Thursday, July 14, 2011

Forget Flying to Philly, We Have John's!

John's Philly Grille
16061 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Since my roommate got back from Philadelphia, and did not bring me back a cheese steak, I have been craving a Philly. Doesn't he know that he can not brag about sandwiches from across the country and not bring me one? You know I write this blog, right Rob?

So since I could not count on Rob to satisfy my cheese steak craving, I had to strike out on my own to find a great sandwich here in the OC. I had been to John's a couple of times before I started the blog, and I felt this would be a great place to quench my craving for a cheese steak. John's has two other locations, (another in Huntington Beach and one in Seal Beach).  This was my first time at this location across from Golden West College. The shopping center here has definitely seen better days, as it is half empty.

John's Philly Grille of course has all the requisite Philadelphia paraphernalia all over its walls. Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles are all represented big time here. Their menu features burgers, hoagies, and other Philly favorites. We are here to try the cheese steak though, so after ordering from the counter this is what was brought to our table.

Before we get to our main event, here is a quick shot of the Philly Fries. These thick steak fries came out piping hot. I am usually not a steak fry kind of guy, but these ones were cooked well, very crisp and had just a hint of seasoning on them. Next time we will definitely get cheese added to these.

Katie ordered the #2 Green Pepper Cheese Steak. This half sandwich was stuffed with meat, cheese, peppers and onions. Katie felt this was the best cheese steak she had ever had. She really liked the bread. Crusty on the outside, but held the sandwich contents well. She was afraid there was not enough cheese on this, but changed her opinion after finishing this sandwich.

I really had a big craving for a cheese steak, so I went with the #4 The Works Cheese Steak. This whole sandwich came with mushrooms, peppers, hot peppers, onions and of course cheese. As much as I wanted to dig right into this sandwich, I could not because it was lava hot. In fact this sandwich did not become edible until it cooled for five minutes. Once cooled, it really satisfied my craving for a cheese steak. Great layers of taste here. You get the smoothness from the cheese, the bite of the steak, and the hotness from the peppers, all in separate waves. A very well balanced sandwich.

John's Philly Grille is a no frills sandwich shop that will definitely satisfy you cravings for the best sandwich to come out of the city of brotherly love. The cheese steaks are not cheap, $6 for a half, and $9 for a whole, but they are well worth the price. The sandwiches are stuffed with meat, and a whole sandwich kept me filled up well into the next day. Is this the best cheese steak in the OC? As of right now I will have to say it is. If you have any opinions or suggestions on places that might be better, please let me know.

So out of five liberty bells, (c'mon, you knew I would sneak a liberty bell reference in here at least once, right?), five being best to zero being worst, John's Philly Grill gets 3.5 liberty bells.

John's Philly Grill does not have a web site, but you can find info about them here:

John's Philly Grill on Urbanspoon


  1. 3.5 Liberty Bells? Everything you said about the sandwich was positive. You are a tough critic Mike Schmidt.

  2. I have to go back and try this place again. It used to be the best but it seemed like they changed the meat at some point and it wasn't as good as it was. Thanks for the reminder to try it again.

  3. Anonymous - I really did like the sandwich, but I have to give myself a little wiggle room, just in case there is a better sandwich out there. Nice Schmidt reference! Thanks for the comment.

    Kernel - You might have caught them on a bad day. It is definitely worth a visit back. If you know of any other great places to get a cheese steak, let me know. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Dude, I agree, only 3.5 after all that praise?!?
    At least bump it up to 4! But that said, great review. Really love John's. We reviewed them a while back and I said the same thing about the temperature of the sandwich, comparing it to that crazy-hot green tea at Chinese restaurants. The cold Italian hoagie is also a mind-blower.

  5. Jeff - Good call relating the sandwich to the green tea. Really, who could drink that tea anyway? I did hear that about their Italian sandwiches also. Next time I am going to have to get two half sandwiches. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I usually get my fix at Philly's Best, which is close to work or home, and I really like their stuff (ooh, Wise potato chips). I assume you rate John's higher, but by much? - "MikeHu"

  7. MikeHu - I like Philly's Best, and if I am too lazy to drive up to Huntington, I will go there. John's is the best Philly in the OC that I have had to date. Philly's Best is good, but it does not compare to John's. I will review Philly's Best in the near future.