Ralph Fernandez prefers to keep things simple. The Hoboken-raised restaurateur is passionate about providing customers with a cheesesteak worthy of comparison to those found at prime locations in Philadelphia. Actually, Fernandez thinks his restaurant – which he opened in West New York – is better.
He may be on to something.
Design your own
Open since November of 2008, the Philly CheeseSteak House at 6012 Park Ave. in West New York is special because it brings flexibility, convenience, and a comfortable atmosphere. Customers enjoy the diverse yet customizable menu.
“I wanted to do something different than the old traditional [way],” said Fernandez, “like the greasy onions, the yellow American, or the [Cheez] Whiz that they use.”
Fernandez offers a broad range of free toppings, including onions, peppers, fresh garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and more. He also lets his customers choose from a variety of cheeses, such as Swiss, Mozzarella, American, and Provolone.
“I came up with these free toppings,” said Fernandez. “And people love it.”
In addition to the traditional beef cheesesteak, the restaurant also serves a pork and chicken cheesesteak.
I was able to sample the chicken cheesesteak, which I had previously been unfamiliar with. After having tried it, I can safely say that it rivals the traditional beef cheesesteak. Better yet, everything is made-to-order on a griddle, giving the sandwiches a fresh and delicious taste.
“We don’t have our meat precooked,” said Fernandez. “Everything is specially thrown on the griddle, and every day it’s sliced.”
Fernandez added that the most famous places in Philadelphia precook their meat.
Other fresh menu options include a New York strip steak in a shrimp sauce, which runs at $22.75, and the barbecue spare ribs, which are priced at $11.75.
The Philly CheeseSteak House also serves breakfast, including the recently added omelet bar that Fernandez calls “Omelet City,” which allows customers to fully customize omelets such as they would cheesesteaks. The price for the omelet bar is $7.25, which includes free toppings.
“We don’t have Western, American, or Mexican [omelets],” said Fernandez. “It’s more simple – you choose your toppings, which are the same veggies we use for the Philly’s [cheese steaks].”
Fernandez continued, “It makes our world a lot easier and it makes even the customers [easier].”
Another breakfast option is the early bird special, which for $1.95 includes scrambled eggs, home fries, and a choice of toast, coffee or tea. The hours for the special are 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Best of all is the traditional beef cheesesteak. According to Fernandez, his most popular cheesesteak includes Swiss cheese, cooked onions, green peppers, and mushrooms.
Upon trying it myself, I can certainly see why it’s so popular. The combination of these toppings compliments the cheesesteak perfectly.
The Philly CheeseSteak House isn’t your traditional cheesesteak restaurant – it features a cozy sit-down atmosphere with flat-screen TVs, a wait staff, and a coffee and tea bar.
Patrons are also allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages, and luckily, there is a liquor store right next door.
Cheesesteaks sell for $6.75 per half sandwich, and $8.75 per full sandwich. The combo special includes steak fries and a drink, and is an additional $1.95.
The hours are from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day of the week. The restaurant also delivers. For more information, call (201) 854-6332.
Fernandez plans to expand and add another location, possibly in Hoboken.
Visit www.phillycheesesteakhouse.com for menus, directions, and more information.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at email@example.com.