Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies Review

Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies Philly Cheese Steak Review

Established in 1960, Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies are located at 7617 Ogontz Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150. Pagano’s has received national attention as they have been voted the best steaks by several different sources over the years. The Courier News voted them the best steaks in 2002 and Focus Metropolitan Philadelphia’s Business Newsweekly voted Pagano’s the best hoagie contender in 1984.

Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies has a funny operation. There is no place to sit inside and it is strictly pick up or take out. Pagano’s is a hole in the wall food place as there is nothing fancy in physical appearance that would attract customers there. People go there just for the food. They also have 2 sections in the store (and 2 lines) one for hoagies and one for cheese steaks. Make sure you stand in the right line or you will get dirty looks and maybe yelled at. The workers are semi friendly but I can see that they have rules that you need to follow just like Pat’s and Geno’s Steaks. I don’t like following rules if I am the paying customer.

I have to give Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies a yellow light (proceed with caution) as I am not completely impressed to consider them the best. However, I still feel that they have some potential and that is why I don’t want to give them the full red light (don’t go).

Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies has an excellent value for their Philly cheese steak at $6.75 for a foot long loaded steak. When I mean loaded I mean LOADED. You can put rubber casing around their steak sandwiches and sell it to local gyms for their members. It weighs that much. Don’t worry about gaining weight as you will get a full workout by lifting it to your mouth every time.

Even though the value is there I still have several problems with it. First, the steak was chopped ultra fine…too fine. You cannot see any texture to the steak at all. This is what Rick Olivieri from Rick’s Steaks cautions about. If the steak is chopped too fine then you can’t tell what kind of beef they are serving and the quality of it. By the taste of the beef, I was not impressed. Just thinking about Olivieri’s words were echoing in my head as I was eating it. Yes, it is loaded with steak…but what grade of steak is it?

Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies use soft Italian rolls yet the roll was not ideal. It didn’t have that beautiful golden brown texture with a shiny glaze that the perfect Italian roll would have. This roll actually appears to have been there for a few days.

The cheese and fried onions were mixed in the sandwich but were not enough. There was so much steak in there that you were bombarded with chopped steak flavor and couldn’t taste the rest of the sandwich. The cheese and onions were in there somewhere but I needed a road map to find them.

Basically, Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies has way too much steak on their Philly cheese steak and the quality of it just doesn’t knock you off your seat. Sorry Pagano’s Steaks and Hoagies but I can’t recommend you as the Best Philly Cheese Steaks!

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