Joe’s Cheesesteak along Katipunan Avenue was catching my eye for a while, but the parking spots were always full. Fortunately, we finally got lucky about a month ago and were able to sample their–what else?–cheesesteaks.
The couple behind Joe’s Cheesesteak, Joe and Grace Magalona, was there the day we went, along with their daughter who was manning the counter, and they were happy to tell us about the place and its history. Joe’s Cheesesteak is the reincarnation of their old cafe, which was simply called Cheesesteak and located on Reposo Street in Makati. The cafe was quite well known for its cheesesteak, which Grace said was inspired by the Philly cheesesteak. Unfortunately, they closed down the cafe in 1997 sometime after Grace gave birth to their youngest, at which point they decided to focus more on their family, with the idea that they may reopen the place again in the future.
Clearly, its time has come, thanks to a push from their kids, who are all adults now. Rather than offer a sprawling menu, Joe’s Cheesesteak is sticking to what it did best and apparently still continues to do best. Grace shares that they had customers who used to frequent their old restaurant and who were absolutely excited to find out that the cheesesteaks are just as good as they remembered.
We were just as thrilled as those old customers were once we bit into our cheesesteaks. We both ordered the regular cheesesteak (P180), and it made for quite a meal. It features juicy slices of sirloin beef topped with melted cheese and tomato slices and held together by a warm, crusty baguette. You have the option to drizzle hot sauce or sprinkle jalapeños (plus P10) on top, but it’s perfect the way it already is.
The place is small and no-frills, and there are a few seats were you could settle down to enjoy your meal. When we went, Joe’s Cheesesteak was still on soft opening, and Grace and Joe said they were still testing the waters to see how people react to their offering. We don’t know if their old customers have already heard about their return, but they’re certainly winning over new ones.
GF SMRC Building Katipunan Avenue corner B. Gonzales Street Quezon City