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Straight From Philly

Cheesesteak, cheese whiz, and bacon? Don’t let this opportunity pass you

The South Philly from Straight From Philly. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Hearing word of the newest cheesesteak joint serving up classics, gyros, burgers and loaded fries -- Dutch and Jackie popped down to Straight From Philly in the heart of Tacoma's Downtown.

JACKIE: This spot here is a little nook of delight right now. Situated next to Mad Hat Tea and Dunagan Brewing all tucked away on Commerce Street, Straight From Philly is serving up classic and specialty cheesesteaks done right. The ambiance is clean and simple and the service fabulously friendly and efficient. For the size of the place I was impressed with the options. Almost a dozen loaded fry options are on the menu with toppings including steak, bacon, chili, cheese whiz, gravy, atomic sauce and more. There are a handful or more of burger options, but the cheesesteak selection will make you a little giddy (and even momentarily overwhelmed).

DUTCH: It is a bit overwhelming, true -- but in a good way. There were so many cheesesteaks I wanted to try and knew my stomach couldn't handle that much. One item I knew I was getting was the bacon chili cheese fries. As if chili and cheese whiz isn't enough piled on top of crispy fries, this one has piles of crisp bacon as well. Fortunately, there were forks available, cause this is a messy one.

JACKIE: The portions are generous and on each tabletop you'll find a roll of paper towels. You'll need em! The South Philly was a classic find: cheesesteak with mushroom, bell pepper and whiz, add onions at your discretion, and dive in. The Dirty Fries with steak and gravy presented a paper boat loaded with the goods. The gravy could have used a little salt and pepper to my taste but I drizzled some of the vinegar-y sauce from the squeeze bottle stationed at our table and it added a nice, little bump of flavor.

DUTCH: I considered the South Philly as well, but went with the Big Pin after careful consideration. This is a meal for two with a huge roll piled with French fries and a horseradish white cheddar cheese underneath a generous amount of steak and onions, which is finally topped with gravy. It's true, this is not your everyday Philly, but it is full of changes that are all good for a sandwich that you already know will fill you up. The little kick from the horseradish, along with the gravy and fries, makes for a satisfying meal.

JACKIE: The Smokin' Chicken is one I'll be back for again and again. Chicken, bacon, jalapeños galore are drizzled with a generous topping of chipotle cream and ranch. This is fat-free, right? Those pesky New Year's resolutions are rearing their head yet, so I dove in with zero regret.

DUTCH: Another sandwich that takes cheesesteak to a new level is the New Yorker, with the addition of salami and red sauce. This handful takes "gut-bomb" to a new level! Piles of salami are then covered with more piles of cheesesteak on top, then add melted provolone and fresh red sauce. This is part pizza, part Italian sandwich, and part Philly, but 100 percent amazing. I'll be back for this sandwich alone.

STRAIGHT FROM PHILLY - THE KING OF CHEESESTEAKS, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 1126 Commerce St. #1, Tacoma, 253.292.1991

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