Web



  • The outer layer of grease makes it easier to eat.. glad you got to eat this time!

  • I’d be disappointed if it did not have the coating of grease!

  • I agree with MWinston. Coming from the area, the best steaks have a nice coating of grease.

    I am really curious to try this one. So far the best cheesesteak in NYC that I have had is Phillies on Houston near Ludlow, though I keep hearing Shorties is great.

    And for the record, I would never eat at Carl’s, no matter how desperate I was for a cheesesteak. Better to be in longing than to be disappointed.

  • I’ve had the comparative eating experience, and Carl’s suffers here. Note that the entire sandwich has said coating.. including the roll!

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