Samantha Douty and Jonathan Garcia
We love cheese. And we love meat. So when we heard there were two Yo Philly Cheese Steak and Subs locations in town, we had to try them both. The Foghorn sent a reviewer to each location to see how they compare.
Yo Philly Cheese Steak and Subs is easy to get to once you get off the freeway just over the Harbor Bridge. It calls home the ever-changing storefront by Fajitaville on North Beach. The building is small, but it is the perfect size for the layout inside. In the parking lot were three police cruisers, seemingly a frequent meeting place for lunch.
I walked into the small restaurant not knowing anything about what it had to offer except for Philly cheesesteaks, given the name of the place. A pleasant man at the counter asked how he could help me. Just by the way I was invited to the counter, I knew I was going to like this place.
I asked the man (who was very helpful) what was his favorite thing on the menu, and he took the time to tell me what they were known for and then his favorite. His favorite was the Pizza Sub, so I opted to order that and an order of french fries. It is basically a sub, either six or eight inches, with steak meat with marinara sauce (as if it were a pizza!) topped with mozzarella cheese. He asked for my name to put with my order, told me he would call me when it was ready, and he got to work on my sandwich.
The seating area was open with about eight or nine tables with flat-screen TVs on the wall. The décor was sports orientated, but it wasn’t overkill like most sports bars in the area. The screen in front of me was on the Travel Channel with “Man vs. Food” on.
My food took about five minutes to make, maybe even less. I took my food back to my table and at first glance it looked fantastic. The meat and marinara sauce were over flowing, and the french fries looked perfect. I tried a french fry first. It was hot and crunchy with some kind of special salt. The salt had a little heat but it wasn’t too overwhelming; I could have done with a little less.
I then took my first bite of the sandwich. The bread was soft and a perfect for absorbing the sauce. It was super cheesy and when I pulled it apart the cheese stretched like a good slice of pizza. The meat was a little under seasoned, but still delicious. It was hot and obviously freshly made.
I was halfway done with my sandwich when the man from behind the counter asked me what I thought of it. It was at that point I decided to save the rest of my sandwich and fries and asked for a bag to go. He immediately ran behind the counter to get the foil for my sandwich (to keep it warm the man told me), a to-go box for my french fries and as I was trying to carry everything he brought me out a paper bag to make the walk to the car much easier.
As I walked out the door the man said, “Thank you so much, Sam.” Anytime a server remembers your name or even just uses it, it makes the experience even better. I would come back for the experience alone. The food was good, and the experience was the icing on top of the cake. I will, without a doubt, be going back.
Ever since I could remember, I was curious to know how a Philly cheesesteak tasted, and I recently heard a lot of buzz about Yo Philly. My father and I went to 3735 S. Alameda St. location to see what all the fuss was about.
We entered the restaurant and only a few people were there. A large Coca-Cola menu highlighted the fountain drink products, but didn’t offer much help when selecting a meal because items such as The Godfather Burger don’t included desciptions of what is in each sandwich. They do have a menu that shows what’s in each item but it is on the counter where you order. But to us it was a minor complaint as we ordered our food anyways.
I got the Combo No 1, which was an eight-inch cheesesteak with fries and a drink, and my dad got Combo No. 2, which was the same thing except with onion rings as the side. We sat down and noticed that although not filthy, it could have been a bit cleaner. Our table was a bit sticky and next to us there were two partially empty soda bottles, and the manager must have been doing the budget as a calculator was left there. I also looked around saw a painting of the scene from “Rocky” raising his arms on those steps of Philadelphia showing that we are indeed inside a Philly cheesesteak restaurant.
Our food finally came out and I took a bite out of my cheesesteak and I liked it overall but there could have been improvements to make it out of this world. I would have loved to have green peppers in the sandwich and also would have loved to have the bread a little more toasted to give it more flavor. The french fries were actually really good as they were crinkly fries similar to Church’s Chicken but had Cajun seasoning on them, which made a difference. I was also tempted to try the onion rings so my dad and I did a trade a few fries for a couple onion rings. The onion rings tasted really good and are similar to Whataburger’s onion rings but they gave a good amount of them.
With Combo No. 1 the total rang out to about $11.26 not including my dad’s order or tax. Overall, our “Yo Philly” experience was not bad at all. While the price was a bit much for a combo, you do get your money’s worth. The fries and onion rings were good and so was the sandwich overall despite some of its flaws.