Good to Go is a column where our food writers explore Dallas' restaurant scene through takeout orders, delivery boxes and reheated leftovers.
Let’s just go ahead and rip off this Band-Aid quickly: For all you Philadelphians who opened this article strictly to bark about how a Dallas cheesesteak is sacrilegious or whatever, I poured queso on my cheesesteak, and it was amazing.
Owner Joel Padilla worked in a cheesesteak restaurant when he was young. An entrepreneur at heart, he eventually ventured out on his own and opened a Mexican food restaurant, which didn't work out. A subsequent pizza place also failed. None of that is too surprising for the fickle business of starting a restaurant.
“After the second failed restaurant, my mom and dad worked normal jobs for six or seven years, to save up,” Erick Padilla says of his dad, Joel.
Joel never liked the idea working for other people. So he went back to what he knew from that first job years earlier and opened Cheesesteak House at 2015 W. Davis St. in North Oak Cliff.
“Oak Cliff embraced us pretty much from the start,” Erick says. They have since expanded to other locations in Wylie, Garland and DeSoto.
Cheesesteak House sits in a small strip mall just west of the Bishop Arts District in the shadows of brand new apartments, adjacent to the Jamaican-inspired Royal Hemps.
A large “Yes, We’re Open!” sign hangs in front of their restaurant along with their phone number. I learned after going inside that customers can call, and they’ll bring food to their cars.
Everyone in the place, including those in the open kitchen, had on masks and gloves. It’s a fairly small space, and guests can watch their food being made on the large griddles.
I had called in my order, and it was waiting for me when I arrived. After I paid and picked out sauces, the entire transaction took only a minute or so.
The cheesesteaks come in either a regular size or large; I suggest large if you’re really hungry. They use Amoroso's bread from Philadelphia, which rests on top of the meat as it cooks, rendering them warm and a bit moist. The basic sandwich comes with just bread, cheese and meat (as pictured at top).
Toppings are a la carte and include extra cheese, queso, mushrooms, banana peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, egg, jalapeños, bell peppers and cherry peppers at 69 cents each. (Next time I’ll definitely get more creative here.)
The homemade sauces at Cheesesteak House have the potential to make every bite interesting. The consistency of the ranch is on the thinner side, and Joel’s special sauce is fantastic. The sweet heat kicks in on every bite. They also make a honey mustard, barbecue sauce and a “mayotle” (mayonnaise and chipotle). Two come with each sandwich, but you can buy extra to mix and match.
The chicken cheesesteak smothered in queso and dipped in their house-made hot sauce is straight sandwich greatness. The crispy, spicy fried chicken sandwich was standard, nothing too substantial.
Their club sandwich comes with a thick slab of grilled ham and crispy bacon and was better than we could've expected. It's hearty, warm and smoky.
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The only items on the menu that cost more than $10 are the wings: 12 for $12.99 or 24 for $25.85. Everything on the kids’ menu is $4.99 and includes fries and a drink.
In another time, when I’m not at home eating all the time, I’ll order Jasmin’s Special, which is a mound of fries topped with their secret house seasoning, cheesesteak, tomatoes, onions and peppers smothered in queso.
Joel Padilla’s entrepreneurial spirit and determination has served us all well. A cheesesteak with queso on top is all the proof we need.
Cheesesteak House, 2015 W. Davis St. (North Oak Cliff). 469-941-4389. Currently open for takeout 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.