Frankly I’m Not in Philadelphia

So on my ongoing search for the perfect Italian Hoagie (which coincidentally also includes my quest for a good Cheese Steak sandwich) I came across a place in Costa Mesa called Frank’s Philadelphia. A friend at the office recommended the #2 which is their Cheese Steak with Mushrooms.

When I got there, I was happily greeted and then saw the CASH ONLY sign on the cash register. I asked if I could place my order and then get some cash. I went next door to 7-11 to get some cash. My luck would have the ATM was down and unable to dispense cash. Luckily, you can do cash back with purchase.

I placed an order for the #1 which is the Cheese Steak with Fried Onions, Peppers and any choice of cheese. I ask for the regular order, but hold the peppers. I know, some of you would say it’s not a Cheese Steak unless there are peppers. Well I like my Cheese Steaks with cheese and onions. I also placed an order for a #12 which is their Italian Hoagie: Salami, Capicola, Ham, Provolone, oil and oregano.

They offer three sizes for their sandwiches, small, medium and large. While I was getting cash, they started my order and by the time I returned the sandwiches were just about done. The meat was just coming off the grill onto the paper and the Italian Hoagie was already done. It looked big on the counter. My Cheese Steak was done as he slid the meat from the spatula into the bread. He wrapped it in butcher paper and placed it next to the Italian Hoagie. The cashier placed it in the bag and off I went.

When I got home I found out why the sandwiches looked big, they were very loosely wrapped. The Cheese Steak looked good. It had a good smell and the cheese was still gooey. However, once I tasted the sandwich I took a few more bites and decided in my head that it wasn’t the best Cheese Steak I have had. The meat was remarkably dry and it wasn’t as seasoned as it could have been. The bread was also quite dry and tasteless. Bummer.

Next came my Italian Hoagie. I unwrapped the loosely wound butcher paper. The sandwich was dripping wet. This hoagie was oozing tons of Italian Dressing. It had a nice amount of meat in the roll. As I tried to see past the wet lettuce, I also saw pickles. Sorry, but pickles shouldn’t be in an Italian Hoagie in my opinion. I took the wet pickles out and took a bite. The bread is the same as the Cheese Steak but it absorbed a good bit of the dressing. The meats tasted good, but I couldn’t get past the drenched lettuce. I took the wet lettuce out as well as the tomato slice and just had the meat, cheese and bread. It wasn’t that bad, but all that dressing really ruined the sandwich for me.

I really got excited when I read the reviews for Franks and unfortunately I think my expectations were set high. The sandwiches were ok, but my experiences at places like Claros, John’s and Cortinas far outweigh my meal at Franks.

Perhaps I will go back and get that #2 and see if the mushrooms make for a better Cheese Steak…

Frank’s Philadelphia
2244 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA

Frank's Philadelphia Hoagies & Steak Sandwich on Urbanspoon


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