Restaurant Review: Restaurant Review

Real Philly style cheesesteaks right here in Austin

Phatso's Cheesesteaks

1207 South First St., 512/709-4915
Restaurant Review
Photo by John Anderson

Phatso's Cheesesteaks

1207 S. First; 709-4915
Monday, 11am-2pm; Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-9:30pm; closed Sunday

Cheesesteak sandwiches are a special regional food item hailing from Philadelphia. In order to be considered a genuine cheesesteak, the steak must be sliced very thin, fried on a flat griddle, anointed with either Cheez Whiz or ­provolone, and served on a roll baked by the Amoroso Baking Co. of Philadelphia. (Cheesesteaks can be made with chicken, in which case they are referred to as chicken cheesesteaks.) Typically, onions are grilled with the meat, and various items such as sweet or hot peppers and marinara sauce can be added in upon request. Cheesesteak aficionados tend to be pretty strict on all these points; if it isn't made just the way they make them at Pat's King of Steaks or Geno's Steaks, it's just not a ­cheesesteak.

Fortunately for us all, Phatso's Cheesesteaks toe the line religiously, right down to the Amoroso's rolls. "My goal is to provide the same type of product as Pat's or Geno's, along with the same type of attitude," says Walter Underwood, the owner/operator of Phatso's. The menu at the trailer is straightforward and streamlined: Pick beef or chicken, onions or no onions, Cheez Whiz or provolone, sauce or no sauce. Pepperoni, bacon, mushrooms, and jalapenos can be added in for an extra charge. Depending on your choice of options, your sandwich will cost between $5.25-8.50.

"Sometimes people get a little bogged down by all the choices, so I have a special 'under the table' menu of winning combinations," says Underwood, who grew up just outside of Philly. "The Pepperoni Pizzasteak, the Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteak, the Hawaiian Chicken Cheesesteak, and the Phat Walter ... that one's named after me: beef, onions, jalapenos, mushrooms, bacon, and both cheeses." Underwood has made a few adjustments; he uses London broil for his steak to keep it a little leaner, and for his onions he uses Texas sweet 1015's. "And on Fridays at lunchtime I offer queso as a cheese choice," he smiles. "My queso has about 12 ingredients, including hot sausage and cheddar, and it takes a couple of hours to make, so I can only offer it once a week."

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Food Reviews
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
A Trio of Mediterranean Dining
Just when you thought you couldn't possibly get any shawarma, right?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Sept. 4, 2020

Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
Hot Sauce: Your Lifestyle Is the Target
What does your favorite condiment reveal about who you are?

Wayne Alan Brenner, Aug. 28, 2020

More by Kate Thornberry
The Year in Food
Top 10 Austin Food Blogs
The 2014 tastes we just couldn't stop thinking about

Jan. 2, 2015

Season's Eatings
Season's Eatings
Our guide to finally shutting up your in-laws

Dec. 5, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Phatso's Cheesesteaks, Amaroso Baking Co., Pat's King of Steaks, Geno's Steaks, Walter Underwood

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle