Hollow Leg has visited every Philly cheesesteak place he can find in the East Bay. And the winner is … Joe’s Catering, a lunch truck, where $5 gets you the biggest, sloppiest cheesesteak you’ve had in a while, jammed full of meat, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese. Perhaps the meat is sliced a little thicker than on a truly authentic Philly cheesesteak, and perhaps the peppers could be a little softer, but “it seems churlish to complain when you’re getting about half a pound of steak for $5 and it lays the smack on everything else in the area.”
The truck is in front of Creative Technology on the old Alameda Navy Base from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. on weekdays, then elsewhere on the base for lunch all afternoon.
El Senor Burrito already makes tortas, so cheesesteaks apparently seemed a minor stretch. Five bucks gets you a cheesesteak with fries or rings. The latter are repulsive, made from onion paste, not actual onions. But fries are good, and so are the cheesesteaks. It’s a bit bready, but all the elements are there, preparation is right, and the whole thing tastes mighty fine.
Dynamite Cheesesteak gets a big fat “meh…”. Which is to say it’s not bad, nor is it particularly good. It’s dry, undercheesed, and over-breaded. And it’s more expensive. berkeleybob thinks the best cheesesteaks come from Berkeley’s Cheese Steak Shop. It’s about as close to an authentic South Philly cheesesteak as you can find around here. They even fly in bread from Philly. Plus they have Tastykakes.
swillbill agrees that the greasy slop they serve here is freakin’ delicious. But do order the 7 inch, as the 10 incher will hurt you. This place may be a chain, we’re not sure, but it’s the sort of chain a lot of chowhounds believe in. They know what they’re doing, they know what real cheesesteaks taste like, and the volume business lets them fly in the right fixings from Philly. J T advises ordering “double meat”, as the regular cheesesteak is a bit scanty.
Joe’s Catering Lunch Truck [East Bay]
On the old Alameda Navy base
2501 Monarch St. #22, Alameda
El Senor Burrito (at High Street Gas and Food) [Fruitvale]
720 High St., just off 880, Oakland
Dynamite Cheesesteak [East Bay]
1221 Park St., Alameda
Cheese Steak Shop [East Bay]
1054 University Ave at San Pablo, Berkeley
East Bay Philly Cheesesteak Roundup