I’m having major pangs of cravings right about now…  for THIS.
And with different versions and sizes to choose from, I can’t take my mind of The Cheese Steak Shop and their cheesesteak sandwiches. MUST HAVE SOME NOW.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to the soft opening of The Cheese Steak Shop, one of the international franchises of the San Francisco original. Since 1982, The Cheese Steak Shop has held true to its Philly roots, using ingredients shipped directly from Philadelphia. And yes, that means a freezer container also brought the steak, cheese and even bread from the U.S. all the way to the Cheese Steak Shop to bring the Philly authenticity to the Philippine’s first branch.
The Makati branch is reminiscent of a fast food diner in Philly during the 80s, save for the sparkly and warm smiles of the chipper service staff. The tag-line of The Cheese Steak Shop is ‘Caution: May be habit-forming’ and that applies not only to food, but in their customer service. This holds true as I never felt for anything because the staff provides you with sides and condiments generously.
A real cheese steak is like the holy grail. Numerous debates on the best cut of meat (rib-eye), the real cheese sauce (is it cheez whiz?), and the best sandwich rolls have gone on for ages, but with The Cheese Steak Shop, it seems they spare no expense in using the best of everything. That includes rolls shipped directly from Amoroso’s Bakery in Philadelphia.
We even had a webcon with Carolyn Wyman, the author of ‘The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book’, who explained why, even if The Cheese Steak Shop originated in San Francisco, everything about TCCS’s Cheese Steaks are 100% authentic Philly.
Looking at the menu, there are different variations on the classic, while still keeping the classic top-billed. I wanted to try them all! The owner used to study in the Bay area, and loved The Cheese Steak Shop so much that every visit back in San Fo, she would ask if the shop was open for franchise… And finally, they were.
First, choose your cheese steak size
You can get a 7, 10 or 15- inch sandwich depending on your appetite and your party. I think a 7-inch is much too much meat for one person, but I’ve actually seen people devour a 10-inch hoagie and still crave for more.
The Classic Philly Cheese Steak
100% beef loin, sliced thin and chopped on the grill served on a soft italian roll with grilled onions hot and/or sweet peppers. Oh, the classic is delicious on its own. Lots and lots of thinly sliced beef, soft gooey cheese sauce, and the chewiness of the Amoroso roll. I like the kick that the peppers give, plus the grilled onions added another layer of sweetness. You can also get this as a Chicken Cheese Steak if you don’t eat beef. Mmm… I thought I was happy with this, but then there are other versions worth trying.
Western Premium Cheese Steak 
With Bacon, BBQ Sauce and Onion Rings. Everything tastes a bit better with bacon, and it holds true for the Western. Although I found it overwhelming and a tad too salty, I’m sure Filipinos and their carnivorous appetites will enjoy the Bacon + Steak combination. This is good for sharing.
The Barbeque Premium Cheese Steak

Minus the bacon and onion rings, but with smokey BBQ sauce, this gives the original a kick of smoky flavor. It’s a bit messy, so keep your wet-naps close.
The Hoagie with Lettuce, Tomatoes and Mayonnaise
A fresher, healthier attempt at the cheese steak. The lettuce adds a nice crunch and the tomatoes also lend some lightness. Mr. S thinks veggies are just a waste of stomach space, so this will only appeal to those who attempt to feel healthier with vegetable garnishes.

The Spinach Premium Cheese Steak

My ULTIMATE favorite of all the sandwiches. It’s the Classic Philly Cheese Steak but with sauteed mushrooms and spinach.

I absolutely loved the spinach mixing well with the cheese sauce, and the earthiness of the mushrooms complement the heartiness of the meat. I was stuffed beyond belief with the other sandwiches but I mustered up the space to have a bite or two of the Spinach Cheese Steak. Yum!

Garlic Fries
Now these are what I call finger-lickin’ good! Steak fries, largely cut and fried, then smothered with a savory garlicky sauce that was so addicting. These are great in a combo.

Their onion rings are fantastic and crispy, not those soggy types you get at random eateries…

The onions are cut quite thick and battered then fried. Crispy on the outside, sweet and soft on the inside.

And the best part about the sides, is the condiment or dipping sauce that comes with. Look at these giant VATS of Heinz Ranch, Yellow Mustard and Tomato Ketchup! Isn’t it like sauce heaven? I am big on sauces and condiments, so I pray that someone gift me this Ranch Dispenser for Christmas!
ToT with The Cheese Steak Shop family!
My verdict: The American sizes, Philadelphia ingredients and Filipino customer service will please not only your appetite and expectations. This is not your lunchbox sandwich, but its good enough to have every day.
And they deliver (in Makati CBD)!
The Cheese Steak Shop Manila
G/F The E-Hotel Makati
906 A. Arnaiz St. (formerly Pasay Rd)
San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.
+632 555 1818
+632 555 0235