What: The Philadelphia-style cheesesteak
Where: Apong’s Philly Steak, 68444 Perez Road, Cathedral City
How much: $8.49
Contact: 760-770-0229; www.apongsphillysteak.com
Why: It’s delicious simplicity.
I walked up to the counter at Apong’s Philly Steak, and I was greeted by a smiling employee. I told him I wanted a cheese steak, and asked what specifically he recommended.
Hoagie-style, perhaps, with lettuce, tomato and “special sauce”? With bacon, maybe, or jalapenos, or multiple kinds of cheese?
“Just Philadelphia style,” he said—meaning just meat, cheese and grilled onions on the bread. Nothing more, nothing less.
He made the right call: My cheese steak was delicious.
Tucked into one of those industrial-ish Perez Road centers—this particular center also features an all-American combination of a strip club, a bakery and a marijuana dispensary—Apong’s is not a place you’ll go for the atmosphere (though it’s perfectly pleasant inside). You’ll go there for the food, which includes an unusual mix of sandwiches, salads, Mexican specials and Krispy Krunchy-brand Cajun fried chicken. Apong’s also offers a lot of Filipino fare, including breakfasts, noodle dishes, soups, meat entrées and desserts; I’ll order from the Filipino portion of the menu the next time I’m there. (I am dying to find out more about “sweet Filipino style” spaghetti.)
But for this visit, since “Philly Steak” is part of the restaurant’s name, that’s what I ordered—and I loved every bite. The combination of piping-hot beef, grilled onions and melted provolone (American and whiz are also available; the aforementioned man behind the counter selected the cheese for me) on the bun were all this sandwich needed. It was warm, meaty, gooey goodness. Any other additions would have been needless at best, or detracting at worst.
Don’t let the odd, off-the-beaten-path location of Apong’s Philly Steak deter you; it’s worth your time and effort to check out this family-owned joint … especially if you like a simple, damn tasty cheese steak.