Mad Philly, located in the Shallowford Road area of Chattanooga, is the newest place in town to get an awesome and authentic Philly cheesesteak!
Unless you are a non-meat-eater, it’s hard to argue with the appeal of a Philly cheesesteak – very thinly sliced steak fried on a flat top griddle until it’s just a little bit crispy, served on a crusty yet chewy roll with whatever gooey cheese is your poison. Maybe some fried onions or some mushrooms too…I mean, why not?
Living in the south, though, a great cheesesteak is not exactly easy to come by. I’m not hating on Charley’s (at Hamilton Place) because Lord knows I’ve eaten my share of steak & cheese sandwiches there. I’m going to go out on a limb, though, and guess that your average visitor from Philadelphia is not going to bite into a Charley’s sub and proclaim that it is equal to Pat’s or Geno’s (for those of you who are unfamiliar, Pat’s and Geno’s are two renowned cheesesteak shops that are definitely rivals for the top spot in Philly – and they are located across the street from one another).
I first heard mention of Mad Philly on Facebook and immediately went to check out their Facebook page. Run by a Philadelphia transplant, Mad Philly boasts authentic Amoroso rolls that are shipped straight from Philadelphia to become the vessel for their cheesesteak sandwiches. Much to my chagrin, they aren’t open on the weekends. Luckily, their location (on Shallowford Road, near Steamboat, which is another great sandwich shop) is pretty convenient to the shop, so I was able to make a stop in on the way to work an evening shift.
4:45 p.m. on Wednesday isn’t a busy time for them, but I’m thinking that all bets are probably off during the weekday lunch hour. I paid for my Original (with fried onions and American cheese, add mushrooms just because), Philip’s Pepperoni Pizza Steak (with mozzarella, pizza sauce, and pepperoni), an order of hand-cut fries and an order of tots ($17.75 pre-tip) and my food was out within 10 minutes. On top of that, Alyssa, who rang me up, was very friendly and upbeat.
I was pretty hungry by this time, and the smell of cheesesteaks, fries, and tots was pretty overwhelming in the car. Some guys at the counter in the shop were eyeing the sandwiches hungrily too, so hopefully I scored some additional business for Mad Philly right there. My sandwich was pretty much perfect – gooey and a little greasy in the very best way, with perfectly seasoned and cooked meat. Say what you will about American cheese, but it’s tradition and nothing melts quite the same. I say you can’t beat it where the purpose is gooey meltiness. The only thing I would have changed was the mushrooms, which I think were canned. I ate half of my sandwich for dinner and saved the other half for the next day’s lunch.
Philip’s sub was gargantuan! I think it was actually the same length as mine, but the addition of the pepperoni and sauce made it seem huge. It was definitely much messier than mine…it was positively dripping with red sauce. I took a bite and it was definitely tasty, although not really the style of sandwich that I prefer (mainly because I say that there is no need to mess with the perfection of cheesesteak). The fries were excellent – tender but crispy, well-seasoned – and the tots were, well, tots. I would definitely like to try some of their topped fries or tots (i.e. Philly Cheesesteak fries, pizza tots, etc.).
Cheesesteak lovers, you need to check out Mad Philly. They are located at 5959 Shallowford Rd, Suite 201, Chattanooga, TN 37421 (in the same building as We R CPR). They are open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are closed on Saturdays and Sundays (though they are available for catering on Saturdays, and I don’t know how much merit there is to it but I heard a rumor that weekend hours may be on the horizon – so get out there and check them out so they’ll know it’s needed!). You can call Mad Philly at 423-531-9449 (WHIZ). For more info, visit their website, madphilly.com or find them on Facebook .