Sometimes it just doesn't get any better than to have a sandwich stuffed with hot grilled steak and gooey Cheddar cheese. Phat Philly's located in downtown Tulsa serves up very good Cheesesteaks and other variations of the East coast tradition.
Throughout time, this classic sandwich has assumed a number of pseudo names--Philadelphia Cheesesteak, Philly Cheesesteak, steak and cheese and cheesesteak hoagie. This sandwich of thinly sliced grilled pieces of steak, onions and melted cheese (genuine Kraft Cheez Whiz, if possible) on a long (hoagie-like) roll has its own history to tell.
Tracing the sandwich back to the city of brotherly love, the story goes that Philadelphia brothers Pat and Harry Olivieri invented the sandwich out of necessity, which is often the driving arm of creativity.
In 1930--by sheer accident--they were trying to jazz up their food stand's leftovers from the previous day. The owners of a fast food stand in a South Philly Italian Market then decided t o replace the hot dogs, which was the usual fare, with slices of grilled steak but added some onions and put it on an Italian roll.
This new-found sandwich success led to some variations, such as the adding of melted cheese--the first being provolone. Eventually, the popularity led them to opening a restaurant highlighting and featuring these sandwiches, Pat's King of Steaks, which still exists today.
It's a simple sandwich with a rich blending of flavors. Rib-eye or top round steak is most often used for the sandwich. Steak is quickly browned on a hot lightly-oiled grill. Often, the steak is placed on top of slightly grilled onions to blend flavors and keep the steak moist.
Eating lunch at Phat Philly's, I sampled two sandwiches, the Reuben ($8) and the Steak combo meal ($9), which includes one side and a drink. I also ordered a fruit cup ($1.50).
Looking around this very worn and tired-looking building, I selected a table in the dining room, which only fits about eight or so two-top tables. The cement floor is painted red, but the paint has been chipping away from wear. Casual is too formal a word for Phat Philly's; it is a functional place for people who want a hearty and hot sandwich. The crowd on this particular afternoon exuded diversity, and I fit right in.
Phat Philly's Steak sandwich combo was a large hoagie roll filled with grilled sliced steak, green and red bell peppers, onions and plenty of melted cheddar cheese. This sandwich was very large and a bit messy to eat but well worth it. The bread kept the sandwich in tact quite well. The steak was tender and had a rich taste to it. A side of fried okra and a soda completed the combo. The fried okra was hot and fresh, too.
The Reuben sandwich was built on a sour dough rye roll and filled with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and melted Provolone cheese. This sandwich had a great blend of flavors and textures. The side fruit cup was a disappointment, though. Red and green grapes, pineapple and strawberries were in this little one-serving cup. The grapes and pineapple were semi-fresh, but the strawberries were very watery and practically tasteless.
Other sides include Fries, Phat Tots, Chips and Cole Slaw and are $1.50 or less.
Besides Steak and Reuben, Phat Philly's sandwich selection includes Chicken, Burger (with ground beef), Veggie and the Phat Dog. Throughout the years, Philly Steak sandwiches have somewhat taken on a life of their own. Some extras for the sandwiches at Phat Philly's include extra meat, jalapenos, mushrooms, chili, pizza sauce and eggs. Also, their "Other Stuff" includes Cheese Fries/Tots, chili Cheese Fries/Tots, Frito Pie, Chili and Dessert. A Kids' Meal includes Popcorn Chicken, Fries or Tots and a small drink for $5.
Phat Philly's is available for catering special events and parties. They also prepare Lunch and Dinner Box meals, which includes one Phat Philly (Steak, chicken, Burger, Veggie or Phat Dog), a bag of chips, cole slaw or fruit and dessert for $9.
1101 S. Detroit Ave
Fri.-Sat. 10am-3pm, 12am-4am
Share this article: