Food and Drink - Fall 2011 - (Page 34)

>r RESTAURANTS The Cheese Steak Shop The Real Deal The only way to make an authentic cheese steak sandwich is to use Philadelphia ingredients, according to The Cheese Steak Shop. By Kathryn Jones company profile The Cheese Steak Shop Headquarters: Hercules, Calif. Employees: 400 Specialty: Cheese steak sandwiches Steve Oakes, president: “We’re teaching new people every day about what a real cheese steak is supposed to be.” The Cheese Steak Shop was born out of a desire to bring authentic Philadelphia cheese steaks to California. N ot many cheese steak shops outside of Philadelphia can say they serve an authentic cheese steak sandwich, but the Cheese Steak Franchise Corp. of Hercules, Calif., does. President Steve Oakes and his partner, founder Keith Layton, were born and raised in the Philadelphia area, so they know a good cheese steak when they see one. “We get a lot of comments about the fact that we’re the best in the West,” Oakes says. When Layton – a chef by trade – relocated to San Francisco, he missed cheese steak sandwiches so much he decided to open his own restaurant in 1982. The Cheese Steak Shop was an instant success. Native Philadelphians in the Bay Area were grateful to have a restaurant nearby that served authentic cheese steak sandwiches, and the deliciousness of the sandwich turned locals into lifelong fans. “We’re teaching new people every day about what a real cheese steak is supposed to be,” Oakes says. The only way to make an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich is to use the same ingredients that cheese steak shops in Philadelphia use. “Out here, we like to say we’re often copied but never equaled,” Oakes says. “We’re focused on maintaining the authenticity of our product even if it costs a little more. We think it’s important that we offer an authentic cheese steak; that’s what’s been the keystone to our success. If you don’t use the authentic Philadelphia stuff, you’re never going to catch up.” The Cheese Steak Shop sources its rolls from Amoroso’s Bakery in Philadelphia. “We have them shipped out by the truckloads,” Oakes says. Its sweet and hot peppers are from Philadelphia, as well as its Tastykakes. “We buy a special meat, a sirloin,” he adds. “It’s from the Midwest, which is 34 food & drink • fall 2011 • <<

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink - Fall 2011

Food and Drink - Fall 2011
Tableside Chat
News a la Carte
In the Safe Zone
Strengthing Brands
Restaurants: Smart Marketing
Willie’s Restaurants
Slack’s Hoagie Shack
The Cheese Steak Shop
Aloha Hospitality Inc.
Bertucci’s Corp
Falcon Holdings LLC
Mark’s Pizzeria
Seasons Pizza
San Diego State University Dining Services
Producers: Food Law
Brook & Whittle Ltd. incorporating Packstar
Nestle Professional Caribbean
Snyder’s-Lance Inc.
Basic American Foods
Evolution Fresh
Berto’s Gelato & Sorbet
Jensen Meat Co
Tumbador Chocolate
Leclerc Foods USA Inc.
FX Matt Brewing Co.
Green Organic Vegetable Inc.
Deli Star Inc.
Always Bagels
National Choice Bakery
Sequoia Orange Co.
Spring Glen Fresh Foods
Westshore Pizza
Distributors: Total Recall
Columbia Distributing
Castella Imports Inc.
Co-Sales Company
Brick Brewing Co. Limited
Prime Distributors
Retailers: What’s in Store
AriZona Beverage Co.
Le Grand Marche
Three Things

Food and Drink - Fall 2011