I don’t get the Philadelphia connection with Richmond.
There are four places within a small area selling cheese steaks. There could be more. There’s even a cheese steak truck. The town is over-run with Philadelphians and Brazilians. Even the Brazilians sell cheese steaks. What’s that about?
A quick digression, I stopped by Bonnaire Market just up the street and they make nachos out of any bagged chip in the store. Open a bag of spicy BBQ corn chips and they pour the hot cheese in. They’ll make nachos out of anything ... Fritos, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos or potato chips. I think they’d even pour it in a bag of cracker jacks if you wanted it. I just finished dinner, so the actual tasting will have to happen another time.
Philadelphia Hoagie Station (PHS) is in the same class as Red Onion or Nations. I think they do this type of food a little better and they have cheese steaks.
I never had an actual Philly cheese steak in Philly, so take this with that caveat. So far I liked this second best to any cheese steak in the Bay Area. Only Gumbah’s in Vallejo beats them.
I’m basing this on the meat and cheese that was perfectly married. They compliment each other. Not too little cheese not too much. The meat and cheese are one. The soft, brown, caramelized onions mixed in made it a ménage a trios.
Now the rest might not be what cheese steak purists require. There was mayo and catsup spread on the soft French roll and a few thin slices of tomato. It was topped with a bit of lettuce.
It doesn’t need to be ordered that way, but when I’m asked if I want everything, I usually say yes.
I actually found someone who commented about PHS on the web and I couldn’t say it better (link at end).
“The burgers from here are soo good and the people are super nice. They cook it real good so its not real greasy and thick like Nations. The fries are good and the pineapple shake taste like plain vanilla, but is good too. My tummy says go get food from here!”
Yeah, the burger is better than Nations. A hand formed 1/3 pound patty is greasy enough for flavor and not so greasy that I had heart burn. The fries are frozen but cooked nicely. The type of medium cut fries that were common before McDonald’s made the scene.
The comment about the shake was spot on too. I had the chocolate which wasn’t heavy on the chocolate and a little sweet, but it was good.
I’ve passed this place literally hundreds of times. The sign outside says Phil-A Burger. I was thinking someone named Phil owned it. Never considered Phil stood for Philadelpia.
The other hoagies/cheese steaks are: mushroom, bell pepper, hot pastrami, chicken, teriyaki chicken and beef teriyaki.
Teriyaki can also be ordered with rice and veggies. There is also beef short ribs teriyaki.
The hot dogs and hot links are from Millers and are grilled and bunned with mayo, catsup, tomato, lettuce and onion. About those onions, they are very thin sliced
There are a few sandwiches – ham, turkey, roast beef, tuna, grilled cheese and a ‘Original B.L.T’ They no longer sell pie though it is still on the menu. The cheese cake looks a little sad, but it is $1.45. The grilled cheese is only $2.59. Who knows why not $2.60.
It’s a little like Red Onion. There are a few stools and counters along the windows. It always has business. And the Asian family who runs the place IS super nice. Sometimes in a town like Richmond, people aren’t treated with respect. Yet customers were treated cordially without being over-friendly. The owners knew most of the names.
They even put up with my dumb questions without blinking or making me feel stupid. They just answered the question. This isn’t the type of place you need to ask if the fries are frozen. Of course they are.
The current owners have been there about 10 years. I asked these sweet people with heavy accents ‘So, are you from Philly”.
No, the customers just like cheese steaks I was told. I’m sure they bought the place when it was called Phil-a burger, kept most of the menu and added the teriyaki.
Not a place to go out of your way for, but a decent place if you are in the neighborhood.
Philadelphia Hoagie Station
1100 23rd St (near Rheem)
Richmond, CA 94804
Mon – Sat – 10 am – 9 pm