Cheeseateak #4 Shank's Original

12:30 PM

On a Friday

Philadelphia, PA


Shank's Original is described on Google Maps as "counter-service sandwich joint." I think that is a perfectly apt description. 

This stand-alone structure along the Delaware river is a pleasant find in an unexpected location. Outdoor seating is available, but limited. However, with three inches of snow on the ground, I was not fighting anyone for a spot. 


Without much else around it creating foot traffic, patrons of Shank's don't seem to just wander in for a quick bite. They're there because they know what they want.


And I can see why.


I always believe that food just tastes better when you eat it outdoors. 


- Rating -

So how does it rate?

The categories are:

  • Roll
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Onions
  • Team Effort (how it all works together)
  • Service (at the establishment)
  • Overall Value

A maximum of 5 points can be assigned to each category.

  • Roll - 4.5
    • This bread was incredible. I had read on their website that they pride themselves on it, so my bar had actually been very high for this location. In fact, I was 100% certain that I would be disappointed, especially considering my vast carb consumption experience. I was not disappointed. I was elated
  • Meat - 3.5
    • The meat would just be considered standard if not for 2 important distinctions: the quantity of meat provided would not illicit any complaints from any patron, and the seasoning had an excellent peppery note
  • Cheese - 2
    • I was a little disappointed here. The cheese was only lightly painted on the inside of the bread. It was the amount that you hope for when you ask for "light mayo" on a sandwich. I'm sure the cheese itself was fine, but I couldn't really get much on its own to tell
  • Onions - 3.5
    • The onions were small, but crunchy. They were fine, but really not much more could be said about them
  • Team Effort - 3.5
    • The bread was really holding the team together on this one. While the peppery beef helped make up for the lack of cheese, I think they did the best with what they had
  • Service - 4
    • Service was extremely quick. I think one of the employees had made a cheesesteak for themselves but once I ordered they gave it to me instead so I didn't have to wait
  • Value - 3.5
    • A perfectly fine $10 cheesesteak 

TOTAL:  24.5

Other Elements of Note:

Another CASH ONLY joint.

There's an odd looking ATM available outside if you were not prepared.

More information about Shank's Original can be found on their website, such as menu, hours, and catering information.

The ambiance might've been my favorite part. Sitting by the water makes every meal feel a little bit more special... maybe next time I'll go when there's not snow under the tables.

**Full Disclosure: This is the first time I have been yelled at while taking pictures of my cheesesteak. A (seemingly) regular customer of Shank's pulled up in his truck, parked diagonally outside the door to the building, sauntered past me before taking time out of his busy day to comment on the personal choice of the enjoyment of my lunch. He scoffed, "you should eat your cheesesteak, not take pictures of it!"

Why not both, good sir? Why not both?


- Recap -

Shank's Original is an interesting find. Their location might not be terribly convenient, but being nestled by the river certainly has its own draw. The cheesesteak is solid, and customers seem to be regulars, not just there because they want to take a picture of themselves eating at a cheesesteak place in Philly.

I may go back someday soon and just ask to buy a couple loaves of their fantastic bread.